November 2011 - Posts - The Dollar Stretcher Review
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My take on articles and ideas presented on Dollar Stretcher.

November 2011 - Posts

  • Meandering

     Thanksgiving evening, 2011.

    I'm sleepy, tired and still full of pumpkin pie. The day was bright and sunny but I didn't get a chance to stick my nose out the door. I decided to checked my email since it was the only thing I could think of that didn't take much physical exertion.Considering that the dishes are still piled on the counter, it seemed like a good alternative.

    So... when what to my wondering eyes should appear... an ad for Black Friday and one for CyberMonday. And one for right now - Thanksgiving evening. One for Small Business Saturday. And one for all next week. The sad part is that these are not the first ads out for Christmas. The shopping frenzy has been gearing up since Halloween - the new kick off for the holiday season, I guess. 

    I remember when Christmas season started a couple of weeks before Christmas. It was fun to rush and get things done and put up the tree a few days before the big day. Then they moved it back to Thanksgiving and we had four weeks or so to get things done. Looking back, it's kind of funny. We didn't seem to gain anything by having more time to shop and have Christmas parties and decorate. Somehow, things kept filling the calendar. 

    Well, I hope someone benefits from the extended season now. Maybe some of you have a few more days to get ready for a party or to find that special gift, or even to make a gift or two. I hope so.  Nothing comes so sincerely from the heart than something made with the hands.

    Frugal Holiday Gift Ideas
    Food Gifts
    Gift Basket Ideas

    That's just to get you started. Try this link to get serious about it: Homemade Christmas Gifts  Twenty five or thirty or more articles chock full of Christmas ideas.

    Happy holidays! (Yes, already!)

  • TIme for Pumpkin!

     Do you buy a pumpkin for Halloween or fall decoration, set it out, then throw it away when it gets frozen or old? It surprises me every time I realize how many people do that, then go to the store and buy canned pumpkin to make pies at Thanksgiving, or buy pumpkin pies already made. 

    Fresh pumpkin, like most other fresh foods, tastes better and is better for you than canned, so why throw it out and then go and buy an inferior product? It's really not hard to bring a pumpkin indoors before it freezes or gets too mature in the sun. 

    I used to peel pumpkins and then boil the pieces, then get them ready for pies and/or the freezer, but I finally got a little smarter. Now I just cut them in two, take out the seeds and clean out the cavity. I put them cut side down on a cookie sheet and bake them until they're tender. When cooled, the skin pulls right away from the flesh and all I have to do is put it in the blender for a couple of minutes with a tiny bit of water and, voilĂ ! ..pureed pumpkin. Just like in the cans, but better. And a whole lot cheaper. 

    One medium size pumpkin will yield about 10 to 12 cups of puree, depending on the type of pumpkin and the growing conditions. That's a lot of pumpkin pie! Don't forget about the pumpkin bread and pumpkin cookies and pumpkin soup. Pumpkin is chock full of vitamins and minerals, too, so however you like it, it's goof for you. 

    My favorite pumpkin soup recipe, just in case you wind up with a surplus of pumpkin:

    4 cups cooked, pureed pumpkin
    1 medium onion, diced
    half pound of bacon, ham, turkey bacon or turkey ham, diced
    bbutter or margarine if you use turkey bacon or ham.
    Salt and pepper to taste.

    Cook the ham or bacon and the onion together (in the butter if it's turkey).
    Heat pumpkin to just under a simmer and add about half the meat and onion. Dip the pumpkin mix into a blender or food processor and process until smooth, then put it back in the pan and add the reserved meat and onion, heating through. Add salt and pepper as desired.

    That's a very simple version, but you can dress it up with green onions, croutons or whatever strikes your fancy. 

    More about pumpkins:

    Winter Squash (pumpkin is a squash)
    The Jack-o-Lantern That Became a Thanksgiving Pie


    Posted Nov 19 2011, 02:19 PM by Pat with no comments
    Filed under: , ,
  • Talking Turkey

    Photo credit: seemann from morguefile.com

    Do you remember the empty spaces where the turkeys should be close to Thanksgiving last year? There was a run on them - maybe because it's cheap meat (hint) and more people were looking for it. I don't know how that will affect this year's turkey supply, but to be safe, better get yours as early as you can find a good sale.

    If we're lucky, there'll be a glut of turkey on the market and the prices will be lower. A little, anyway. Well, we can dream... 

    Get two turkeys in that case, and keep one in the freezer for later. Turkey meat is good protein and very versatile. The versatility probably came about as people tried to find ways to use up the Thanksgiving leftovers, but nevertheless, there are lots of ways to use it.

    Since there is usually a lot of leftover meat on turkey, you won't have to cook for a few days. You don't have to eat leftovers right away, though, if you don't want to. It doesn't make sense to keep on eating turkey sandwiches and turkey soup and turkey casseroles when you're tired of it. Cooked turkey keeps just fine in the freezer. 

    Don't waste it. When you're turkey'd out, simmer the carcass, and make turkey broth. Freeze it with some turkey meat and you have the base for a great turkey soup later on. Turkey and noodles, anyone? Maybe not the week after Thanksgiving, but on a cold February day it will be welcome! 


    Choosing a Turkey
    Turkey Safety
    Slow Cooker Turkey

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