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Anne Wallingford, WordSmith


No More Turkey Soup
December 4, 2005

One reason I enjoy making a turkey for Thanksgiving is that I've always made turkey soup from the carcass. Turkey soup is easy to make, and I always freeze some. Homemade turkey soup on a cold January day is a real treat! This year was to be no exception, but I knew I'd have to strategize carefully.

The Saturday after Thanksgiving I cut up the carcass and cooked the bones for broth. After the pot cooled, I strained the broth and poured it into my soup pot. Then I put the soup pot in the refrigerator.

On Monday, I took the soup pot out of the frig and skimmed off the fat that had congealed on top of the broth. Then I put the pot back into the frig. During the week I peeled and chopped some carrots for the soup, and finished the turkey leftovers except for small pieces that would go into the soup.

On Sunday the 4th, I spent the afternoon writing my Christmas cards and listening to Christmas music. I guess I didn't realize just how much the writing fatigued my hand muscles, though.

About 8 p.m. I went into the kitchen to finish making my turkey soup. I dumped in the carrots, added some frozen broccoli, and then stirred in the usual spices I use for turkey soup. Finally I added the leftover turkey pieces. While adding everything to the soup pot, I had the pot simmering on the stove.

I set the kitchen timer, and then went into the living room to read the Sunday paper. When the timer went off, I returned to the kitchen to move the pot from the stove to the table. I planned on letting the soup cool down for a while, and then refrigerate it overnight. I would then freeze most of it and add noodles to the rest for my Monday dinner. I couldn't wait to taste it! This was the game plan.

My m.s. had other ideas.

As I was moving the pot from the stove to the table, my hands lost their gripping power. The hours I'd spent writing cards had fatigued the hand muscles.

At first I was stunned when the heavy pot hit the kitchen floor. I didn't believe I'd dropped the whole thing!

But I wasn't stunned for long. My left foot hurt! Since I normally don't have much feeling in my feet, I figured I was in trouble. I managed to hobble back into the living room and sit in the recliner so I could remove my soaked socks and slippers. Thank heavens I was wearing bootie type slippers with a thick rubber-like sole. I was a bit scared, though, as my foot hurt and I couldn't see the burn. I didn't even want to think about the mess in the kitchen.

I debated about calling the paramedics, then decided to call my brother, even though it was late. He was super. He was at the house in a short time. He sat down on the floor to look at my foot before he even took off his coat. After looking over my foot carefully he told me I had one blister on the heel and an obvious burn mark on the insole, but that looked to be the worst of it. He then put a cold cloth on my foot and tackled cleaning up the kitchen, stopping every fifteen minutes to change the cold cloth. It took a full 90 min. for him to clean up the worst of the mess. And it was a mess. He told me that there was less than a quarter inch of liquid still in the soup pot. The rest was all over the kitchen floor, the stove, the cabinets…everywhere.

After he finished in the kitchen he bandaged up my foot. (I keep a first aid kit in the linen closet.) He wouldn't leave until I was safely in bed for the night.

I'm terribly grateful for his help to say the least. And I said a thank-you prayer before falling asleep that this didn't turn out worse. I could easily have broken my foot if the pot fell directly on my foot, or even worse, been seriously scalded. The hot liquid had sprayed everywhere except on me.

In an odd way, I can thank the m.s. for this not being a worse disaster. Because I can no longer stand up straight, I was bent slightly forward at the waist when I lost my grip on the soup pot. The pot hit the floor far enough away from me to spare me worse burns.

But I've learned my lesson. My soupmaking days are over. T'ain't worth it.

Copyright © 2005 Anne Wallingford All Rights Reserved

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

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