Monday, December 2, 2013

Thanksgiving Aftermath

A tradition in our family is my sister-in-love cooks the Thanksgiving turkey, and I take the carcass home for soup. I usually make mulligatawny since it’s my favorite.
 Because I had so much stock this year, I filled my big soup pot and made a triple batch. We ate some for dinner, and it was really good.
When it was cooled, I decided to freeze some for later. I used freezer bags because they take up less room than bulky containers. I’ve done it this way successfully many times before. I made sure to get most of the air out of the bags so they’d take up less space.

I put one on a small baking sheet so it would freeze flat and stuck it in the freezer. Then I set the second on top of the first. It slid off, plopped on the ground, and opened. Turkey soup EVERYWHERE!

Larry heard my scream, followed by cursing, and came to investigate. While I used paper towels to pick up the big pieces, he grabbed the dust pan and scooped up large quantities of fluid and chunks. Between us, we finished off half a roll of paper towels, but we got it all up, including pulling out the refrigerator. (I hadn’t cleaned behind there for a while, so it needed mopping anyway.) Then I washed the floor and used the steamer to assure it was clean and grease-free.

However, I still had half a bag of soup plus more in the pot.

I was sick of the smell by now, so I decided to freeze all of the rest. I got a new bag, filled it, and double checked it to make sure it was sealed.

I wiped the outside to be certain all the grease was gone since I suspected it might have been the cause of the first mishap. I grabbed another small baking sheet so this one also remained flat. When I set it down on the freezer shelf, the seal burst and the bag vomited all over the inside of the freezer!

We spent the next hour removing and scrubbing the contents.

Everything had to be taken out since the soup had made its way to the bottom, splattering on the way down. Fortunately, the food was well-wrapped, and we didn’t lose anything else, but the mess was nearly overwhelming.

When we finished, I still had two freezer bags of soup, although one had shrunk considerably. I put the remainder in yet another bag, made sure Larry verified it was sealed, placed it on the baking sheet, and got it at last into the freezer.

I still have about a quart of turkey stock left. Once I get the courage, I’ll put it in a sealed container (not another bag), and it will also go into the freezer. I won’t be making soup again for a while!
 If you’re brave enough, here’s the soup recipe:

Mulligatawny Soup


1 med. onion (I use dried onion since Larry can’t eat onions anymore.) in
1/4 cup butter (Or margarine, or whatever)

1 med. carrot, diced
1 stalk celery, diced
1 bell pepper (green, red, or yellow), seeded and diced
1 med. apple (I like Granny Smith or Fuji), pared, cored, and diced
1 cup diced or shredded chicken (Turkey works just as well.)

Stir in gradually:
1/3 cup flour
1 tsp. curry powder
1/8 tsp. mace
2 whole cloves
1 sprig parsley, minced
2 cups stock (chicken, turkey or whatever)
1 cup cooked tomatoes (I use canned diced ones)
salt and pepper to taste

Simmer for half an hour or longer. Serve hot.

I adjust the quantities depending on how much stock and meat I have. It’s really good on a cold, overcast day. But I think I’ll stick to the canned variety for a while!


  1. At least you have a good story. Next year you'll turn your husband and say, "Remember last year when..." and you'll laugh. Things like that happen to me all the time-- only I have two dogs and two cats who would have licked the floor clean in thirty seconds. You should have seen them after I made plates of leftovers, trolling the floor like vacuum cleaners for dropped crumbs. It's kind of gross, but it does save on paper towels when you spill things.

    1. Holli, we are currently petless by choice. We travel so much pets are a liability. But in the days of cats and dogs, some of the cleanup would have been easier. However, having the pets under foot would have made the job more of a challenge.

  2. I would've been screaming bloody murder. Eeek, shriek, what a horror!

    1. I just swear. :( Larry doesn't, and I rarely do. But these kinds of things--and sewing--bring out the latent sailor in me.

  3. I feel your pain. I've been freezing the same way for years and had a like experience with tomato mix. Glad you got it all cleaned up.

    1. in the middle of the whole thing, I had images of the soup scenting the kitchen for a long time! Fortunately, between mopping and steaming, it all seems to be cleared off the floor. Think I'll avoid the soup for a while...

  4. I think I would have given up and dumped the entire contents outdoors for the critters. Kudos for finishing the job!

    1. I guess I'm just too darn stubborn to let the bags get the better of me--and too cheap to throw out the soup after all the work of making it! (It really is good soup. We had some for dinner before the freezing fiasco.)