November 21, 2007
Freedom New Mexico
David “Hank” Hankins says he has been cooking for 50 years.
“If the turkey isn’t as tender as this,” David Hankins said, waving his hand over a glistening 20 pound mesquite smoked turkey. “I would carve around the legs and separate the two breasts. But we cook ours so tender, I can tear the legs off.”
Hankins is working at Baxter-Curren Senior Center to prepare for their Thanksgiving dinner Tuesday night. His wife, Brenda Hankins, is the program coordinator at the center.
“He starts on the breasts and just slices it down. You have to have a good knife, even if you don’t have an electric knife. His knives at home are razor sharp.”
Hankins’ renowned turkeys take 18 hours to cook, five of those hours spent in a smoker.
“All I can tell you is, you develop it over the years.”
Potato cakes: Combine 4 cups mashed potatoes with a minced onion and a well-beaten egg. Pat into 3-inch cakes and pan-fry over medium, 5 minutes on each side.
Cranberry cheesecake: Beat together two 8-ounce packages of cream cheese, 2 eggs, 1/2 cup cream, 1/2 cup sugar. Add 2 cups homemade-type
cranberry sauce; pour into a graham-cracker crust. Bake for 40 minutes at 325 degrees.
Turkey casserole: Mix gravy, cubed turkey and leftover
vegetables into a casserole dish. Top with refrigerator
biscuits, leftover pie crust or crescent rolls (unbaked). Bake at 350° until the dough is cooked and golden brown.
• “Planes, Trains and Automobiles”
•“Home for the Holidays”
•“A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving”
• “Miracle on 34th Street”
Did you know when the Air Force was conducting test runs and breaking the sound barrier, fields of turkeys dropped dead of heart attacks?
Joe Carpenter, a personal trainer and sports nutritionist at Gym X in Clovis, said portion control is the key to eating sensible.
He suggested eating fruit, nuts and whole wheat before the main course.
“Those meals will fill you up without too many calories, so when you get to that meal you won’t feel the need to gorge yourself.”
Farwell resident Amber Armstrong is a nutrition coach at Clovis’ Quick Gym. Her tip to soothe your stomach and conscience after a Thanksgiving meal is simple.
“Walk for a while, 30-45 minutes. What it does, it burns calories,” she said. “It’s better than running, which upsets you when you’re full.
Walking helps breakdown all the food, use up the calories you take in.”