2020 has felt like a year that would never end, and yet, I experienced a slight panic realizing today is the last day of November. Where did the year go?
While much of my time has been spent at home, I hope my efforts were impactful outside the boundaries of our family and farm. I volunteer as library lady two afternoons a week at my children’s school and am a lector and song leader at church. In spite of hell and high water, my friends and I work sporadic lunches, happy hours, and lengthy, meme-filled text messages into our chaotic schedules. Making weekly phone calls and sending cards manifests my desire to keep connected with those I love, but I continue to wonder if it’s enough. Do you ever feel the same?
Living on a turkey farm, we eat a lot of turkey and have gotten pretty creative with preparations of our favorite protein. People often ask for my recipes (especially other turkey farming families), so I decided to share my top 30 ways for preparing turkey.
30 recipes in one post is a bit too much (even for me) to digest. I plan to share these recipes in a series starting off with the simplest and most tried-and-true forms.
Now some of these recipes may not be mind-blowingly, new ideas, but they are ways that my family enjoys turkey. Most are easy recipes that do not require unusual ingredients or too much prep time.
1st Way: Fried Turkey Breast
Ingredients: 1 lb. sliced or cubed turkey breast, 2 tsp. salt, 2 tsp. black pepper, 1/4 cup flour, 2 cups vegetable oil
Steps: 1. Season sliced or cubed turkey with salt and pepper. 2. Toss turkey in flour until fully coated. 3. Heat vegetable oil in non-stick pan 350° F. 4. Place coated turkey into hot oil, flip every 2-3 minutes until completely brown or until juices run clear from meat. Avoid over-cooking or turkey will be dry.
2nd Way: Grilled Turkey Breast
Ingredients: turkey breast sliced 1/2″ to 1″ in thickness, marinade or desired seasoning
Steps: 1. Set uncooked turkey in marinade overnight (if possible). If overnight isn’t an option, allow turkey to marinade or be seasoned for as long as possible before placing on the grill. 2. Heat grill to 350-400° F. Lightly grease grill surface and add marinated/seasoned turkey. 3. Close lid and cook 8 minutes, or until bottoms are browned with sear marks. 4. Rotate turkey and close lid 5. Reduce heat to medium and cook 7-10 minutes more, or until internal temperature reaches 165° F.
*Our favorite marinades are Italian dressing or Lawry’s Hawaiian marinade.
3rd Way: Turkey Ka-bobs
Ingredients: turkey breast cubed 1″ to 1 1/2″ squares, marinade or seasoning, skewers (metal or wooden), mushrooms, baby tomatoes, diced bell peppers, pineapple chunks, onion slices, pretty much any vegetable or meat that you like on a ka-bob.
Steps: 1. Set uncooked turkey in marinade overnight (if possible). If overnight isn’t an option, allow turkey to marinade or be seasoned for as long as possible before placing on the grill. 2. Assemble ka-bobs by alternately adding turkey and vegetables or other marinated meats (beef, lamb, shrimp, etc.) to the skewers *If using wooden skewers, soak skewers in water for an hour before adding meat and veggies.* 3. Heat grill to 350-400° F. Lightly grease grill surface and add ka-bobs. 4. Rotate ka-bobs every 2-3 minutes and close lid. 5. Cook for 6-10 minutes until turkey is cooked through ***Adding additional meats will impact the cooking time***
“Talking about our problems is our greatest addiction. Break the habit. Talk about your joys.”
Holding in the things that bother us and keeping big problems to ourselves can be detrimental to our health and relationships. A constant spewing of our issues can also cause others to be desensitized to our downfalls. On the other hand, shedding light on what makes us shine brightens the world around us. Tooting our own horns is a healthy way to say “Woohoo!” when we do something great, but can make us come across as cocky. We have to find a balance between what makes us rant and what makes us rave.
As we enter a holiday season unlike any we’ve experienced, let’s take stock of all that is good and worthy of appreciation. Celebrate the talents and skills that make us successful and unique. Set our weaknesses and shortcomings aside. (You are probably the only one who notices these anyway.) Quit throwing pity parties and start throwing “I’m a Bad Ass”bashes.
I guess you could say I am grateful for opportunity this week because I am embracing two new ventures with Intentergy. First, I am starting a Monday’s Message video series with my new YouTube Channel. Please give my video a watch and let me know what you think or let me know if you have any suggestions for upcoming Monday Messages.
Second, I am starting a feature called “From the Farmer’s Table.” I plan to use this feature to share recipes from my own kitchen. This week I am beginning a three part series on ways to make turkey. We eat A LOT of turkey here on the farm and I’m sharing our 30 favorite ways to fry, bake, grill, or crockpot turkey. I’ve cleverly called the series “Turkey 30 Ways.” I hope you will try and enjoy the recipes. Let me know how they turn out!
With Thanksgiving in the forefront of our focus, reminding ourselves that there is always, always, always something to be grateful for is important. Not only because we have many blessings in our lives, but because we can also be positive reminders for others. We have the opportunity to help them remember they have much to be thankful for.
As always, thank you for taking the time to read Intentergy! I hope you know that your support is something I am sincerely grateful for. Please comment and let me know for what you are most grateful or how you help others remember to be thankful.
By: Melanie A. Peters
P.S. Putting a video of myself out there is terrifying. Thank you for being here for me!
Forget seek. I just want to hide. I really, really just want to hide. No need to seek me out. I will be okay. I just need to disappear for a bit.
Have you ever sat in your car after turning it off and not gotten out? Did you let the quiet sound of car cooling and silence envelop you? It’s sort of magical, until your family realizes you are out there and bum-rushes the vehicle forcing you to begrudgingly get out.
As we navigate the noise of working from home and distance learning with our kiddos, the drone of electronic devices is deafening, the chaos all-consuming, and the need for privacy imperative. Sometimes I take out the trash, just to take in a minute of peace. (Of course the dog always joins me, but at least he’s usually glad to see me and never asks anything but for a belly rub.)
Discipline – the classic struggle between what we want right now and what we want most.
Abraham Lincoln was an expert on making tough choices based on what he wanted most. He built a career and defined a nation by working for what he knew was necessary to unite our peoples and continue to establish America as a world power. After all how could a nation divided be the most powerful country in the world?
Discipline is something that many feel is a violation of their rights. They believe that if they want to do something, go somewhere, buy something, or say anything, it’s not “fair” to have to work for it or take into consideration the impacts their impulses will have on the big picture for their lives and what they want beyond that moment in time. The demand for instant gratification and knee-jerk reactions to the work and words of others has cast an ugly shadow over what we really need and want as a society.
The sound of the alarm clock is not the most pleasing to my ear. The cool air hitting my skin when I finally do roll out from under my quilts is less than reassuring. The fussing of my tired children as I attempt to rouse them less than inspiring, but the possibility of a new day is a smell that I can’t resist.
Today I would like to give you a sensory challenge. Consider the sights, tastes, touches, sounds, and, YES, smells that this day has to offer. Find ways to appreciate all you can physically experience. The joy you find may come in the softness of your socks, the smell of a shop as you enter, the calming noises of nature as you walk to your car or the hard rock blaring from you car speakers, the sight of someone’s smile, or the taste of your favorite snack. It is in the words, bites, hugs, high fives, fresh brewed coffee, and morning breezes that we know we are alive and that the day offers us possibility. And there is nothing I love more than the smell of possibility in the morning.
By: Melanie A. Peters
P.S. If you’ve lost your sense of smell, you know what a gift it is.
Refillable, as in the ability to be replenished, has to be one of the most optimistic words I can think of.
When the coffee has all been chugged, the ice cream has all be inhaled, or the treats have all been taken, it may be a downer. You may feel depleted, but that doesn’t mean you are defeated. It means you have an opportunity to scavenge for something sweeter, saltier, or just a bit more savory.
Let me give an example of how easy it is to tap into some positive purpose when your energy cup is empty.
My 7 year-old son has started reading chapter books and it is ROUGH. He struggles with phonetics and may have a hole in his attention span reservoir. He loves the book we are reading (Ready Freddy!: Shark Tooth Tale By: Abby Klien), but EVERY.SINGLE.NIGHT. we struggle, cry, throw fits, and read in a slow, robotic cadence through the chapters. Last night was no exception. The enthusiasm was not flowing for my boy, but once he read the next chapter title things turned around.
Chapter 4 – “If You Have Lemons, Make Lemonade” was all about Freddy finding ways to make money to buy a fossilized megalodon tooth (My son is obsessed with megalodons and lemonade stands.) Freddy’s elderly neighbor Mrs. Golden had broken her ankle but still had a friendly dog that needed walking. Her situation was a bummer, but my son started understanding that even sad situations can lead to happy opportunities. Freddy was able to help Mrs. Golden care for her dog AND earn money towards the purchase of that precious megalodon tooth.
I will be the first to admit that I often give the excuse that I am too busy to do what my kids want, especially when it involves going into the woods to see a “secret” fort, deer stand, or “special” rock. Not because I don’t like my children or am anti-nature, but I don’t always find joy in the trees or rocks that my darlings do and the matters in the house seem much more pressing. (The stick-tights and cockleburs are also on my list of unhappy things, and they are bad right now.)
This past weekend was no exception. I was not particularly excited about following my son down his “secret” path to see his “deer hunting” tree or his “special” hidden fort. Something told me that it meant more to him to share than it did for me to fold the laundry or finish the dishes. As he lead me into the woods, my 9-year-old chattered like a squirrel in a tree about the way he and his friends had discovered this place and how cool it was. His happy chatter was welcomed, as he has been in a bit of a funk lately unable to find kind words or pleasant things to say to his siblings or I.
When we arrived at the “deer hunting” tree, I saw a dead, dried up evergreen. What my son saw was an opportunity to sit up high, watching wildlife, with ample branches to share the spot with his friends as they “hunted” deer. I asked if the branches felt like they were going to break and he said, “No. They’re good. I know which ones I can stand and sit on.”
“Aren’t you afraid you’ll fall?” I asked.
“Nope. I’ll just catch another branch if I start to go down. There’s plenty in this tree.”
He was so secure in his answer I had to smile. As nimbly as a squirrel, my boy scampered down and said, “Come this way. Over here is my secret fort.”
When it comes to being far from perfect, I’ve got imperfection in the spades. I often beat myself up for having so many flaws and petty insecurities. It’s tough being human. (Do you ever get down on yourself for being less than perfect?)
In his homily this past Sunday, Fr. Tony addressed the challenge that is posed to us by All Saints Day. With tremendous understanding and the right amount of humor, Fr. Tony reminded us that the canonized saints were human too. They struggled with jealousy, anger, fear, and weakness (among other things). In his narrative, Fr. Tony dared us to be like the saints. His All Saints Day challenge is to live with love, compassion, and faith at the center of our thoughts and actions in spite of our struggles.
Nobody is born a saint, but we all have the power to be saintly in our words and works. In the bulletin “Message from Fr. Tony,” he thoughtfully stated, “The simple but reassuring fact is that nobody was born a saint. It’s something we have to strive to become… All Saints Day calls us to something beautiful. It reminds us of our great potential – the promise that lies within each of us. The promise of holiness.”