Somewhere along my journey, whilst waging war on my diabetes, I ended up facing things, fears maybe, branching into the unknown to me things, totally out of my comfort zone. See, I was comfortable in my invisibility cloak, sitting on the couch, watching the tube, going places safe, like the store, going around cracks, steering clear of things like camel crickets and spiders.
One day in 2011, Hot Stuff and I faced one of our super duper fears to end all fears, the fear of airplanes as we went to Cancun with his parents and our almost teenaged daughter. Maybe that’s when it started. My invisibility cloak had started to ravel, I’d lost a little weight, and the fear of flying just seemed awfully silly when we were in the air, flying through the clouds.
Since then, I’ve done silly things like not scream in the middle of the night when I crossed paths with a camel cricket or a spider, instead I, myself took care of business. Facing my fears for me has made me stronger, maybe a little wiser, and really truly, up for a challenge.
It was a challenge in December when SirHotsalot was sick. It was scary, and I was afraid. It was also a time of complete stress, brought on by folks who were not even there to help, yet they had all the time in the world to make matters worse. I was angry for a long time, but thinking about it now, on this beautiful sunny Sunday morning, I feel sorry that they did not learn from the experience, as we did, that life is precious and way too freaking short for drama. Life should be filled with learning, growing, loving, and yeah, well, stepping out of our comfort zones.
Last week I told you about how I didn’t get a turkey, but then again I did, thanks to my hot husband. I also told you about how Leon sent us home with lots of goodies. My week was filled with jerky making, lots and lots of jerky making, ten pounds to be exact, three different recipes that I will try to get time to share with you soon.
Today though, I want to tell you about how I finally used my beautiful brick pizza oven.
The pizza oven is to the right of me in this picture from last year.
A little background: My husband is an artist. His medium is brick and stone, he is a mason, but he specializes in beautiful things like patios, barbecues, walkways, walls, ponds, and waterfalls. I used to make grilled pizzas, so when he built a permanent home for our smoker, he built me the most beautiful pizza oven. The only problem was that upon completion, I was no longer consuming things like grains, so the pizza oven has been left un-used until last week.
Our middle granddaughter, Diamond, loves feathers. Often times she will walk through the back yard with one of us and pick up various feathers lying about. Since I am of the mind that I didn’t really want any of our turkey to go to waste, I hit up google to find out how to save the wings and tail so that she and her sisters may be able to enjoy them. In my googling, I came across this website, “How To Preserve A Turkey Fan“. There were no pics on that page, so I hope I did it correctly, there is no smell six days later, so there is still hope, here goes:
1 heavy duty stapler. Combine 1 cup of borax with 1 cup of pickling salt in a large bowl, and well, I thought a ladle would help, so I brought it outside also.
I didn’t have any 2x4s, so I rummaged through his workshop/garage and found some nice pieces of leftover wood. I had stopped at the store earlier for aluminum foil. Easy peasy, right? We’ll see…
After all “ingredients” were gathered, I stapled the foil to one of my boards. So far, so good!
Sunday night, after Hishotness dressed our turkey, I had locked the wings and the tail in the smoker. Doing this kept Biscuit (our dog) and all the other night animals from taking them. I wasn’t sure how they would hold up come Monday morning, but they held up well. It had been cold overnight, so there was no rot, or stinky smell, game on.
One of the beautiful wings, my thoughts were how excited Diamond would be so see all the pretty feathers.
Once I had my foil attached to the board, it was time to ladle a nice portion of salt/borax mix onto the foil.
I flattened the salt/borax a bit, placing it the length of the board, the length of the wing span.
I opened the wing and placed it on the borax/salt lined foil, stapled it down as flat as I could, then ladled the borax/salt over the bony wing part.
I folded up the foil over the wing and salt/borax, added some more heavy duty foil for good measure.
A view of the wing from the wood side.
Like all my “best laid plans”, I mostly fly by the seat of my pants. I hadn’t thought of a “cool dry place” to keep my hard work, and then it hit me, the pizza oven…
It fit perfectly in the pizza oven. Safe from the dog, the vultures, the opossum, or what ever animal or bug might want to eat my work.
After mixing some more salt and borax, I did the exact same thing, sans the pictures, with the second wing. Into the pizza oven it went.
It was time to do the tail. I’ve got to tell you that the tail was freaking amazing. I had read my entire journey about “fat cells this and fat cells that”, never ever having seen a fat cell in real life. I was hoping that one would show in my pictures, but with time being of the essence, I couldn’t just stop what I was doing to go inside to check my pics for “fat cells”, it was closing in on time for me to fill an obligation for my sister, so I kept working.
I wish you could see what I saw. The fat is not like a lump of “fat”, it is lots of lots of little sesame seed sized pods, all stuck together. It was amazing. The goal was to remove the fat and the meat, leaving the ends of the quills. The dog was happily cleaning my mess as I did the best I could at cleaning it up.
While the tail was more exciting due to the fat cells, it was basically done the same as the wings, only there are no “tail bones”. I attached my foil to my board, covered it in borax/salt, fanned out the tail, and stapled it over the borax salt, then added more borax/salt. To be on the safe side, I mixed another half cup of each and poured it on top.
When I wasn’t thinking of the super awesome fat cells, I was thinking of how fabulous Diamond would think this is.
The same as the wings, I folded it up like a packet, added some more foil for good measure and popped it in the pizza oven.
At this point, I was pretty proud of myself. I also had about 10 minutes to spare to wash up and get ready for my sister to pull up, so I washed up and fixed a cup of coffee to go!
My sister had a few rounds of outpatient surgery for Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. It was in Nashville, and well, I really was planning to step out of my comfort zone. It’s hard enough driving there every other weekend, so three days in a row looked like a far cry from what I “deemed” comfortable. To get just a wee bit further from my comfort, I wasn’t going to be driving the Tahoe, I was going to be driving her “mini firebird” (lmao). (well, it’s a pontiac anyways)
It’s been 14 years since I had my Honda Prelude. Since that time, I’ve been higher off the ground in a minivan, Jeep, or the Tahoe. I was a little nervous, but like most times, stepping out or driving out of my comfort zone turns out to be lots of fun…
I don’t remember the last time I intentionally parked between two parked vehicles. Yep, my next car will be a car, low to the ground, maybe making growly noises, hopefully a Camaro. Yep, that’s it. See it and be it, right?