Karen’s Killer Fixin’s
with JODI RATH!
Welcome to my Friday bonus feature called Karen’s Killer Fixin’s **Author Special**!! Today, in lieu of one of my own recipes, I’m going to introduce you to a new author who will share one of her favorite recipes. Not only will you and I occasionally learn how to make something new and delicious, but we’ll get a chance to check out some wonderful authors. Introducing author, JODI RATH, and her favorite recipe for DUTCH CAST IRON CAJUN TURKEY!!
TURKEY BASTED TO DEATH
The Cast Iron Skillet Mystery Series
BY JODI RATH
Welcome to Leavensport, Ohio where DEATH takes a delicious turn!
Thanksgiving is here, and Jolie Tucker has had quite the year! She is ready to sit back and relax with family and friends. But this is Leavensport, OH—so get ready for intense therapy sessions, dysfunctional family holiday gatherings, uninvited guests, and an inner-city teen advocate found DEAD—stabbed in the ear with the turkey baster!
TURKEY BASTED TO DEATH
The Cast Iron Skillet Mystery Series
BY JODI RATH
Therapy journal prompt #1: Why am I going to therapy, and what do I hope to accomplish?
Honestly, I’m not enjoying therapy at all. I don’t know why I thought it was supposed to be enjoyable. Tabitha is nice enough, but it’s so weird discussing the darkest corners of my life with a complete stranger. Not to mention, I try to NOT think about those things—but Tabitha wants me to dredge it all up. I might tell her I’m quitting. I kind of don’t think it’s helpful to rehash the past. I can’t understand how unburying past trauma can help me have a happier future. It’s definitely not helping me have a happier now.
Ugh, and Thanksgiving is this Thursday. For reals? I’m so not in the holiday mood. Since Keith finished the police academy and works for Teddy, it seems like his life is one big ball of happiness. I can feel him trying to nudge us back into dating like we did in high school—it’s so rough because I consider him an amazing friend. We grew up together, dated, then worked through the hurt I put him through to become friends again. He was the one who was honest with me about Meiser—or whatever his real name is–last summer. I need his friendship, but I don’t know how to make that clear to him without hurting him again.
Speaking of Meiser, I HATE that when I see him, I still have tingles rush up and down my body. My stupid hoo-hah needs to get itself under control—as well as my heart. Logically, I know I can’t be with a man who built the foundation of our relationship on lies. This is exactly what my bio father did with me from the time I was a toddler into my early teen years. Tabitha says those are the years when humans develop social and familial norms from observing the behaviors and environments around them. No wonder half the time I can’t stand men, and can’t make a relationship work for the life of me! Sometimes I think Ava has it all figured out. Maybe if I was into women, I could make a relationship work? Maybe not? Trust. I have so few people I trust. I don’t know how to change that.
Well, I guess, for now, I’ll continue avoiding Mick. Maybe quitting the therapy thing isn’t such a great idea. At least this is one therapeutic homework assignment that’s done. Time for cuddles in bed with the kitties, then sleep! Testing out more turkey Dutch cast-iron recipes in the morning.
The times are for sure a-changing. This time last year, I actually thought I was ready to maybe try dating again. I jumped on that topsy-turvy carnival ride called love—and I feel like I was at the top of the ride and fell off flat on my face. That’s where I am now. Eating pavement.
“Aren’t you supposed to be picking up your family at the airport now?” I asked Ava.
“They aren’t getting in until later tonight. Papa wanted to finish up some last-minute work so he could enjoy the holiday,” Ava said while testing out the fifth turkey recipe we had tried that week.
It’s Thanksgiving this Thursday, and with Ava’s family coming back to Leavensport, we decided to rent out the Community Center, and the majority of the village is having Thanksgiving dinner together. All of the restaurants in town are contributing to the dinner, and many of the villagers are making lots of food–like a potluck. I’d been testing out multiple turkey recipes for the big day. We were doing taste tests at the restaurant so the villagers could choose their favorites and sharing the remainder of the turkeys with the homeless shelter in Tri-City. So far, the Cajun turkey was a big hit as well the smokehouse turkey and the honey turkey with lemon and sage.
“Is your therapist going to be at the Thanksgiving gathering?” Ava asked. “I don’t know. Why?” I asked sharply, tapping my foot in annoyance.
“Isn’t that a conflict of interest? The two of you can’t have dinner together, can you?” Ava scowled at my tone and took two steps back.
If only I could have seen my face at that moment. “She is my counselor, not my parole officer.”
“Yeah, I know that. I’m just asking if it’s a conflict of interest. Geesh!” Ava’s voice shot up three octaves.
“You and my family know I’m seeing her. It’s not a secret, but I’m not posting it on social media or anything. Everything I say is confidential. It’s not like she will sit at the table and blab everything I’ve told her.”
Ava’s glare made me realize that my hands were on my hips, and I must have been giving her a look, not to mention I had used the “duh” tone with her. She was not happy with me at the moment.
“You know what, forget it! I hope she does you some good. Your moods have been all over the place lately,” Ava harrumphed.
Flinching, I reached out and lightly touched her arm. “I’m sorry. I know I have been kind of . . . emotionally erratic. Honestly, I don’t know if she will be there or not. If she is, I doubt I will talk to her much. She’s nice enough, but we’re not friends. Also, it is awkward living in a small village and seeing her all over the place. Truthfully, we tend to avoid each other when out in public. Which makes it weird sometimes.”
“I can understand that.”
“Are you excited to see your family finally?” I changed the topic.
“I’m nervous. We’ve never been away from each other for this long. What if they’ve changed a lot or if I’ve changed a lot? My mom is still doing that manipulative dance, being passive- aggressive about me deciding not to move with them,” Ava said.
“Don’t worry. They’ll be thrilled to see you!” I hoped I was right. The Martinez family put high expectations on their children. I remember when Ava told her mom she wanted to start the restaurant with me. Sophia wanted a spreadsheet of all expenses and profits and how much salary we planned to take in on the first year. We were five.
“Uh, Miss Jolie, you will want to come to front?” Our cook Carlos popped his head into the kitchen. Ava followed me out.
“Hello, Mayor Nalini, how can we help you?” I greeted him.
“Hi, ladies. Any thoughts about the Thanksgiving gathering?” He rubbed the back of his neck and seemed to be having difficulty meeting my gaze.
Ava and I raised our eyebrows at each other. “Nope, just been testing out different recipes for turkeys. We’ve been working on the menu and did taste tests all last week.”
“Okay, that’s great. And Ava, excited to see your family?” the mayor asked.
“Sure, it will be good to see them again.” She fumbled with her hands.
“Is there a problem?” I asked.
“What? Problem? No—of course not.” The mayor shifted. “Actually, Ava, wouldn’t you rather have a nice private dinner seeing that you and your family haven’t had time together for a while?”
“Nooo.” Ava drug out the word. “They can’t stay long, and this will make things easier on them to be able to see everyone in town all at once. We will have time to visit with just our family for a little while before they leave.”
“What is going on, Mayor?” I asked. Mayor Nalini was the one who was dead set on this big community holiday gathering after all. He came and pleaded with us in October to take on the majority of the catering for the event. Now he was acting odd.
“I just got off the phone with Mayor Cardinal in Tri-City,” he began.
Oh no, I felt my heart sink into my chest. Whatever he was about to say could not be good news.
Moving into her second decade working in education, Jodi Rath has decided to begin a life of crime in her The Cast Iron Skillet Mystery Series. Her passion for both mysteries and education led her to combine the two to create her business MYS ED, where she splits her time between working as an adjunct for Ohio teachers, educational writing, marketing consultant work with authors, and creating mischief in her fictional writing. She currently resides in a small, cozy village in Ohio with her husband and her eight cats.
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I hope you enjoy the recipe Jodi is sharing today on Karen’s Killer Fixin’s. Happy Eating!
P.S. We’re at 445 recipes and counting with this posting. Hope you find some recipes you like. If this is your first visit, please check out past blogs for more Killer Fixin’s. In the right-hand column menu, you can even look up past recipes by type. i.e. Desserts, Breads, Beef, Chicken, Soups, Author Specials, etc.
Note from Jodi: Dutch Cast Iron Cajun Turkey Recipe (this recipe is adapted from Bon Appetite and created for the Dutch cast iron pot)
DUTCH CAST IRON CAJUN TURKEY
Ingredients for Turkey
- 1 6 to 8-pound turkey, patted dry
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 1/2 cup Cajun Spice Mix (see below for ingredients to make your mix)
- 1 celery stalk, coarsely chopped
- 1 green bell pepper, coarsely chopped
- 1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
- 1/4 cup (or more) olive or vegetable oil
Ingredients for Cajun Spice Mix
- 5 tablespoons kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons cayenne pepper
- 2 tablespoons garlic powder
- 2 tablespoons sweet paprika
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- 1 tablespoon dried thyme
- 1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon onion powder
NOTE: You can make the spice mix up to one month ahead. Store in an airtight container at room temperature.
NOTE: If you’d like your turkey to have a crisp coat, then you can add a little oil to a large cast iron skillet and lay the turkey in the skillet once it’s hot for 30 seconds moving turkey around to brown it before putting in Dutch Cast Iron Pot. You would do this after the turkey has been at room temperature for an hour.
- Set a rack inside a large, heavy Dutch Cast Iron Pot. Season turkey lightly inside and out with salt and pepper, then with spice mix, massaging it into the skin. Transfer turkey, breast side down, to prepared pan and refrigerate, uncovered, overnight.
- Remove turkey from refrigerator; let stand at room temperature for 1 hour.
- Preheat oven to 375°. Mix celery, pepper, and onion in a medium bowl. Fill turkey cavity with vegetable mixture, scattering any remaining vegetables over bottom of roasting pan. Brush turkey with oil.
Roast turkey, basting occasionally, for 1 hour. Using paper towels, flip turkey. Continue roasting, basting occasionally, until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of thigh registers 165°, 1–1 1/2 hours longer. Transfer to platter. Let rest for at least 20 minutes before carving
**SPECIAL GIVEAWAY**: Jodi is giving away an ebook copy (MOBI or EPUB) of Pineapple Upside Down Murder (Book 1) or Jalapeño Cheddar Cornbread Murder (Book 2) or Turkey Basted to Death (Book 3), winner’s choice, to one lucky reader of her Karen’s Killer Fixin’s blog. Happy Reading!!
Thanks, Jodi, for sharing your book with us!
Don’t miss the chance to read this book!