Back at work today after five days off. (Remember, I called in sick on Wednesday.) I was a little nervous that I’d still be in a lot of pain while driving. Well, it was painful, but definately tolerable. I talked with Vu last night about my pinched nerve woes and he recommended getting some Aleve and alternating an ice pack and heat. We talked about what could be causing this rather annoying affliction. Maybe it’s the way I sleep or the way I sit at work. We’re not sure. I’ll probably fly up this weekend and get everything adjusted and see if that helps. The pain is definately better than it was early last week… but it’s not gone.

Even with annoying shoulder pain, we still had a very nice Thanksgiving. Bill’s parents flew in around 5 and our friend Chuck drove up from Carlsbad. Chuck’s wife is in Venezuela visiting family, so we invited him to spend Thanksgiving with us.

Thursday morning I got mashed potatoes cooked and the stuffing ready for the oven. Bill came home around lunchtime, prepared the turkey and gave me instructions on when to put it in the oven and when to change the temperature. Since neither of us had cooked a turkey before, we decided to follow Alton Brown’s instructions. We brined the turkey overnight in a solution of 6 quarts of water and one pound each of salt and brown sugar. Then Bill stuffed the turkey with onions, carrots, celery, apples, lemons, rosemary, garlic, and salt & pepper. I preheated the oven to 500 degrees and roasted the turkey for about 30 minutes before turning the heat down to 350 degrees. The turkey was amazing. It was juicy and tender and very flavorful. Even the breast meat, which is normally a little bland tasted fabulous.

Very pretty turkey… almost worthy of a Normal Rockwell painting.

Bill also made creamed spinich and a really tasty spinich and artichoke dip. Chuck and I ate a little too much of that before we sat down to dinner.

Here we are enjoying our yummy food. I’m not sure why Bill looks like he’s about to throw up…

On Friday evening, before Bill’s parents flew home, we made a steamed duck that is a little famous among Bill’s family. I guess only Laikwan knows how to make it. So when she invites people over for this dish, they all scarf down the duck and then leave… with very little socializing. It’s pretty funny. This time, I got to help out enough that I could probably make this again. We had a medium-sized duck and we stuffed it with a combination of sticky short-grained rice, diced Chinese cured pork, diced mushrooms, tiny shrimp, and lotus seeds. In this mixture was also a little soy sauce and a little whiskey. I sewed up the duck to prevent leakage and the whole thing was steamed for a few hours. The juices from the duck seep into the rice and it’s really a great flavor. Bill wants to brine the duck next time so the duck meat doesn’t loose so much flavor. After it’s done, Bill separates the juices from the fat and makes a gravy to pour over everything. Here’s a pic to see what it looks like just before the gravy is poured:

After we dropped off Mark and Laikwan at the airport we decided to visit Fry’s Electronics to see what kind of Black Friday deals they still had. Last year, we bought a refrigerator and stove from Sears on Black Friday… it worked out well since we were moving the next day into our house. This year we didn’t really have anything we really NEEDED. It was still busy at Fry’s…even after 9pm. We bought a DVD burner for my computer at a great price. Since I have no need to make copies of DVDs, it will be used to back-up all of the photos and graphics on my computer. We also picked up a new scanner for me. They had a decent scanner from the brand I wanted for $100 and $40 in mail-in rebates. So, it’ll end up being around $60. If I can sell my Canon scanner for $100. I will be quite happy.

Bill will be traveling a lot this week with trips to Las Vegas and Denver and a 3-day training in Salt Lake City in 2 weeks. He wants to get his monthly site visits done before airports get too busy with holiday travelers.

I’m almost finished with my camouflage quilt. I have all the pieces sewn together. Yesterday we visited a uniform supply shop and got a name tape. You know how on military uniforms the soldier’s last name is embroidered on a piece of canvas and sewn to their uniform? I had one made with Logan’s last name in khaki and I stitched it to the corner of his quilt along with an army green two-tone American flag. It looks pretty cool. All I need to do is sew up one end of the quilt and finish some little details. I’ll post picture of it when I’m done.


About wobetxela

Artist, mom, traveler, hiker, babywearer (for as long as they'll let me) and hobbyist photographer.
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4 Responses to

  1. stebow says:

    Wow!  That duck looks really good. I expect it at our next visit with you. Really missed you and Bill on turkey day. There was a big empty space that needed filling.
    Love to you both,

  2. bevduhon says:

    Wow, that turkey looks straight out of a magazine!  Alright, I’m convinced, I will definitely be investigating this whole brining business.

  3. christao408 says:

    Brining is such a good technique for turkey; it really makes a dry bird a lot moister.  (more moist?)
    Kevin did a smoked turkey this year that apparantly turned out really nice.
    Talk to me about your Canon scanner.  I’m thinking it would be good to have a decent-quality scanner in KC so I can begin scanning pictures from Grandma and Grandpa’s albums when I visit.  Do you think it would do the job well enough?
    Re: “Frenchwoman” books – I like the book, but thought it was just a little too much common sense.  Have we really gotten to the point where we need someone to tell us to eat moderately, get off our butts and walk, and focus on enjoying the food we do eat rather than gorging ourselves?  We must have reached that point since they’ve written a follow-up book!

  4. alextebow says:

    As I was reading the first French Women book I thought the same thing…I knew this already! Sadly, I think the general population just doesn’t think that way or honestly understand what proper portions are. I bet a large percentage believe that the steak and potatoes platter at your local Applebees is a correct portion. I’ve never participated in a set “diet” because I never thought that depriving myself of foods that I love would ever work. I don’t just think it’s logical. It was nice to hear it reinforced in print. The second book has many more recipes. My Canon scanner is pretty good for simple use. It scans at a good resolution as long as you don’t intend to enlarge the photos you’re scanning. I had issues with the software because I wanted to scan at a very high resolution and the software didn’t let me. It also has an auto-crop feature that is great for photos… but a pain in the butt when I’m trying to scan a drawing that doesn’t have edges. As far as I could figure out, the auto-crop couldn’t be turned off. I had intended to spend some time really delving into the manual… but I got a job that has a good scanner. I’ll read a little more on it and see if it’ll work well for your project.Here’s a link to the specs on Canon’s website:

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