We’re in San Jose for several days visiting my mother, her husband, and friends all staying under the same roof. Bear with me, I’m having a moment. Visiting relatives, though enjoyable, can often be topped with a dab or two of stress as well when you factor in more than the allotted group of humans sharing bathroom facilities, the necessity to prepare more elaborate meals, and all the pluses and minuses inherent to having a house full of guests around the holidays.
Rain has been arriving steadily since our arrival leaving inside entertainment the most obvious option. Consequently, feeding time seems to be a popular attraction and as my mother likes me to man the pans on my visits, most of my time here has been spent either preparing meals or cleaning up after them.
My mother is hard of hearing. Actually, that is as much an understatement as to describe Shawn Bradley as slightly above average height. Communication is better in person I find, but not much. On the phone we have ridiculously frustrating conversations finding me screaming like a lunatic into the phone trying to be understood and pantomiming unseen gestures in the air as if this somehow will better implement getting my point across. There have been numerous sets of hearing aids purchased for Mother, with the same amount returned. Whether the issue is as claimed they are too difficult to insert or rather a matter of feminine pride is still up for debate, but I’m casting my vote for the latter.
I digress. Tuesday here in San Jose is laundry day. If you miss Tuesday’s deadline, I’m not sure if you have to stretch your complement of clean underwear until the next one rolls up on the calendar, but I do know it would behoove you to manage the Tuesday deadline. The washer was going in the garage early on and I was cleaning up from the latest attack on the kitchen. Even over the loud jazz emanating from the stereo sitting on the kitchen table, I could hear a steady banging on the wall connecting the kitchen and the garage. On opening the door to investigate, I was somewhat shocked to see the washing machine literally walking its way towards the garage door, folded laundry and dryer sheets dumping from on top all over the floor as it went. To be fair, this washer and dryer probably came off the manufacturer’s floor right around the same time Lindbergh landed in Paris, so the fact they still function at all is somewhat of a miracle. I’m surprised the dryer doesn’t have a wringer attachment. Consulting my mother on this rather alarming happening, she said she hadn’t noticed it making any noise. Street cleaners in the living room would have made less. Hello. I mean, HELLO.
Men, attracted to machinery like nails to a magnet, gathered round. Poking and prodding of the ailing machine began, followed by much rubbing of chin stubble, shifting of legs, hmmmming, sighing, and reading of operating manuals. After communally declaring the patient beyond help, Consumer Reports, the Internet, and the community of knowledge were consulted and an order for two machines was placed, due to arrive in several days. Problem solved, next.
There are four television sets in my mother’s house, but not one media player. Several have been purchased over the years for Christmas or birthday gifts, to be returned to the store once the people who purchased them and understood how to use them went home as they were the only ones with a clear understanding of what they did. In my parents defense, I’m considerably younger and I don’t have one app on my phone, still have a land line, have never texted as much as one lol and if it wasn’t for the fact I made my living working on computers, probably would be in the dark technologically as well, rather than just lingering in a pale shade of gray.
As with most households with newer TV’s with cable affiliations, multiple remotes are scattered around the coffee table. One is needed for the cable box, one for the DVD player, one for the television itself, and one to help you operate the other three. In mother’s house the largest set is in the living room and is turned on and off in a totally different manner than the other three. Why remains a mystery. With guests arriving and leaving their lovely home more often than a thriving bed and breakfast, adult children and grandchildren often “tinker” with their remotes leaving things set up differently then when they arrived. For my mother, who has recently conquered off and on, this is a source of constant irritation. This visit was to be no different. The living room TV had been adjusted by the last group passing through and instead of a full screen was now changed to display a picture looking as though it had a large black mat or border around the outside.
On leaving to run an errand my mother handed the remotes to my other half who she perceives as a technological wizard, emphasis on perceives, and tasked him with changing it back. Three of us sat and watched as the pushing of menu, options, this, that, up, down, sideways, green, red and chartreuse ensued. After fifteen minutes of watching the screen options change and alter, in the end a blue screen was now visible in the full screen format, unfortunately there was neither sound nor picture accompanying it. Whoops. Panic mode set in as my mother would be returning shortly, the guest sleeping in the living room could only sleep with the television on, and if Mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy, and Mama was not going to be happy. I can say this with great certainty, as I’ve known her since my first breath.
After a lengthy discussion between the cable company representative and in the end the television manufacturer itself, we managed to restore the screen to its original glory and our lips were sealed when she returned. Peace, once again, was restored.
We’re heading home this weekend with a huge winter storm pushing through the North State. Should be a windy, wet ride. I brought this pie down her to share. It is so good, chocked full of lovely chunks of leftover turkey. What a wonderful dish to preview a rerun of the bird in or to use up your leftover veggies. This makes two, you can certainly reduce it by half if you only need one or make both and freeze one after cooking for over the holidays.
Fabulous Leftover Turkey Pies
4 cups cubed, cooked turkey white and dark meat
2/3 cup of butter
3 carrots, peeled and sliced thin
2 large ribs of celery, cut in 1/2″ slices
1 large yellow onion, chopped
5 large button mushrooms, sliced
2/3 cup flour
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp. Hungarian paprika
1/2 tsp. onion powder
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. Italian seasoning
2 cups milk
1/4 cup heavy cream
2 Tbsp. cooking sherry
4 9″ unbaked pie shells
1 egg plus 1 Tbsp. water for egg wash
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
In small mixing bowl whisk together flour, salt, pepper, paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, and Italian seasoning. Set aside.
In large deep skillet melt butter over med. heat. Add carrots, celery, onion and mushrooms to pan and cook 8 mins. until vegetables are tender. Whisk in flour mixture and cook for 2-3 mins. until well blended.
Mix together cream, milk and broth. Slowly whisk into flour mixture mixing constantly. Continue cooking over med. heat until thickened. Whisk in cooking sherry and salt and pepper to taste if needed. Add turkey to mixture.
Place one uncooked pie crust in each of two 9″ deep dish pie pans. Add half the filling to each pie pan. Top with remaining two crusts and crimp well to prevent spillage. Cut five slits in top of each pie.
Mix together beaten egg and 1 Tbsp. water and brush mixture over top of both pies.
Bake for 40 mins. or until crust is golden brown and filling is fully heated. Allow to cool 10 mins. before cutting. Delish.