Friday 25 December 2009

Making a turducken... part 4: the photos of the birds

In order of construction, from the previous post:

Making a turducken... part 4: the birds

1:30am: waaa... what time is it? Time to put the turducken together!

2am ish: not looking at the clock too closely at this time in the morning, but here's the sequence:

1. turkey
2. seasoning mix
3. sausage stuffing... there seems to be a lot less of it now. The cat can't get into the fridge, can she?
4. duck
5. more seasoning
6. cranberry and pecan stuffing
7. chicken
8. more seasoning
9. the last of the stuffing

2:20am aaaaand.... roll it all up.

2:40am: how much can one turkey take? We're having to sew the edges together and then truss it with string. Lots of sewing, lots of string

2:58am: flipped! and more sewing and trussing required. The oven is up to temperature: 107 degrees Celsius.

3am exactly: and it's in the oven!

I'll put all the photos in the next post. Moving photos around between text is a pain in the bum in Blogger.

Thursday 24 December 2009

Making a turducken... part 3

9:10pm: Mmm. Looks delicious.

9:23pm: Stuffing A is getting nicely browned, with the sausage and onion and celery and stuff. And it's looking very American already. It's going to be pretty intensely flavoured. Now we've put in three cups of stock and left it to simmer... mmm, meats....

Meanwhile, my stuffing is done. That was easy.

9:38pm: both stuffings are done, and the birds are ready in the fridge. We're done for now - we have to assemble the turducken just before we put it in the oven, and we can't do that until midnight, because it needs nine hours to cook. Signing off til then.

Making a turducken... part 2

8:32pm: chopped and Ricked celery and four onions

Rick, above, is a Thermomix (he's named after the guy who sold him to us). He's like a blender on steroids and after plastic surgery to add scales and a stove element. He's a bit enthusiastic about chopping... we seem to have wound up with onion mousse.

And we're already deviating from the recipe - it calls for 3 cups of onion, but since we chopped it so fine we think it's packed down more than usual, so only putting two cups in.

Now we de-sausage the spicy sausage meat for Stuffing A. Americans seem to call what we'd call mince, sausage, so we've got spicy sausages which we're turning to mince. When I say "we", this part is entirely Bloke's job. As he says, he's a boy and doesn't mind getting his hands dirty.

My job is a lot easier... I'm making Stuffing B. From a packet.

Stuffing A:

* celery
* onion, browned together
* spicy sausage meat, browned
* paprika (yep, more)
* garlic (yay)
* chicken stock
* breadcrumbs

Stuffing B:

* two packets of stuffing mix
* water according to the recipe on the back of the packet

Quote from Bloke: "meeeeaaaaat".

Apparently calling him Bloke makes him sound like a bimbo. Should I ask him what he'd like to be called?

Making a turducken... part 1 of many

It's 8:11pm on Christmas Eve, and The New Bloke and I have started Operation Turducken.

It starts with two tablespoons of paprika. Not a typo: this is going into a seasoning mix which is going to have to cover three birds: a chicken, a duck, and a big big turkey.

The seasoning mix also has salt, black pepper (I don't think Bloke has ever ground so much black pepper in one go) and dried thyme. If you're going to make this yourself, it's:

2 tbsp paprika
2 tbsp salt
1 tbsp black pepper
1-2 tsp thyme

It's going to be rubbed all over the poultry later.

We're both first-borns, so we're organised to a degree that makes most people raise their eyebrows. So we've assembled the stuffing ingredients neatly.... for normal meals this would be dinner. Tonight, this is what's going IN dinner.

Bloke's chopping celery and my sous-chef skills are required to chop onions. Back later.

Flying solo

No, that's not a metaphor for anything. I get to fly this little plane around the sky all by myself now:

And for posterity, here's a bit of my logbook.

More detail to come, but first I have to help make a turducken...

Wednesday 9 December 2009

Did I do better this year?

Last year I emitted (well technically caused the emission of) 12,792 kg of CO2. At the time I said I could do a lot better this year if I didn't spend half the year in the USA. I calculated that I would have emitted only 4889 kg if I had spent the year the way I'd originally planned to (live in NZ, take a holiday in Japan).

I spent the whole year living in NZ this year, so let's see how well I did.

Actually not too bad!

I (through my activities) emitted 4445 kg of CO2 this year. I'm extrapolating out to the end of the year. For those that measure in tonnes, that's 2.2 tonnes. Given that the average I am now below the average for NZ residents (phew) but still well above world average (rats).

And if I hadn't taken up learning to fly (those 19 hours in the pilot seat of the Cessna have caused 752 kg of CO2 to go into the atmosphere...) and started driving a lot more, to get to Ardmore and to get to The New Bloke's house in the outer wilds of Auckland, I'd have emitted even less.

So now that I know how much effect I can have on CO2, I'm setting a target for next year. Heh, just like in Copenhagen.

My target for 2010 is 3000kg net CO2. Let's see if I can achieve that. I can keep breathing out, but it's going to require some big changes. But important things always do.