Sunday, October 11, 2009


Let's start with last night, shall we?

There is a company in Ottawa that does haunted walks - i.e. walks around the downtown area telling ghost stories. Last night I went on the Original Haunted Walk. (This also marks the first time I've done any sort of organized tour of Ottawa. )

I'm glad I went on it, but it could have been better.

We started not far from the kiosk, where the tour guide talked about how that part of the city had once been a graveyard. Hundreds of people were buried there during the building of the canal and through cholera epidemics. Eventually, it was decided to move the bodies to different cemeteries and build office buildings, etc. there, but they didn't have an accurate count of how many bodies were buried, so not all were moved. When they were digging to build some of the buildings, the workers on occasion found skeletons left from the graveyard.

That was interesting, but ... not actually a ghost story.

Another story involved an old teacher's college, where apparently a night watchman saw a woman move from one classroom across the hall to another classroom. When he asked her what she was doing there, she went back to the first classroom and disappeared. He thought it was a figment of his imagination, but when he went by a display case, he saw a picture of the woman, who had been one of the first supervisors at the school. This was supposed to refute the theory that it was his imagination, but ... it seems to me that that makes it more likely - his imagination used the picture he had seen before to create the vision.

Perhaps I'm too cynical for tours like this.

Anyway, on to today.

When I was a kid, Thanksgiving meant a long weekend spent at my grandparents' farm. Other that than, there was nothing particularly different from any other weekend out there. (We went out there frequently.) We'd have a typical Sunday lunch of whatever was available - ham, roast beef, or chicken. We never had turkey, because they didn't raise turkeys.

However, when I was in high school, my grandma flew to Toronto to visit her sister (who lived in Niagara Falls). I remember standing in the kitchen as my grandpa said, "Well, even if she's not here, we can have a turkey.". That's the first year we had turkey on Thanksgiving.

Today, I cooked a turkey, but naturally I had to do things a little differently.

I made the stuffing, and put it under the skin of the turkey. (I remember reading years ago that this made the stuffing extra crispy.)
It also made the turkey too big to fit in the roaster with the lid on.

Since there was nothing in the cavity, I filled it with a lemon cut in quarters and parsley (which was let over from the cheese bread last week).
The part with the stuffing browned a lot faster. (This picture was taken before basting for the first time.)

The stuffing did get crispier, but I found it too dry. (I suspect that had more to do with the way I made the stuffing than it did with the way I cooked it.) It also stuck to the skin.

The turkey itself turned out well, though. And I successfully made gravy, which is unusual (and which I was a little concerned about due to the lemon juice mixed with the chicken drippings).

In addition, we had mashed potatoes, coleslaw (with apples), broccoli salad, fresh buns, and pumpkin pie. (Best of all, I get to eat turkey sandwiches and broccoli salad tomorrow! Best leftovers ever.)

I also finished sewing all 16 patchwork pieces. Some of them are below:

They are all similar, but have minor differences depending on things such as:
  • what way I sewed them together
  • what part of the print is on the piece
  • the centre square contains 3 pieces that are included in all of the pieces, and 1 that changes
  • how big the pieces are (and how big the seam allowances are)
I will mail them off to my mom to finish the quilts this week.


  1. I've never heard of stuffing under the skin. Every year I try to lobby for stuffing not in the bird @ all so that I can enjoy it...

  2. It was an interesting experiment. :) The stuffing I made this year wasn't very good - it was way too dry - so you wouldn't have missed anything.