Thursday, November 9, 2017

Anna Sultana’s Scrapple and North Taurids and Leonids Meteor Showers

November 9th is National Scrapple Day!
It was cooked in the 17th century by German colonists who settled in Pennsylvania.
Well, Pennsylvania is New York’s neighbour, and, like all good neighbours, the folks there shared the recipe with the folks in New York.

College Point, a town in the borough of Queens, New York, was home to Irish and German families in the 1950s.
I don’t know if Ma learned the recipe for scrapple from a German neighbour or a co-worker at Lily Tulip, but learn it she did.
And of course she gave it her own touches. 

The original Scrapple recipe was a way to use up pork scraps (including head, brains, heart, liver and skin) which were boiled with the bones.
After discarding the bones, the bits of meat were then simmered with cornmeal, wheat or buckwheat flour, onions, and spices like sage and thyme.

Okay… that was the original recipe.
Ma found that the holidays usually left her with turkey, rather than pork, carcasses.
Being Ma, she wasn’t about to let those bits and bones go to waste.
So she made turkey scrapple.

The holidays are coming up. 
Why not file this recipe in your holiday survival file?


Hints:

If your large pot and its lid are oven proof, place it, covered, in a 350º F oven for 2 hours to simmer the carcass.

Don’t have a food processor? A blender - or sharp knives - will do.

If, while it’s baking, some of the crust sticks to the side of the pot, scrape and stir the bits back into the scrapple.

You can coat the slices with flour before frying to make it crustier.


                        Scrapple

Scrape the bits of meat off the bones

Place in a large pot
Turkey bones, wings, scraped bits and skin
5 cups water
Simmer for 2 hours.
Drain the broth into a measuring cup.
You want to have 4 Cups of liquid (you can top it off with water).
Discard the skin and bones.

Place the turkey in a food processor and grind - you want to have 4 Cups of meat.

Grease well a small roaster or Dutch oven
Preheat oven 350º F 

In a large bowl combine 
1 Cup cornmeal
1/4 Cup flour
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon sage or thyme (or a mixture)
the ground turkey meat
the broth / water mixture
Stir well.

Pour the mixture into the greased roaster or pot.
Bake for 2 hours, stirring occasionally.
Put the mixture into 2 loaf pans.
Cover with plastic wrap and place them in the refrigerator.

To serve:
Slice into half inch thick slices and pan fry in butter or oil over medium heat until golden brown. 
Serve with eggs and toast at breakfast with apple butter, ketchup, mustard, honey, jelly or maple syrup.
It’s also good served hot, as is.


About the sky next week, thanks to the folks at The Farmers' Almanac

November 12-14 - About 45 minutes before sunrise, look to the east-southeast horizon to see an incredible planetary pairing: Jupiter and Venus will appear spectacularly close together, rising side by side on the morning of November 13th. 
Make sure that your view is free of any tall obstructions such as buildings or trees. Both planets will appear quite low to the horizon, so you’ll need a nice “wide-open” view.

North Taurids Meteor Shower are expected to peak at this time, with the best viewing is from 12 - 2 a.m. local time; and good news— the sky will be nice and dark due to the tiny waning crescent Moon.
The Taurids are actually two annual meteor showers created by the comet Encke. They are named for constellation Taurus, where they are seen to come from in the sky (near the Pleiades). But they can be spotted anywhere (simply look up!).

November 14 – 15 - Look to the east, one hour before sunrise, to see the tiny sliver of a waning crescent Moon paired up with the planet Mars. On the 14th, the Moon is above Mars; on the 15th, it is below it. Closer to the horizon you will find Jupiter and Venus.

November 17 -18 - The Leonids Meteor Showers peak. Best viewing time is between midnight and 5:30 a.m. local time. This meteor shower, named for the constellation Leo, is typically one of the more exciting showers of the year, producing an average of 20-30 meteors per hour. And it should be nice and dark this year as the Moon is in the new (dark) phase.

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