How to Make Tasty Turkey Vegetable Soup After Thanksgiving

Photo- Luke Austin Daugherty

Photo- Luke Austin Daugherty

As we all tend to do a day or two after Thanksgiving, I found myself trying to figure out how to use some of our leftovers. I have always loved making soups of all kinds, so, I decided to create a unique Turkey Vegetable soup today. Total time from prep to serving was under an hour.

In a 6 qt. pot, I added:

-2 1/2 quarts water

-1 1/2 pounds leftover turkey (light and dark meat)

– about 15 sliced baby carrots

– 1 large yellow bell pepper

-1/2 a stalk of celery

-6 leaves of napa cabbage

-one medium onion

– one can of green beans (I actually had about a can’s worth of leftover green beans to use)

– about 10 sliced mushrooms

-3 chopped cloves garlic

-1/2 a handful of chopped cilantro

– a few shakes of thyme, marjoram, salt, and pepper.

-3 chicken bullion cubes and the two turkey leg bones cooked in for broth flavor. Having some dark meat in the mix also helps with the flavor.

-Topped with a dollop of sour cream, cilantro, carrot shaving, and paprika. Celery stalk end floral garnish.

Combine and bring all ingredients to boil. Allow to boil for about 15 minutes and then reduce heat to simmer for about 30 minutes, or until fresh vegetables are tender. Serve with or without garnish. Salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy! Also, adapt to your own recipe or based on what ingredients you have available. -Luke

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Under $10 Canadian Whiskey Taste Test Shootout! Mist vs Black Velvet vs Supreme

Under $10 Canadian Whiskey Taste Test -Picture by Luke Austin Daugherty

Under $10 Canadian Whiskey Taste Test: Canadian Mist vs Black Velvet vs Canadian Supreme -Picture by Luke Austin Daugherty

As a lover of whiskeys of all stripes, I thought it would be fun to do a “shootout” between several cheap Canadian blended whiskeys. I set a top price of $10 a bottle (5th) to ensure that only low-brow, bottom-shelf swill (I use those terms  as a terms of endearment) would be included in the battle. Though I have a deep appreciation for fine, expensive whiskeys, I tend to agree with this sagely quote…

“There is no such thing as bad whiskey. Some whiskeys just happen to be better than others.” -William Faulkner

So, having set the terms, I picked up three bottles from as many sources over the course of several weeks. The three whiskeys tested were:

-Canadian Mist: 80 proof, medium color- I actually grabbed that bottle at Meijer in Plainfied, Indiana with a clearance tag of $6.99 under it, but realized that I was actually charged $9.99 on the receipt a few days later when I pulled the bottle out for my taste test. The Mist website is http://www.canadianmist.com/

-Black Velvet: 80 proof, light in color- I paid $9.99 at Parsley’s Package Liquor Store in Plainfield, Indiana. It used to be only $8.99 until the ownership recently changed hands. You can find out more about Black Velvet at http://www.blackvelvetwhisky.com/

-Canadian Supreme: 80 proof, medium color- (not to be confused with Windsor Supreme Canadian) I grabbed this bottle at Red Barrel in downtown Bloomington, Indiana after playing a singer/songwriter gig down there earlier this month. It was only $7.99 and found on the farthest, dusty corner of the lowest shelf in the store. I found very little about Supreme online, so this bottle may have been on Red Barrel’s bottom shelf since the olden times. Here is one of the few links I found relating to Supreme http://www.barnonedrinks.com/tips/dictionary/c/canadian-supreme-canadian-whisky-2044.html

I invited a good friend and connoisseur of cheap booze, Rob Monninger, over to my house to participate in my cheap whiskey shootout of the ages. We did a “blind” taste test. I gave him three glasses without him knowing which was which. Then, I recorded his feedback and ranking. I had my wife give me the three anonymous glasses when it was my turn and I wrote my own feedback and ranking. We also listened to a couple great jazz albums on YouTube for background music. See the links for our Shootout Soundtrack at the bottom.

Rob Monninger and Luke Austin Daugherty at the Under $10 Canadian Whiskey Taste Test- Picture: Angela Daugherty

Rob Monninger and Luke Austin Daugherty at the Under $10 Canadian Whiskey Taste Test- Picture: Angela Daugherty

Our personal rankings for the whiskeys and aroma(nose)/flavor(mouth) notes are as follows. They are ranked in each person’s order of favorite (#1) to least favorite (#3). Also, we ranked each individually according to our own subjective 0-5 scale of taste and had other various whiskeys on that scale for the sake of general comparison.

Rob’s Personal 0-5 Whiskey Ranking Scale:

0 = Jim Beam, 1= Calvert Extra 2= Evan Williams 3=Jack Daniels 4= Jameson, Johnnie Walker Red Label 5= Johnnie Walker Black Label

Rob’s Taste Test:

1st Place: Canadian Mist- nose: woody, mellow

mouth: sweet bite in a good way, woody aftertaste

3 out of 5 on flavor ranking scale

2nd Place: Black Velvet- nose: not much noticeable, very light aroma

mouth: sweet, crisp flavor, woody aftertaste

2 out of 5 on flavor ranking scale

3rd Place: Canadian Supreme- nose: sweet

mouth: lacking development in flavor, smooth, no real aftertaste,

1 out of 5 on flavor ranking scale

Rob’s Wrap-up: All drinkable, but nothing remarkable

Luke’s Personal 0-5 Whiskey Ranking Scale:

0 = Calvert Extra 1=Evan Williams, Jim Beam 2= J & B, Old Overholt 3= The Glenlivet 12 year, Great King Street 4= Johnnie Walker Black Label 5= The Glenlivet Nadura

Luke’s Taste Test:

1st Place: Black Velvet- nose: slightly woody, warm, sweet/lighter, almost a sherry casked aroma

mouth: crisp with nice, fading finish. Sweet aftertaste

2 out of 5 on flavor ranking scale

2nd Place: Canadian Supreme- nose: oaky, smell the cask, the most aromatic, but, gets harsher when swirled prior to smelling

mouth: Smooth, but lacking complexity. Slightly woody. Medium finish.

1.5 out of 5 on flavor ranking scale

3rd Place: Canadian Mist- nose: unpleasant, thin, rubbing alcohol-esque

mouth: spicy, gets in the nose, burn stays in palate then finishes dry, fairly smooth, tastes better than it smells

1 out of 5 on flavor ranking scale

Luke’s Wrap-up: Nothing to write home about here, but all enjoyable enough if you want some whiskey and only have 10 bucks. All are serviceable in cocktails as well and make a tolerable whiskey and coke.

In summation: Interestingly enough in our subjective worlds, my last place was Rob’s first place. More importantly, we had a great time!

During the taste test, we listened to:

1. Thelonious Monk: Monk’s Dream 

2. Charles Mingus: Moves 

Check Out My Ebay Store on Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, or Cyber Monday!

Link to Brother Luke’s Treasures Ebay Store

Hey Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, AND Cyber Monday shoppers! Brother Luke’s Treasures ebay store has 500 items 15% off WITH free shipping to the USA today through Monday! Everything from vintage clothing to new electronics and all in between. When you shop our store, you’re directly supporting a small, family business, putting food in my kids’ pie holes, and supporting my flunkie entrepreneur/writer lifestyle… PLUS you get really cool stuff at a great price! WIN/WIN!

My store is a Top Rated, Power Seller store with GREAT customer service and FAST shipping! Shop our store from the comfort of your home OR on the go with the Ebay app, without the crowds to deal with or worries about the possibility of getting shanked in a Black Friday battle at a “big box” store.

AND, for you Pinterest peeps, peep this out! It is our store’s Pinterest page 🙂 Happy shopping!

Adventures in Picking- I Witness an Epic Battle of Wills at Goodwill- Old Man vs Lady

Besides being a writer and singer-songwriter, I operate three ebay stores to pay the bills and allow for a free-spirited life. I pick things to resell on my ebay stores at all kinds of places, including the Goodwill Outlet Store.

Since you just grab stuff out of the bins at that store, there are lots of people, and new bins are rolled out regularly, it is a recipe for frequent drama between shoppers. I was able to capture a fairly mild example here…

When the new bins were just rolled out, this lady and old man snatched for the same Carhartt coat like ninjas and an epic battle of wills ensued. But, the old man won… I have seen way crazier fights than this at the Goodwill, even to the point that management called the cops.

This is just a reminder to keep it classy when shopping, especially with the approach of “Black Friday” next week 🙂

On Sadness…

It is the damnedest thing… Sometimes it just hits me, seemingly out of nowhere. Real, palpable sadness.

I have never dealt with true depression in the clinical sense. The kind that you can’t wiggle and twist your way out of no matter what you do. That brand of deep, lasting, and relentless sadness that just clings to your mind like unkind, cold, rain-soaked clothing to your crying skin when you’re stuck outside in a storm, locked out of your own house, banging on the front door to be let in, with no one inside to hear your desperate plea.

I have a few good friends that struggle with that kind of depression. I am very sorry that they do and very thankful that I don’t.

But sadness, we all deal with that to a greater or lesser extent.

I am quite a happy guy in general. Optimistic too, but not to the point of self-delusion.

Yet, even with my normal, sunny disposition, sadness can creep into me at times. It is usually unexpected and visits at its own leisure, no appointment having been made ahead of time.

That was the case late tonight, or rather, this very early morning, only a bit after midnight. Nothing has the ability to stir my deepest parts like music. As I was doing a bit of ebay listing after the kids went to bed, I popped my earbuds in to listen to some tunes without keeping anyone awake. I listened to a bit of this and that on YouTube: Flatbush Zombies, Yelawolf, Kid Astro, etc, etc. I list fastest when banging hip-hop and rap in my ear holes.

Then, as I was finishing up, I randomly clicked over on, “Brick,” by Ben Folds Five. That was all it took. By the time I got to Regina Spektor, not with any intention of bringing on a cathartic experience, the sadness came to visit. It really didn’t have anything to do with the songs specifically. Just a flurry of micro-memories, flickers of past moments, thoughts, anticipations, and the utter and unavoidable gravity of just existing hit me all at once. Not only that, but the fact that it all goes away some day. Much like the arrival of sadness, mortality doesn’t tend to make appointments either.

As I have been editing the second draft of my new book, “Love is the Middle,” about my relationship with my deceased father, memories of him are frequent. Tonight, the reality of my current life, part of which includes the void his death created, came to mind. The overwhelming joy of being a father to my five kids crashed right into my lament over being a fatherless son like dissonant chords. I also considered the fact that one day, my wife and the love of my life, will either leave me behind on this side of death’s veil or I will leave her. (A desirable and tidy Notebook movie ending aside). Altogether, three things hit me at once: sadness over lost people that I love, knowing what I love now will not always be, and as Christopher Hitchens once eloquently said about death,

“It will happen to all of us, that at some point you get tapped on the shoulder and told, not just that the party’s over, but slightly worse: the party’s going on — but you have to leave. And it’s going on without you.”

So, what can we do when those truths about our mortality, our love, our loss, and more losses to come show up front and center? How do we handle the times when our feelings of joy, happiness, and contentment are interrupted and invaded by sadness?

I will give you the best advice I have, right from “behind the lines” of some present sadness in real time… Embrace it. Don’t shuck it off in a premature fashion. Let it burn a while and do its work. Sadness, even the deepest sadness, is a necessary part of life. In a strange, ironic way, it is a good part of life. Not the best part by far, but a good part. Sadness is an honest friend, reminding you and I not to take time, things, and most importantly, people, for granted. Sadness says to us, “Friend- you will not have all of this forever. It is only for a while at best. So, wring your life out for every last drop, bitter or sweet. Many billions have come and gone and do not have the present privilege of treading on the lively side of the green grass on this earth. You do. Don’t waste this moment. Don’t waste this day. Love someone. And, by the way… don’t forget to start with yourself.”

Thank you, sadness, for stopping by. I didn’t expect to see you today, but it has been real.

– Luke

I’ll leave you good people with a song. Before I decided to share all of this with you kind friends and strangers, “How,” hit me right in the feels.

AMAZING! Humans Land Philae Space Probe on a Comet! Go Science!

Philae Lander Space Probe Tweet By ESA

Philae Lander Space Probe Tweet By ESA

Amazing news! Thanks to a ten year mission by the European Space Agency, the unmanned Philae Lander has landed on a comet travelling 41,000 mph through space some 4 billion miles from earth! Talk about hitting the bull’s-eye! It is truly astounding to me that we have come from the first manned flight of an airplane to this in barely over one hundred years. Humans can accomplish marvelous things when we work together utilizing all the tools that science has to offer!

Please visit the link below for more information:

CNN Story Link

2 Songs for Veterans Day and Happy Birthday to the Marines! (Video)

It’s Veterans Day! I tip my hat to you vets of all ages out there! Also, yesterday was the 239th birthday of the Marine Corps.

I was honored earlier this year to sing my song, “Ballad of an Old Soldier,” for the Indy Honor Flight WW2 vets. It was inspired by veterans in my family and WW2 vets that I used to have on my oxygen route when I was in the home healthcare industry during my early twenties. Several of them would share their memories of the war with me unprompted and I was glad to listen. I even had two men who lived less than a mile from one another who had been in the same battle. One served in the Navy and the other in the Marines. They did not know one another, and due to HIPAA regulations, I could not tell them about one another. Yet, their experiences from WW2 and attitudes toward them were very similar.

I wrote, “Afghanistan,”  for younger veterans about seven years ago. I was a driver for a moving company at the time and delivered an international shipment to a Marine who was fresh back from the war. As he shared some of his experiences with me, I said, “You know, you really don’t see a hell of a lot about Afghanistan on TV anymore. It’s all about Iraq.” He replied, “Nope. Afghanistan just isn’t sexy enough for TV.” That conversation inspired me to write this song.

Both songs are available for download on Cdbaby and iTunes:

Ballad of an Old Soldier:

CDbaby link

iTunes link

Afghanistan:

CDbaby link

iTunes link

Also, to any of my fellow Americans who strive to maintain freedom and liberty, help others in this life, and make things a little better for all of us in general, thanks to you as well! Just being a kind person, a good mom or dad, purposing to keep growing as an individual, setting a good example for others, and encouraging others in this life is admirable. Many fight for the cause of freedom and liberty from within our own borders with songs, pens, one-on-one conversations, street actions, and social media. Regardless of how you go about it, keep up the good work! -Luke

Florida Lawmakers Make Feeding Homeless Illegal- 90 Year Old Man Arrested

Ricky Bobby's response to  Fort Lauderdale, Florida lawmakers.

Ricky Bobby’s response to Fort Lauderdale, Florida lawmakers.

Due to new laws against “food sharing” in  Fort Lauderdale, Florida, a 90 year old man has been arrested for serving food to the homeless in a public park. Please read the following link for more information:

Local Florida News Article on Arrest of 90 Year Old Man for Feeding Homeless

I have read lots of recent posts on social media decrying this law and the actions of police in arresting Arnold Abbott merely for serving food to hungry people. It is good that people are outraged. This is an issue that ANYONE should be passionate about.

When I was a Christian believer for many years, I thought it was important to help the less fortunate and I did what I could. I’m an atheist now and I believe in helping the homeless just as much as ever and do it when I can. Just two weeks ago, I invited a homeless man to have lunch with me in Indianapolis. We both had a good time and ended up with full stomachs. I suppose if I did the same thing in a public park in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, I may have ended up in jail.

Helping other people is a human value, regardless of the accompanying ideology. Because of that truth, I assert that any lawmakers who, by force of law, would stand in the way of humans helping less fortunate humans are behaving in an inhumane fashion. If they happen to be Christians, they are an offense to the teachings of Jesus. If they are secular, then they are an offense to the values and practices that have allowed our species to move forward across the many centuries due to mutual help and working together for the benefit of the group. If they find themselves in another dogmatic camp, they are likely in error of those teachings as well. I have done a fair amount of study on various religions, and I have yet to find a verse in any sacred text that says, “When ye find people homeless and hungry, do your best to screw them over.”

Regardless of our own personal dogma, we should stand in unity against such lawmakers as these, ridicule them publicly, and ignore their foolish laws. They are against humanity. They are against mercy. They are against love. Enough said. No further argument required. And to relevant law officers involved, you have no obligation to enforce these wretched laws. Your duty is to protect the people in your jurisdiction, homed or homeless, and not to oppress them.

Please visit my site below for some related tips on encouraging others on a daily basis:

The Butterfly Flutter Project

And this link for a story about a homeless man who shared his beautiful song on a public piano:

Homeless Man Shares His Beautiful Melody on Piano- A Lesson on Humility and Compassion (Video)

Be Sure to Vote in the Mid-Term Elections Today!

i voted

My “I Voted Today” sticker from the polls today- Luke Austin Daugherty

I made it out to my local polling station with my wife this morning. We intended to miss the heavy traffic there by showing up after early morning voters and before those coming at lunch. Our strategy worked and we were in and out in less than ten minutes 🙂 Not much of a sacrifice to do our civic duty.

I encourage you to make your voice heard today as well! Do your due diligence, inform yourself on your candidates, and vote your conscience. If you don’t like any of the candidates, write one it or vote, “no confidence.” Just vote. It’s not too late to go to your local polling station today. If you don’t know where it is, please click this link to find out:

https://2014.votinginfoproject.org/

If you need more encouragement regarding the importance of voting in this mid-term election, please watch this satirical, yet important segment from Last Week with John Oliver: