Tuesday, December 26, 2017

TURKEY-LEEK CASSEROLE

Still working my way through the left-over Thanksgiving turkey, so I made this tasty Turkey-Leek Casserole for Supper. It is delish and the kitchen smells wonderful while it bakes ;-)

The heady anticipation of the tantalizing cheesy-nutmeg aroma of this protein packed meal fills the house and takes the bite out of the winter nip … and adds a festive zip; making you feel warm all over.


TURKEY-LEEK CASSEROLE – 8 servings (1 cup each)

5 medium Leeks (or 2 medium Onions), sliced – 2 TBSP Margarine or Butter – 2 TBSP all-purpose Flour – ½ teaspoon Salt – ¼ teaspoon ground Nutmeg – 1/8 teaspoon ground Black Pepper – 1 cup Chicken Stock – 1 cup Milk – 3 cups cut-up Turkey or Chicken – ½ cup finely chopped and fully cooked smoked Ham – 1 jar (2 ounces) diced Pimento, drained – 3 cups hot cooked Noodles (I used Spaetzle noodles for the thickness of them) – 1 cup shredded Swiss Cheese (about 4 ounces)

Everything assembled and ready for action ;-)
I like thick noodles in my winter meals, so I bought Authentic German Spaetzle: I bought ‘store-bought’ because homemade spaetzle takes f-o-r-e-v-e-r ... and for just the 2 of us, store-bought is more economical too.

Cook and stir leeks in margarine in 3-quart saucepan over medium heat until tender – about 5 minutes. Blend in flour, salt, nutmeg and pepper; cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until bubbly; remove from heat.

I made the white sauce while the noodles cooked ...

Stir in broth and milk. Heat to boiling, stirring constantly – boil and stir 1 minute. Stir in turkey, ham and pimento.

The White Sauce finished before the noodles did, so I added the rest of the ingredients to the sauce the last few minutes.
Spaetzle draining while I grate the cheese ...

Spread half of the turkey mixture in an ungreased square pan, 9x9x2-inches, or a 2-1/2-quart casserole dish. Spoon noodles over turkey mixture; top with remaining turkey mixture.

Meat sauce and noodles alternated in baking dish.

Sprinkle with cheese:

Casserole topped with Swiss cheese and ready for the oven.

Cook uncovered in a 350-degree oven until cheese is light brown and casserole is cooked through – 25 to 30 minutes.



Serve and enjoy!


Christmas Eve Drive

We got our first snowfall of the season early afternoon of Christmas Eve :-D

We went to fellowship meeting and felt the first hint of snow in the air when a few misty flakes flitted down out of the gray clouds as we made our way across the grass to the front door. By noon the grass had been lightly powdered and Hubs was saying, “It looks like you are going to get your White Christmas after all”. I was excited … everyone else was not. As you all know: I am a snow-baby, born December 29th, and I always want to see that ‘white stuff’ by Christmas if possible: FOR SURE BY my birthday. Here in the PNW that is not always possible; but when it is, I am always sure to thank Elohim for it ;-)

And I did.

After fellowship we decided (actually I persuaded Hubs) to drive to Graysriver to drop in on his cousin and see how she and her husband were doing – the day before they received news that their oldest son had passed. He had been terminally ill for some time, but news like that is never easy on the ones that get it: even if they are expecting it. So anyway, we came home and dropped off our fellowship things and off we went. We had snow at home …

SNOW! The first snowflakes of the year. I was glad to see it though everyone else was grousing. Doesn't look like much when we left home for Graysriver ... but there was 2" when we got back home.

… but there was no snow at all between home and Graysriver. Nada. We had thought there would be some atop KM Mountain, but there was nothing but a few scattered and very slim patches of a previous snowfall at some point earlier. Well, we reached their home and they were gone. So we left a note saying that we had stopped in, and headed back home.

This side of KM Mountain and the far side of Cathlamet, Hubs asked, “Do you feel like living dangerously?” That sounded like a challenge to me and my eyebrows went up when I turned to look at his impish grin. Hmm. Always ready to meet a challenge with a laissez faire attitude, of course I said, “Yes!” So he turned off at the Elochoman road, and we took the Beaver Creek route towards home – he knew there would be snow up there. And a good possibility that the roads would be icy under the snow covering.

Though people live on Beaver Creek road, and newer upscale houses are being built up there as more and more landowners are forced to sell more and more of their land (more so over the years since we left Cathlamet 25 years ago), Beaver Creek remains very countrified and forested … and is always pretty when it snows:

Beaver Creek road.

The first elk I ever saw was seen on this road. It was so massive I was speechless … and Hubs would have hit it if I hadn’t grabbed his shirt sleeve and yanked it while I mutely pointed through the windshield: LOL. We were dating at the time and were ‘spotting’ for elk: he told me to tell him when I saw one, but I had never seen one before and when I did, I COULDN’T SAY ANTHING because I was blown away by its massive size and sheer majesty as it ran up the road mere inches from the front end of his pickup. Those things are as big as horses – maybe bigger – that rump we almost hit was a few inches above his old Ford’s hood. It was H.U.G.E. They sure taste good though and will feed a family of 4 for a full year. That elk escaped us, but Hub’s hunted and bagged 1 a year until he stopped hunting.

Peak of Beaver Creek road. About 2-inches of fresh falling snow over packed/icy snowfall.
Back end of Beaver Creek road.

Then we meandered up Spruce Creek road … me “oohing” and “aahing” over the “beautiful snowflakes!” and “sparkling fresh snow!”… and that is where the ‘living dangerously’ happened: first, we were cut off by a speeding moron that intercepted our passageway, and flew through - forcing us to stop mid-hill where we lost traction and had to slowly and carefully back downhill before we could gain traction to move uphill again. Thankfully Hubs knew what he was doing, and Elohim sent our guardian angels to flank and guide us forward; He is SO GOOD to us. And we are so thankful.


Spruce Creek. The flakes were heavy with moisture, but fluffy too as they drifted down on the windshield.

A bit down the road, we were cautiously cruising along when we spotted the first peril of the day. So we crawled to a stop and put the hazard lights on so if anyone came up behind us they would know there was trouble ahead of us …

The first sliding accident we saw of the day happened up Spruce Creek spur off Beaver Creek road. A young mother and about 6 kids, 7-10 years old.
Her van was sideways across the road, stopping traffic both ways. These fellas that lived up here came out to help her out of her slick and slippery dilemma.
The 2 men physically jockeyed her van across the icy roadway to get it faced downward where she could coast down the hill to a flat spot to start using gas again.
Someone from the van trying to get a signal for his phone - not gonna happen. This is a dead zone area ... they are lucky all that is dead is the phone.
The mother is scared and traffic is getting antsy as drivers are backed up 5 -6 vehicles. They have places to go and things to do.
One driver offers his vehicle for the kids to stay in - it looks like someone in the van is in a wheel chair.
Guess the suburban couldn't accommodate the handicapped one, so ... it was back to the van to take their chances with the van's dicey situation.
The kids are moved safely downhill hill in the suburban; and the fellas finally coax mama out of her van so they can drive it out of the mess she found herself in in this slippery stuff (Mom in the blue off to the side).
It's moving. And all the waiting traffic breathes, ‘Thank God’.
Success ...
But things got a bit dicey again when the tires kept sliding, and we thought it might go into the ditch on the OTHER SIDE before it finally coasted to a stop just short of the ditch by the mailbox. The road is really slick with frozen ice under the wet, packed, snow.
Catastrophe avoided and everyone is heading back to homes - and vehicles - as Mama and kids climb back into the van and head out ... shakily, I'm willing to bet.
The backed up traffic is also thankful to be moving again.

After we left Spruce Creek and continued home (via Germany Creek and Eufaula Heights – again, my persuading due to Hub’s earlier ‘living dangerously’ quip), we saw two more 5 car pile-ups and 1 guard-rail kisser before we exited at Coal Creek road and reached home. What a day!


Not a typical Christmas Day type of excitement, but then … we aren’t typical people with typical lives ;-)