Thrift, food, and turkeys

Long ago – back in September, before things fell apart – I was planning to blog about cutting our food budget.

Buying a bunch of fresh produce and then spending a week out of state is not very thrifty. (Might as well just drop the cash directly into the garbage.) Neither is coming home so exhausted, mentally, emotionally, and physically, that you can’t face anything but a restaurant meal. I don’t really know right now what I spent on groceries in October – I did keep the receipts, but haven’t added them up – but I’m pretty sure it was well over my target of $300.

Well, my life seems to have stabilized, temporarily. Not that I plan to try for a three hundred dollar December – come Christmas, all bets are off with budgeting. But I do intend to start inflicting some recipes and some thoughts about finances on you, whoever you are out there.

Besides, I had some blog posts plans over the past week or so that didn’t get uploaded on schedule. And I had a Thanksgiving Sunday turkey to use up – the one I served my father in law, after the one I cooked on Thanksgiving Day for my mother.

So here you are, a guaranteed non-authentic whitegirl South Jersey Turkey Lo Mein. With pictures.

Turkey Lo Mein

(Or chicken. Or beef. Or pork. Whatever kind of leftover meat you need to use up.  Or tofu, if you’re vegetarian, I suppose.)

This is a what-you-have, use-stuff-up recipe – so measurements are VERY approximate! It takes about fifteen minutes to cut things up and maybe ten minutes to cook.

1/4 c. sliced onion
1 1/2 c. fresh broccoli (or 2-3 c. fresh spinach) (or peas or green beans or chopped peppers, I suppose – some sort of veggies)
1 c. cooked turkey
6 oz. fine egg noodles (half of a 12 oz. bag, the usual size they sell around here)
2-3 T. oil
1 tsp. sugar
1 1/2 T. soy sauce

Put a pot of water on to boil for the noodles.

Peel broccoli stems (because the outside is tough and unpleasant to eat, unless you cook the broccoli so long that everything else is disgustingly mushy) and cut the broccoli into small pieces. Cut the turkey into smallish pieces.

When the sides of the pot of water are covered with small bubbles that keep detatching themselves and rising to the surface, turn the heat on as high as you can under a large frying pan. Let it heat for about half a minute, add 1 T. oil, and stir-fry the broccoli until it’s bright green.

When large bubbles start rising to the surface of the pot of water, dump in the noodles. Stir for thirty seconds or so to make sure the noodles don’t glue themselves together as they cook. Check the time – you need to drain the noodles 3 to 4 minutes from right now.

Back to the frying pan. Add the onion and stir-fry until it becomes translucent instead of opaque white. Add some more oil and the turkey. Continue stirring everything together till it’s time to drain the noodles. Dump the drained noodles into the pan. Add some more oil (this is not a low-fat dish, I’m afraid) and a teaspoon of sugar. Stir well. Add the soy sauce and stir for another minute. Serve to two or three people, depending on how hungry they are, or one teenage boy.

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