In my youth I used to go to a restaurant called Stella Dallas River’s Edge. I went with dates starting at 17 years old without parental or social guidance. I was a farm boy trying to break out and I earned every cent I spent on the experience by hard work at around 50 cents to $1 per hour. I had to drive 30 miles for the experience because there were not any great restaurants closer and if I screwed up I didn’t want anybody to know what a hick I was.
Now Stella was a very successful radio actress and was a pretty savvy judge of people who probably judged me for the hick I was and spent a lot of time greeting me and my date by name, making recommendations for food and pronouncing the names clearly so I would learn them. I asked her once why she was so good to me and the answer was simply wonderful. Stella said, “Most of my other customers are more than forty years older than you so you can be my customer for forty years longer than them. ”
Either she wasn’t aware of her own mortality or it was a kind answer to her adopted hick.
I learned to love fine food and turtle soup was in my mind one of the tastiest and most exotic appetizers you could get and I loved it with the cooking sherry in the little pitchers on the side. As an adult, turtle was declared an endangered species but I learned to do a pretty good imitation using conch which locally is now borderline endangered with only seasonal supplies available. So I got the bright idea that I would try making it out of ground turkey.
The first mistake was putting the ground turkey in the pot with a little olive oil and not being able to get back for 6 hours. well it was crisp and dry but nothing was burnt -Since I was making a brand new recipe I decided to start over and be more careful.
Well everything went fine until the end, when it was time to add a rue to thicken the soup. I should have done it on the side like I normally did using butter but as I looked at the pot, I noticed there was still a little olive oil in the pot so I figured I would just sprinkle flower in the pot and beat it in with a whisk. That’s right I knocked the pot just a little to hard and broke a chunk of glass out
Insult to injury, the texture of ground turkey is all wrong. The spice blend was good and turkey might be ok in meatloaf or chili where you are expecting that granular texture, but it is a lousy substitute for turtle.
Oh well that’s life – nothing ventured nothing gained – I an glad it’s season and I can get some conch.
Big question; Do I replace it with a metal pot which I will never trust to be clean or do I use a glass pot and try to be more careful. In the mean time it’s gonna be grilling and Fried (Deep Fat Fried). Plus I’m thinking of a Toaster Oven.
All portion controlled, naturally!!!