My Childhood on a Plate

Scrapple.

Such an interesting word.  It can describe many things…a gelatinous meat loaf, polenta…amazing plate of awesome.

For me, it’s amazing plate of awesome.  My Granny had a recipe for Scrapple.  It’s simple.  Corn Meal and home-made Turkey Stock.  I don’t know how often she made it when my mom was a kid, but I do know it wasn’t very popular.  I’m serious…no one liked it.  Expect maybe Mom.  My Aunt has certainly expressed her distaste for it.

So, fast-forward to my generation.  Me, my cousins, their kids…Still no dice.  No one likes Scrapple. Except for my family.  Mom, Dad, and me.  I LOVE Scrapple.  Dad LOVES Scrapple, and Mom made it like no one else, but Granny.  Dad and I would always argue over who got the last slice.  There was no splitting it; it was all or nothing.  Every year at Thanksgiving, I’d make sure that Dad would take the turkey carcass so we could make it.  I would not be happy unless I knew we had that dead bird in our freezer.

Unfortunately, I don’t remember that last time we had Scrapple.  I do know it was long before mom died.  Pretty sure I was in Ju-Co, since that was the last time I lived at home.  Dad and I never really tried it ourselves…it can be tricky, and Mom was always able to pull it off.

So this year, I decided I needed to make Scrapple.  Starting with the homemade Turkey stock.  Which I had never made before.  So I took the carcass from the turkey breast I did for Thanksgiving, and the carcass from the turkey the Morning Show crew did at the station and threw them in a pot with some veggies.

My place smelled pretty good Thursday.

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And 8 hours later I got this:
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So yesterday I made the Scrapple!  Sorry…not sharing the recipe.  Just the photos!

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And after sitting in the fridge overnight…
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Yum!  Gelatinous loaf pan shaped blob!  Do you have any idea how hard it was for me to NOT eat that loaf right there?

Slice it up, flour it lightly, and into the pan it goes!

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I only burned myself twice!  I was so worth it.  Little bit of butter, a lot of syrup, and I was in heaven!

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So it seems I inherited my Mom’s ability to make Scrapple after all!  And I know, that the only two people in my family who will ever eat this is me and my Dad.  That’s okay…more for us.

And I’ll still fight anyone to the death over that last slice.

Then and Now

I know my cousin Sheryl will get a kick out of this post.  And I’m pretty sure my Dad and Aunt Judy will as well.  Over this past weekend, I was going through a few of my photo albums and I came across a few photos that my Grandmother took that really explain a lot about me.

Now, you have to understand…I’ve loved Television since I was a freshman in high school.  And I don’t mean sitting at home and watching some lame show on cable.  I’m talking about Broadcast News.  Local news.  Getting behind the scenes and shooting the stories, writing the scripts, switching the shows.  I fell into this career out of sheer dumb luck, and maybe a hint of lazy teenager.  We moved to a new town halfway though freshman year, and I needed a class to finish out my schedule.  Video Productions looked like a birdie course, so I signed up.

Oh…how little did I know how much that one decision would shape my life.  I’ve said this a million times before:  I wish every kid had a teacher like the one I had in Video Productions.  Someone who so thoroughly reaches you, gets in your head and instills a true love and passion of something in you…someone who is as influential in your life as your closest family…

Linda Potter was that person for me.  I can honestly say, that other than my parents, grandmother, Aunt Judy, and Uncle Don, Mrs. Potter had the most influence on my life.  She got me into the career I love.

What I didn’t realize back in the mid to late 90s, was that my love for News started far earlier in my life than high school.  Or Middle School…or Elementary School…

I’m guessing it started way back in late 1983.  Or early 1984.  It’s kinda hard to tell…

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That’s my Granny’s living room, and her old console television that I remember her having even as I got into high school.  I figure the next photo was taken when I was two-ish?

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I think I’ve quite a long way since then…
Control room wideAshley & James Ashley directing noon

Well…at least I’m not sitting three inches away from my…55 television monitors or computer screens…

Let it Snow!

Well…It snowed this week.  First snow of the season.  We got about 1.5-3 inches in my area.  But I love Kansas weather…Yesterday the low was 9.  Friday, the high is 50.

Really?  Make a decision Kansas!

Strider appreciated the snow.  He thought it was a good time to chase the squirrels!

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He did not want to come in.  This is him telling me no.

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And when I finally dragged him up the the porch, he tried very hard to get back out and play.

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Too bad for him it’s all just about melted. (yay for me!)

Some Time to Change Myself

It occurred to me today that it’s been a VERY long time since I’ve posted anything here.  There’s a reason for that…

I was in bad shape. Not sleeping well.  Tired all the time.  No energy.  Knees hurt.  Hell…I’m pretty sure I had sleep apnea.

I was 100+ pounds overweight.

So I decided it was time to take care of myself.  After hitting my heaviest weight of 340 pounds, and looking like this…
July 2012

I started working out.  I started eating better.  I stopped worrying about others more than I did myself.

After years of not being able to, I started to care about myself again.

Now, 9 months, and 78 pounds later, I’m proud to say I look like this:
November 2014

262 pounds.  I’ve lost 3 pant sizes.

Now don’t get me wrong…I’ve still got a LONG way to go.  My goal is 200 pounds.  But I think this is a pretty good start!

A Short Dog in a Tall Winter

It sucks when you’ve got stubby little legs and there’s five inches of fresh snow on the ground!  Doesn’t make it very easy to got potty.

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I don’t think Strider was too happy with me.  I shoveled the sidewalk, but not the yard.  How dare I?

IMG_2954He managed, but I got the stink-eye.

Icy December Morning

There are some positives to working at a TV station that’s in the middle of a cornfield, 10 miles from town.  There’s even more when you are working there when the sun rises.  And when everything is covered in a half inch layer of ice, you get some lovely pictures.

Happy Turkey Day!

Happy Turkey Day!  Well…a little late, but hey…it’s turkey!

And since I had nowhere to be this weekend, I decided to do my own little Thanksgiving Dinner.  I did turkey for the first time!  And I didn’t dry it out!  I do have to say one thing…BRINE YOUR BIRD!!!  Ever since I saw the Good Eats episode where AB brined his turkey, I’ve wanted to try it, but I could never convince the family to do it.

Their mistake.

This is, without a doubt, the most incredible turkey I’ve ever eaten.  Juicier than any turkey I’d ever had.  And trust me, I’ve had some dry turkey!  I got a 7 pound breast, brined it overnight in a gallon of water with a cup of salt and half a cup of brown sugar dissolved in.  This morning, I pulled it out of the liquid, patted it dry, then put it in the fridge uncovered for about an hour to let the skin dry a bit.  Next, brushed it with melted butter and sherry, then baked at 350 until it reached 153 degrees.  Carryover did the rest.

Seriously…I’m taking juice running down the chin juicy.  Turkey you don’t want to stop eating juicy.  Holy crap I can’t believe that I made turkey that good my very first time juicy.

Have I mentioned that you need to BRINE YOUR TURKEY??

I also spent the morning making Green Bean Casserole (yes, I LOVE it!), Sweet Potato Casserole, Stuffing, Cream Cheese Corn, and Maple-Worcestershire Gravy.  Gravy recipe here:

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/rachael-ray/roasted-brined-turkey-breast-with-maple-worcestershire-gravy-and-fruit-and-nut-rice-pilaf-recipe/index.html

Needless to say, I had no counter space left over…
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IMG_2879And because Strider was such a good helper, he got a Thanksgiving meal of his own.

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Chow down!

And before anyone reams me for the corn…it’s fresh, and that’s all he gets for the next year.

Of course, I had to have dessert…I’d call it Classic Pumpkin Pie…Crustless PieBut as you can see, there’s something missing.  That’s because the crust fell apart when I was trying to put it in the baking dish, so I tried it without the crust, and it turned out really good.

Dessert

And finally…the food coma:

Sleeping Strider

Sorry folks…no love for the Cranberry Sauce.  It’s okay, but I’ve never been a huge of it; fresh or canned.  Besides, everything else was good enough!

Happy Holidays everyone!  And brine your turkey!