Tag Archives: The New York Times

One Ham Bone, Three Great Soup Recipes

Just like I’ll fight (nicely, of course) the other cooks at the Thanksgiving table for possession of that flavorful turkey carcass — such a great way to make stock — I do the same at Easter for the ham bone.

These rainy April days are the perfect time to take that ham bone out of the freezer and put it to good use for some great tasting and heart warming comfort food.

Bean soups especially benefit from a long simmer with a ham bone, whether or not there’s much meat left on it. If there is, that’s just a bonus; slice it off at the end and add it to the soup.

Allow at least two hours for each of these soups, and know that they’re just as good reheated for lunch.

SPLIT PEA SOUP

One of my favorite spring soups is split pea, that hearty staple, even better when it’s studded with bits of ham. Ina Garten’s recipe for split pea soup, taken from the original Barefoot Contessa Cookbook, is a simple and delicious way to start.

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To use your ham bone in this recipe, submerge it in the soup during the last 40 minutes of cooking. Depending how much meat comes off  the bone, you may be able to reuse it if you refrigerate it between uses.

NEW ORLEANS RED BEANS AND RICE

Red Beans & Rice

John Besh’s beautiful, coffee table-worthy cookbook, “My New Orleans,” is 384 engaging pages of stories, recipes and Southern inspiration.

I first made this fragrant pot of red beans and rice on Super Bowl Sunday, with the justification that the game was being played in New Orleans, and so red beans and rice were perfectly appropriate.

This simple recipe starts with the trinity (green pepper, celery, onion) and gets flavor not only from smoked ham hocks, but also from bacon fat, cayenne pepper and, of course, Louisiana-made Tabasco sauce. The red beans freeze well, too.

HAM BONE SOUP

Andrew Scrivani for The New York Times

Andrew Scrivani for The New York Times

Everything is better with bacon, and that includes Melissa Clark’s simple ham bone soup, adapted from an old Junior League cookbook. According to Clark’s piece in The New York Times, “The soup was simple: boil a bone with beans and a bay leaf, and dinner was done.”

Add a green salad and some crusty bread and you have a wonderful meal to share and savor!

About gThankYou, LLC

Turkey Gift Certificates and Turkey Or Ham Gift Certificates by gThankYou! are two of America’s favorite employee gifts and can be redeemed for any Brand (Turkey or Turkey Or Ham), at virtually any Grocery Store in the U.S.

gThankYou, LLC provides company leaders with a variety of easy, meaningful and affordable ways to recognize and reward employees, holiday time or anytime.  gThankYou! Certificates of Gratitude and our free Enclosure Cards are personalizable including incorporating your company logo. And, nearly all orders ship same day.

gThankYou, LLC (www.gthankyou.com) is based in Madison, Wisconsin.  Contact:  Rick KileyChief ThankYou! Officer, gThankYou, LLC at info@gthankyou.com or 888-484-1658.
Follow the Company Blog –  “Celebrating Work”.
Join the Conversation @gThankYou 
Watch our gThankYou! YouTube Video – “Learn More About Us”.

“G” logo and “Certificates of Gratitude” are trademarks and “gThankYou” is a registered trademark of gThankYou, LLC.

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Employee Recognition Best Practices: 5 Tips from Taj Hotels

Recognition is one of the top three creators of “workplace superheroes,” along with opportunities for growth and trust.

Kevin Kruse, serial entrepreneur behind award-winning companies and New York Times best-selling author of Employee Engagement 2.0, makes that observation in his book and in a Forbes article, “Employee Recognition: 5 Keys from Taj Hotels Resorts.”

He notes: Many best practices for recognition can be gleaned from a company many Westerners are unfamiliar with, Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces.

An interesting article in Harvard Business Review, “The Ordinary Heroes of the Taj,” links the Taj’s employee service training to their heroic performance during more than one terrorist incident.

While most businesses luckily won’t have to deal with terrorist incidents, any service business can use these tips to successfully thank and recognize employees.

From the article, Kruse pinpoints the following 5 keys :

1. Expressions of gratitude must come from immediate supervisors, who are central to determining how employees feel about the company. This bears out the old saying suggesting that people join companies, but leave managers.

2. The timing of the recognition is usually more important than the reward itself. A verbal “thank you” at the time of exceptional work is better than a financial thank you six months later.

3. The Taj Group created a Special Thanks and Recognition System (STARS) that links customer delight to employee rewards. The important point here is that they have a system for thanking employees ongoing.

4. Employees accumulate points throughout the year for compliments from guests, compliments from colleagues, and their own suggestions. Appreciation from one’s peers can be more powerful than praise from management.

5. At the end of each day, a STARS committee reviews all nominations and suggestions. At the end of each day. Wow! That keeps the momentum going.

How do you provide recognition in your service business?  What makes a difference for you?

About gThankYou, LLC

Turkey Gift Certificates and Turkey Or Ham Gift Certificates by gThankYou! are two of America’s favorite employee gifts and can be redeemed for any Brand (Turkey or Turkey Or Ham), at virtually any Grocery Store in the U.S.

gThankYou, LLC provides company leaders with a variety of easy, meaningful and affordable ways to recognize and reward employees, holiday time or anytime.  gThankYou! Certificates of Gratitude and our free Enclosure Cards are personalizable including incorporating your company logo. And, nearly all orders ship same day.

gThankYou, LLC (www.gthankyou.com) is based in Madison, Wisconsin.  Contact:  Rick KileyChief ThankYou! Officer, gThankYou, LLC at info@gthankyou.com or 888-484-1658.
Follow the Company Blog –  “Celebrating Work”.
Join the Conversation @gThankYou 
Watch our gThankYou! YouTube Video – “Learn More About Us”.

“G” logo and “Certificates of Gratitude” are trademarks and “gThankYou” is a registered trademark of gThankYou, LLC.

The Joy of Thanksgiving Turkey: A History

At the first Thanksgiving, they probably didn’t have a turkey.

According to a story by NPR’s Robert Krulwich, the main course was probably deer (brought by the Wampanoags), goose and duck (brought by the English).

But in these United States, in 2012, Thanksgiving just isn’t Thanksgiving without a fat, browned bird popping and sizzling in the oven, rendering fat for a rich gravy, leaving behind a wishbone for kids to fight over.

“I believe from a good turkey all Thanksgiving flows,” wrote Kim Severson in The New York Times, in a story headlined “After the Turkey, Everything Else is Secondary.”

“Norman Rockwell didn’t spend all that time painting pans of sweet potatoes and cranberry sauce, did he? No. He painted turkeys.”

For Americans, the bird is central to (arguably) the biggest feast of the year. Expatriates, like David Leite in France, students abroad in Spain and Peace Corps workers in Morocco go to great lengths to procure, prepare and serve a bird, which, thousands of miles away, tastes a little bit like home.

One small food pantry gives out 2,000 Thanksgiving meals on the weekend before the holiday, anchoring each one with a Jenny-O or a Butterball between 13 and 20 lbs.

Even Sam Sifton, the former New York Times restaurant critic and author of “Thanksgiving: How To Cook It Well” (Random House, October 2012), will never forget the memory of the first turkey he cooked as a college kid.

“The aroma that wafted through the house for the duration of that first college Thanksgiving was and remains incredible to me,” Sifton writes. “I have forgotten the conversations. But never the meal. I have been cooking that Thanksgiving turkey ever since.”

Charles Masters for CookingLight.com

Your family Thanksgiving table might include sweet potatoes with Gorgonzola, creamy corn casserole, roasted cauliflower or stuffing with spicy peppers. It might include Jell-O salad, cranberry sauce from a can and Stove Top stuffing.

But your Thanksgiving table, like mine — like 88 percent of Americans’ — needs a beautiful, browned turkey to make it complete. And that is a very delicious tradition.

Here at gThankYou!, we wish you and your family a joyous Thanksgiving.  We are grateful for all of your support, inspiration and business.

Gratefully yours,
The gThankYou! Team

About gThankYou, LLC

Turkey Gift Certificates and Turkey Or Ham Gift Certificates by gThankYou! are two of America’s favorite employee gifts and can be redeemed for any Brand (Turkey or Turkey Or Ham), at virtually any Grocery Store in the U.S.

gThankYou, LLC provides company leaders with a variety of easy, meaningful and affordable ways to recognize and reward employees, holiday time or anytime.  gThankYou! Certificates of Gratitude and our free Enclosure Cards are personalizable including incorporating your company logo. And, nearly all orders ship same day.

gThankYou, LLC (www.gthankyou.com) is based in Madison, Wisconsin.  Contact:  Rick KileyChief ThankYou! Officer, gThankYou, LLC at info@gthankyou.com or 888-484-1658.
Follow the Company Blog –  “Celebrating Work”.
Join the Conversation @gThankYou 
Watch our gThankYou! YouTube Video – “Learn More About Us”.

“G” logo and “Certificates of Gratitude” are trademarks and “gThankYou” is a registered trademark of gThankYou, LLC.

How to Carve a Thanksgiving Turkey: Good Tools and Confidence

Carving a turkey for the first time can be a truly imposing task. In the same way that little Cornish hens or poussins are like miniature versions of familiar roast chicken, a turkey looks like that chicken on steroids. All other considerations aside, most turkey is huge.

But the encouraging fact is, even though your Thanksgiving turkey is significantly bigger than a chicken, the process of taking it apart is largely the same.

Tools

To carve a turkey, you need a few basic tools:

  • A large cutting board, preferably one with drainage grooves or a “well” around the outside to catch drippings
  • A sharp knife — some like a long carving knife, others prefer a chef’s knife
  • A carving fork
  • A warm patter, to put the carved meat on
  • A warm pot of turkey stock nearby, to moisten the meat before it goes out (optional)

From Flickr.com

Tips

First, don’t carve your bird at the table. It’s messy. Present the bird to the dining room table if you must (although before dinner, doesn’t everyone hang around in the kitchen anyway?) and then return to the kitchen to carve.

Second, let the bird rest for around 30 minutes before carving. (Longer is usually fine; just stick the platter in a warm oven when you’re done carving.) Resting time is important because it allows all those good juices to re-infuse the meat. Carve too soon and you’ll have a dry bird (and also a very hot one, which makes it harder to carve).

Step-by-Step

These are just the basics, based on how we carve. Refer to the pros (see video below) for other methods, all of which work. For a photo step-by-step, check out this post on The Huffington Post.

1. Remove the drumsticks. My husband sometimes removes the thigh and leg pieces together, separating them after they’re off the bird. Holding the drumstick vertically, cut the meat off in bite-size pieces.

2. Remove the wings.

3. Separate the breast halves. Cut the breast meat horizontally, creating slices at whatever thickness you like.

4. With the large pieces you have, cut as much good meat off as you can. If you like, save the bones for stock and the drippings for gravy.

From The Huffington Post slide show.

Watch and Learn

Alton Brown at the Food Network presents How to Carve a Turkey

How to Carve a Turkey at Martha Stewart Living‘s “Everything Thanksgiving”

Cook’s Illustrated video: Carving a turkey

The Butcher Carves a Turkey” by Craig Duff, The New York Times

With the right tools and your new knowledge, carving your Thanksgiving turkey should be both straightforward and easy to manage.  All the best for a very happy Thanksgiving!
The gThankYou! Team

About gThankYou, LLC

Turkey Gift Certificates and Turkey Or Ham Gift Certificates by gThankYou! are two of America’s favorite employee gifts and can be redeemed for any Brand (Turkey or Turkey Or Ham), at virtually any Grocery Store in the U.S.

gThankYou, LLC provides company leaders with a variety of easy, meaningful and affordable ways to recognize and reward employees, holiday time or anytime.  gThankYou! Certificates of Gratitude and our free Enclosure Cards are personalizable including incorporating your company logo. And, nearly all orders ship same day.

gThankYou, LLC (www.gthankyou.com) is based in Madison, Wisconsin.  Contact:  Rick KileyChief ThankYou! Officer, gThankYou, LLC at info@gthankyou.com or 888-484-1658.
Follow the Company Blog –  “Celebrating Work”.
Join the Conversation @gThankYou 
Watch our gThankYou! YouTube Video – “Learn More About Us”.

“G” logo and “Certificates of Gratitude” are trademarks and “gThankYou” is a registered trademark of gThankYou, LLC.

Five Ways to Feel Grateful

According to Mike McCullough, Director of the Evolution and Human Behavior Laboratory at the University of Miami, it seems gratitude soothes the savage beast in all of us.  Not that anyone is actually a beast, but research supports that by showing your employees gratitude, not only does it help them – it also helps you feel happier and remarkably, sleep better.

gThank You! Gratitude The New York Times posted this interesting data in a fascinating article by John Tierney, Findings: A Serving of Gratitude May Save the Day.

“Cultivating an ‘attitude of gratitude’ links to better health, sounder sleep, less anxiety and depression, higher long-term satisfaction with life and kinder behavior toward others, including romantic partners. A new study shows that feeling grateful makes people less likely to turn aggressive when provoked.”

Show Gratitude During the Holidays
A Clinical Psychology Review study by Alex Wood et.al
lays out the details if you are interested.  So if you missed the opportunity to show employees your appreciation at Thanksgiving, the upcoming Holiday season gives you a second chance.

Gratitude Lite
Not feeling it? The Times quotes the University of California, Davis’ Robert Emmons , author of Thanks! and other books on gratitude. Emmons recommends starting out with “gratitude lite.” He and colleague Michael E. McCullough of the University of Miami conducted experiments, asking people to keep a brief, weekly “gratitude journal” listing five things they felt thankful for, like a beautiful sunset or a friend’s kindness.

After two months, the journalers were more optimistic, felt happier, reported fewer physical problems and spent more time working out, than control group members . They also fell asleep more quickly at night, slept longer and woke up feeling more refreshed.  Wow!

Five Ways to Feel Grateful
The New York Times article includes five tips experts offer for getting in the spirit:

  1. Do something nice for a family member:
    Do one small kindness for a relative at your holiday celebration – listen attentively to yawn-worthy recollections, say thank you for a thoughtful gesture, or express admiration for a talent.
  1. Turn the other cheek:
    If you count your blessings, you’ll be less likely to retaliate if a coworker or family member delivers a typically snarky comment. Say something positive instead and awaken that person’s empathy—they’ll pass the gratitude along.
  1. Share the wealth:
    When you show gratitude, people realize they mean a lot to you, perhaps more than they thought. It’s a great way to uplift yourself and others.
  1. Pay a gratitude visit:
    Write a very specific 300-word letter to someone who has changed your life for the better. Deliver it in person and read it aloud. “You’ll be happier in one month,” guarantees University of Pennsylvania’s Martin Seligman in a New York Times quote from his book, Flourish.
  1. Seek “deep gratitude”:
    The New York Times quotes Emmons:  “As a culture, we have lost a deep sense of gratefulness about the freedoms we enjoy, a lack of gratitude toward those who lost their lives in the fight for freedom, a lack of gratitude for all the material advantages we have. The focus of [the holidays] should be a reflection of how our lives have been made so much more comfortable by the sacrifices of those who have come before us.”

Recognize Your Employees
Got your gratitude on?  This holiday season, thank your employees for their diligence. Be specific about how their efforts have fostered your organization’s growth and success in 2011. We’ve said it before, but a holiday Turkey Or Ham Certificate of Gratitude from gThankYou says “We appreciate all you do for us”.  Pass along the gratitude – you and your recipient will both benefit.

Happy Holidays!

About gThankYou, LLC

gThankYou! Turkey Gift Certificates are one of America’s favorite employee gifts and can be redeemed for any Brand whole Turkey, at virtually any Grocery Store in the U.S. 

gThankYou, LLC provides company leaders with a variety of easy, meaningful and affordable ways to recognize and reward employees, holiday time or anytime.  gThankYou! Certificates of Gratitude and free Enclosure Cards are personalizable including incorporating your company logo, and ship same day.

gThankYou, LLC (www.gthankyou.com) is based in Madison, Wisconsin.  Contact:  Rick Kiley, Chief ThankYou! Officer, gThankYou, LLC at info@gthankyou.com or 888-484-1658.
Follow the Company Blog –  “Celebrating Work”.
Watch our gThankYou! YouTube Video – “Learn More About Us”.

“G” logo and “Certificates of Gratitude” are trademarks and “gThankYou” is a registered trademark of gThankYou, LLC.

NEWS RELEASE: gThankYou! Introduces “About Us” YouTube Video

gThankYou! Employee Gifts is pleased to announce introduction of our first video, “gThankYou! – Learn More About Us” , premiering here and on the gThankYouVideo YouTube Channel.

The gThankYou! Video features founder and Chief ThankYou! Officer, Rick Kiley.  Art work was developed by the wonderfully creative artist and illustrator Chris Gash.  And video production was adeptly managed by local favorite, Paul Ranola of Requisite Video.

We hope you enjoy our gThankYou! – “Learn More About Us Video”!  Please visit the gThankYouVideo YouTube Channel to share your comments (we hope you select “like” for the video), and send a link to friends, co-workers and others you think might be interested in learning more about gThankYou!

When you choose to thank employees, we hope you consider gThankYou! Certificates of Gratitude.

To Learn More About Chris Gash:

About gThankYou, LLC

gThankYou! Turkey Gift Certificates are one of America’s favorite employee gifts.  gThankYou, LLC provides company leaders with easy, meaningful and affordable ways to recognize and reward employees, holiday time or anytime.  gThankYou! Certificates of Gratitude and Enclosure Cards are personalizable including incorporating your company logo, and ship same day.

gThankYou, LLC (www.gthankyou.com) is based in Madison, Wisconsin.  Contact:  Rick Kiley, Chief ThankYou! Officer, gThankYou, LLC at info@gthankyou.com or 888-484-1658.  Follow the company blog “Celebrating Work” at blog.gthankyou.com.

“G” logo and “Certificates of Gratitude” are trademarks and “gThankYou” is a registered trademark of gThankYou, LLC.

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