Cajun for Thanksgiving!

Prior to last year I had never heard of Turducken. As the holidays are fast approaching, I find my thoughts are drawn more and more to that luscious mixture of birds.

Turducken is just like it sounds, a taste-tempting mixture of turkey, boneless duck and boneless chicken, complete with corn bread stuffing between each layer of meat. It makes my mouth water, just thinking about it.

Last year a very dear friend and client of ours, sent us a wonderful 15 pound Turducken and to be quite honest, when it arrived, I was less than pleased. For starters there are only three people in our family – it would have taken forever for us to eat a bird of that size. Top that off with the fact that I had never heard of a “Turducken”.

When I found out it was filled with Creole style cornbread stuffing. I was ready to give it away, thank the sender and never mention it again. I am so glad that I don’t always follow my first instincts.

We ended up thawing it out (it comes frozen) and delivering it to the host of our Christmas family dinner. She carefully followed the directions on the package – it was cooked to perfection and I am pleased to report, everyone totally loved it. I must say it was the most creative gift I have ever received for Christmas – not to mention the tastiest.

The Turducken easily fed the twelve of us, with plenty left over for snacks. The bird was moist and tender. The duck portion wasn’t my favorite part but my husband enjoyed every morsal. My favorite part was the stuffing, it was by far the best stuffing I have ever had the opportunity to enjoy. Shhhhhh, don’t tell my mom.

If you are looking for something extra special for Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner, I highly recommend you try the Turducken. I will be ordering ours soon. What a terrific idea. Who thinks of these things anyway?

What is a Turducken?

Turduckens – turkey-duck-chicken. This is an amazing meal. We take a whole turkey, whole duck and whole chicken. We de-bone all three. We put the duck inside the turkey and then the chicken inside the duck: The best cajun Turducken ever made along with some of the best cajun specialty foods in Louisiana.

We start with a 12 to 14 lb turkey, debone it flipping it inside out, season it with a cajun seasoning, and then stuff it with the finest Louisiana crawfish, shrimp, and rice stuffing. Then it is stuffed with a boneless chicken breast, a boneless duck breast, and more rice stuffing throughout the rest of the turkey.

Finally seasoned pork sausage is inserted between the duck breast and turkey. The final product is sewn together and ready for the oven. This product is as much a conversation piece as it is delicious! As they say in Louisiana, the flavor of the homemade seasoning is incredible, “bon appetite.” The Turducken will ship in a perishable container frozen solid.

Avoid Hidden GMOs for a Traditional Thanksgiving Dinner

No incentive or compensation was received by the author for this review.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Christmas from the Heart

This has been an especially emotional Christmas holiday for our family. In fact, this has been a very trying year for us and I know we are not alone. Families are struggling everywhere, while the news keeps telling us things are improving.

It’s been more than a week since I’ve posted any new articles on Reliable Answers — not because I didn’t have anything to share, but because I didn’t know where to start.

I now have a kick-off point, thanks to my new manager at Subway. Of course, I may not have a job long.

Let me explain…

My husband lost his high-paying techie job to an H1-B Visa holder three years ago and our lives had been on a steady spiral downward since that time. We finally left hard hit California last fall to seek greener pastures after employment opportunities started to bottom out.

Since leaving we have lived in Illinois, Maryland and several locations in Michigan. Our 14 year-old van lost reverse last year and today sits idle in our drive-way after being told last month that it’s too far gone to be repaired.

We were struggling with homelessness and now without transportation, things were looking pretty dismal.

This is where we found ourselves with Christmas fast approaching and a cute little red-headed seven-year-old with visions of play stations dancing in his head, giving us daily reminders that Santa would soon arrive.

Angels Among Us

Christmas angels took over and gave from their hearts. Our family was adopted by a local homeschool group who generously provided the Christmas we thought surely would pass us by. Our hearts were lifted in thanks and gratitude.

Even my niece and her husband caught the spirit bringing an early Christmas to my son. When my family, who had been struggling to make ends meet themselves, showed up at my door, I was both touched and amazed. I will never forget their kindness.

A dear friend even bought herself a new car and “sold” us her old one, with the knowledge that we had no way to pay for it. With tears in my eyes I thanked her for her faith in us and the opportunity her generosity afforded us. While the car was eight-years-old, to us, it is like a new mercedes shining in the driveway.

I didn’t waste any time getting out there to knock on doors. I just knew there was something out there for me. My employment search didn’t take long, our neighborhood Subway was hiring and I was excited to finally start working again.

It’s Ok — I had Subway

Things seemed to be really looking up, until yesterday. The store manager pulled me aside and informed me that I am prohibited from saying “Merry Christmas” to customers because I might offend someone. She informed me that it was permissible to say “happy holidays” only if someone first wished me a “happy holiday”.

Now, I would never intentionally offend someone. But now I am both offended and hurt. I knew Christmas had been turned into a commercial venture but I have no idea that the mere suggestion of Jesus had become taboo.

When I was growing up, there was one family in our town who didn’t exchange gifts for Christmas because they were Jehovah’s Witnesses. They just don’t believe in the commercial aspects of the holiday, which I must admit is an idea I have certainly entertained over the years.

However, in the thirty years I’ve been working, no one has ever said such a thing to me. I was hurt and on the verge of tears for the rest of the day and happy to leave when I was told I could go home an hour earlier than scheduled.

When I arrived home, I told my husband what had occurred and started making phone calls. My first call was to Subway’s main office. I wanted to know if this was a company-wide policy, and am relieved to have been informed it was not. I was told that a franchise owner has the right to implement their own policies and that this was a policy of the owner, yet I had not received any written notice informing me of this policy upon being hired.

I was especially confused because the manager knew when she hired me that I was a Christian. We had discussed the fact that I prefer not to work Sunday’s because I like to attend church and I now have a vehicle that will afford me the ability to attend.

Now I am left with a tough decision to make, after being informed by the Michigan Civil Rights Department that there is no law preventing an employer from creating such policies. Do I stay and tolerate my religion being trampled or do I seek employment elsewhere?

I thought the U.S. Constitution afforded citizens the freedom of religion, not the freedom from religion. Are Christians now required to check their faith at the door of their place of employment?

I found myself being afraid to speak to customers, something I have never stuggled with. I have been in customer service in one capacity or another since I began working in 1974 and those who know me can attest, I am rarely at a loss for words. Yet, I found myself hesitant to interact with store visitors, I was no longer having fun or care-free.

Christmas — a Christian holiday celebrating the birth of Christ.

I have much to be thankful for this Christmas: for family and special friends who have gone out of their way to share the joy of Christmas from their hearts. How sad that many others will miss out on the real reason for this season, they will never know the joy that comes from sharing a heart-felt “Merry Christmas”.

Christmas joy is contagious, just try giving a gift from the heart and see if you don’t feel warm all over. Try wishing someone a “Merry Christmas” and not having a smile grace your lips. I don’t think it’s possible.

Today, I start a new job and I have renewed hope that the spirit of Christmas can still be found in the joy of the season and in the hearts of those we meet and serve. I have yet to decide if I will remain at Subway, but I have the feeling my days are numbered there. I have no desire to work in such a stifling atmosphere.

Subway customers concerned over their policy, may voice their opinion by calling (248) 628-3534 and letting the district office know how you feel about sharing Christmas joy.

I wish you all the joy that comes from serving our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ today and everyday. May the Lord Bless you and your family this Christmas Day.