I’ll just say no to the giblets: TAE Word for the Day


Giblets: (noun) the heart, liver, gizzard, and the like, of a fowl, often cooked separately.

Giblet gravy with turkey or chicken giblets and chopped hard-boiled eggs is quite popular here in the south as an accompaniment to turkey and cornbread dressing each Thanksgiving. But it will not be on the table chez Fedoralady.

Giblet gravy. Courtesy of simplyrecipes.com

Fedoralady does not do giblet gravy or indeed, giblet anything.  Growing up on a poultry farm, she ate a great deal of chicken. Baked, barbecued, fried, chicken salad, chicken and dumplings, chicken and rice, chicken casseroles.You get the drift.  But when her mama prepared fried chicken livers and gizzards, she beat a hasty retreat. Couldn’t stand the smell, much less the taste. Hubby feels the same way.   We like gravy–white milk gravy, brown gravy. Just no giblets, please.

Fedoralady  hopes if Mr. Armitage ever has occasion to dine at her home for Thanksgiving (she realizes this is highly, highly unlikely but it’s fun to imagine) that he is not an aficionado of said fowl parts.

Now, cranberry sauce? That’s another thing. Love it. Hubby will fight you for the last dinner roll and serving of cranberry sauce.  In fact, he’d much rather have the cranberry sauce and rolls than the turkey and dressing! Better buy extra.  (I’m afraid we tend to go with Ocean Spray’s canned sauce every year instead of the homemade route. It’s what we both grew up eating.)

Now you’re talking. Cranberry sauce, courtesy of simplyrecipes.com.

I just know that I would love to have the chance to (covertly) watch Mr. Armitage eat. I find myself writing scenes where his character is dining because it’s such a pleasure watching him enjoy his food and drink.  So, hey, let’s look at some photos of Richard/his characters eating! See, I can even work him into a giblets post. 😉

Richard and crew members for Spooks chowing down on sandwiches in a behind-the-scenes screencap courtesy of RANet.

John Mulligan snacking at Ellie’s house. Screencaps  courtesy of RANet.

Poor Sweetie John is a bit discomfited as he tries to finish off his breakfast sausage in Sparkhouse.

Fork porn. I love it. That is all.

97 responses »

  1. I do not like giblets at all!!! *shudders* My darling mum used to love them but I have always refused to eat them point blank, and sweet natured as she was, she never forced me to eat anything I wrinkled my nose at. 🙂 I LOVE cranberry juice so I assume I’d love cranberry sauce too. They do sell cranberry juice in Hungary but it’s rather expensive so whenever I’m in the UK I drink a lot of Ocean Spray, my favourite is their cranberry/raspberry juice! 🙂 Yum yum!

    • Something that’s good in cold weather is to heat up your cranberry juice and put a cinnamon stick in it. I have seen some homemade cranberry sauce recipes that included cinnamon in the ingredients. I love the various OS blends–cran-grape, cran-apple and yes, indeed, cran-raspberry. We usually keep a jug of it in the fridge. Actually, I have mixed it with milk before when the milk was low and poured it over cranberry almond crunch cereal. It’s very good!

      As for giblets–I just don’t do organ meat. Not beef, not chicken, not turkey, not pork . . . I just say no. 😉

  2. I love your post! I’m with you, no giblets, please! And I absolutely love turkey and cranberry sauce, mmmm… And thank you so much for that picture of Richard and the Spooks crew members, I love him even more (is that possible???) when I see him in pictures like this, so cute! I can’t believe I haven’t seen this pic before in RANet! But they have so many pictures there, that is taking me forever to see them all, it’s great! 😀
    How cute is sweetie John eating a sausage! He just makes me go “aaawww…”, love him!
    And Mr Mulligan’s fork porn… well, what can I say? Not much, too busy daydreaming… Even though I hate the guy’s guts… He’s so darn sexy… yum!

    • Giblets don’t seem to get a lot of love around here. 😉 Benny’s not a big turkey fan–twice a year, Christmas and Thanksgiving is about enough for him–but I do like it and it’s healthier for you than some other choices. There is actually a large turkey farm near my hometown which is quite famous for its free-range, organically grown birds. They have a restaurant in our hometown that draws a lot of traffic off the interstate highway. It’s very expensive for what you get, however, so not that many locals eat there. 😉

      I am glad you got to see the sandwich photo. 😀 You are right, there is an awful lot of material to go through at RANet. I am happy I could introduce it to you. You can see that lovely, cheeky sense of humor in shots like this. You want to give Sweetie John a comforting hug. As for Mr. Mulligan, oh, he’s bad but he’s sooo very sexy, indeed.

  3. NO giblets, no way, no how — I’m with you all the way on that one. But turkey and cranberry sauce — yum! I love making turkey sandwiches on fresh bread with a little mayonnaise, lettuce, and cranberry sauce. I love good turkey and pan gravy, roast potatoes, sage and onion dressing, … just absolutely no giblets anywhere. I wouldn’t even cook them for the dog. They stink and they’re full of cholesterol.

    On the other hand, Richard eating — oh, the pleasure of keeping him fed and quietly watching, trying not to stare.

    • Arby’s has a really good turkey sandwich I get so every often.

      I can’t understand why people like giblets. Just the idea of eating chitlins turns my stomach. They also smell to high heaven. There are just some animal parts I don’t care to eat unless and until I am in dire straits and have no other choice. Yes, the trying not to stare or possibly start drooling would be the challenge when watching RA eat. 😉

    • I don’t eat any kind of liver. My mom used to prepare chicken liver from time to time, but thankfully she fixed something else as well that she knew I would eat. My sister S used to be extremely picky eater. Basically she liked meat and potatoes (but no organ meat) and bread. No casseroles, salads, anything mixed together.

      Mama had to make meatballs instead of a meat sauce for the spaghetti because the meatballs were all she would eat.

      She would walk around when she was very small with a stick of butter in one hand and a bag of pecans in the other. LOL “No wonder I was a chubby little kid!” she says. 😉 Then the pickiness really set in.

      • I have prepared calves’ liver with onions and bacon, chicken liver pate, steak and kidney pie, sweetbreads, and such when my husband wanted them, but I wouldn’t eat any of it. It makes me gag; even when I was a small child and didn’t know what it was, when I knew I’d be punished if I couldn’t get it down, I couldn’t manage it. When my body says “no” that vehemently, I listen.

        • I don’t think any of us children liked liver/gizzards but my parents did and they would eat them. Something else I never got into (but the folks liked them) was pork rinds. My dad could have eaten a a good-sized bag of them in one sitting. I do confess to a weakness for bacon, which of course is pure salt and fat. *sigh*

          S orders some type from Wisconsin that is applewood smoked–Nueske- and it is just delicious. Thick-cut, reminds us of the bacon we used to have sliced to order at the country store.

          But the other stuff–I just couldn’t eat it. I have a strong gag reflex myself. I couldn’t even swallow any type of pill when I was younger, which meant all my meds had to be liquid.

          • Here, we can get British-style bacon made with local pork, nicely smoked and mostly lean. Bacon becomes positively ambrosial. Some people here do fried pork rinds, but yecht — they are better not fried but used for lining the Dutch oven when you make one of those slow-cooked provencal dishes. You don’t eat the pork rind in the finished dish. You get rid of it before you thicken the sauce, when it will have left just a little fat and gelatin in the cooking liquid.

            • That’s the thing about the Nueske bacon, it’s quite lean for pork. Sara likes to keep it on hand for company and I thoroughly enjoyed it while at the beach. When my parents had beef processed from the farm, they had the ground beef processed lean. When I got out of college and had to buy my own (Mama used to send care packages back to Troy with me), I didn’t realize what a difference I was going to experience. 😦 Never realized just how good our situation was growing up on the farm with a big garden and our own chicken and grass-fed beef (and periodically, pork).

        • Even in the 70s it was quite common in Hungary to punish children for not finishing their meals, but thank God my mother didn’t believe in that. My dad didn’t like us leaving food on our plates (understandable, as he was a teenager in the late 40s when food was scarce) but he never forced us to eat things we really didn’t want to eat. I did have some kindergarten teachers who forced us to eat stuff we didn’t like, that was how I came to hate certain dishes. 🙂

          • Mama never made us clean our plates.I could never eat as much at breakfast as she would have liked for me to eat, but I had to be on the school bus for an hour long ride before 7 and I am not an early morning eater. I would get nauseated so she didn’t push things. But she always packed me a really good lunch. 🙂

    • No, you are not. My mother served it all the time, saying it was good for the blood. Giblets, especially liver, were very commonly eaten in the Polish-American immigrant community I grew up in, and I loved it. Good calves liver, properly cooked, was a special treat. Liverwurst sandwiches were common, chicken liver paste, heavenly.

      Farming practices have changed during my lifetime, however, and when I found myself with breast cancer 24 years ago, I decided that the liver my mother thought was so good for me was no longer safe. So I gave up all liver, and my gravey no longer has giblets.

      Of course, I can’t prove a connection between liver and cancer, but I am still here to tell the tale, and to enjoy, share, appreciate, “our little community’s” love of Angie’s incomparable muse, and to feel the special friendship that flies through cyberspace on her blog. Every now and then, I will sneak myself a guilty dollop of fresh chicken liver paste from my local deli.

      Incidentally, the Dec. issue of Psychology Today has an interesting feature article on discerning personality from faces. RA definitely fits the author’s profile for masculinity, and it says that the default position for women re men is “masculinity with compassion.” Sound like someone we know? And, yes, I love all candid shots the best, even chomping down on a sandwich, because in these cases, the masculinity is evident and the compassion (or benevolence) always comes through.

      • Lynne re. “RA definitely fits the author’s profile for masculinity, and it says that the default position for women re men is “masculinity with compassion.” Sound like someone we know? And, yes, I love all candid shots the best, even chomping down on a sandwich, because in these cases, the masculinity is evident and the compassion (or benevolence) always comes through.” SO TRUE

      • Liver used to be promoted quite a lot for its iron content, as I recall.

        Hooray that you are still here to enjoy life and Mr. Armitage and all that he brings to the party. Yes, he is an incomparable muse. 🙂

        • I’m glad you’re still here, too, Lynne. The liver has many functions and one of them is to clean the blood of toxic metals such as cadmium, which just get held in the liver (like perpetual jail). This is why it does not make sense to eat a lot of it, or to eat it from older animals who carry a heavier load of the toxic stuff.

  4. My mum likes to order her turkey from the butcher rather than buy it from a supermarket specifically because that way it comes with the giblets! She makes stock and soup with them – even without them she’d still boil the carcass and make stock. Her soup is always delicious 🙂

  5. Yep, I make a general rule to just say no to organ meat. My mom didn’t like it so we never ate it. My dad is probably healthier for his forced abstention from liver 🙂

    It must require a fair amount of fuel to keep the beautiful Armitage machine running. It is a compulsion in my neck of the woods to feed people until they beg for mercy as a sign of hospitality-bit no giblets 😉

    I like that banquet scene from RH s3 where Guy looks like he wants to rip into the food but is afraid it’s poisoned.

    • I am guilty of feeding people until they groan and beg for mercy, and then ask for seconds. I like to do multiple courses so there’s a progression, but I haven’t had the chance to entertain like that in some time. Here in Andalucia, three courses are normal: starter, main, and dessert.

      I imagine that Richard needs a fair amount of fuel, but he has admitted that when he’s working, he can forget to eat, that during the week he’s disciplined about his diet but on weekends he’ll indulge. I can see that kind of pattern working for him.

      I like that scene, too. Hungry Giborne, mmmm. But restrained because he’s wary.

    • Yeah, a man his size and as active as he is would likely need some serious fuel. And RA has said he’s something of a foodie. He certainly goes at it with gusto.

      My mother and mother-in-law were both determined to have more than enough every time everyone sat down to it. We used to joke Mama was preparing for Pharoah’s army. That’s a great scene. Watching Guy eat prunes and drink wine is a transcendent experience. You know, they’ve been trying to give prunes–now calling them dried plums–a sort of image makeover. I think RA making a commercial in which he pops one in his mouth and slowly chews, a twinkle in those blue eyes as that stubbled jaw goes at it, then a swallow and bob of the adam’s apple in that long, lovely column of throat. Followed by the tip of his tongue darting out to lick his lips a little. “Delicious . . .”

      • That would definitely improve the image of “dried plums.” On the other hand, I make a prune and apple compote, flavoured with a little port, that goes well with a stuffed pork loin or a crown roast of pork with pinenut pilaf. I can imagine Guy attacking a dish like that with gusto. As it is, yes, watching Guy eat prunes and drink wine is riveting; I keep waiting for the tiniest drop to escape to I can lick it off…

        • Oh, it absolutely does. And wouldn’t you want to watch that commercial over and over and over again? And don’t you know those dried plum sales would go off the charts?? 😉

      • My mother’s family (8 brothers, one sister and associated offspring and offsprings’ offspring) gets together every two years, and the non-Wisconsin contingent (Wisconsin is our home base) always laughs that we make WAAAY to much food. Yet they always eat it all-funny how that works 🙂

        • Speaking as a fellow Wisconsinite: at least in my family we also make specifically to have leftovers of our favorite things. People should eat as much as they want / can and then we have extra to send home with guests and ourselves can enjoy the replay just as much the next day.

          • We always enjoyed leftovers, too. When we had our big family holiday meals when our parents were still alive, we knew we would inevitably have leftovers. So for supper we’d pull out whatever caught our fancy, make a plate & nuke it, or use the meat to make a nice sandwich if that tickled our fancy.

            And I think of us gathering around the cozy little table in the kitchen nook, rather than the big dining room table, to enjoy a cup of coffee and piece of pie or cake (inevitably, there were several desserts to enjoy, too). Now, when we do get together, it’s almost always so rushed. You just pack up some of it and take it home–whatever will hold up depending on how far we have to drive. You know, we southerners are big into food as part of our culture, too. 😀

            • My cousins in Newnan, GA put out a pretty mean spread-when they finally get around to it 🙂 (I get it, it’s hot, things move slower ;))

              • LOL yes, we like to take our time with things down heah, dahlin.’ All the heat and humidity do make a difference. 😉 But we do love to put on a pretty mean spread, as you say.

          • Precisely-it has become a family joke that those who have moved away never manage to get the amounts right for big gatherings, producing the need to scrape pots for the last grain of rice. We don’t know how to cook any other way in my immediate family. Hence, I’m always looking for someone to peddle soup to 🙂

    • It is a compulsion in Hungary too, to feed people (house guests) until they beg for mercy. It’s perceived as a sign of hospitality. And it’s perceived by some as bad manners if a guest does not to eat until they burst! 🙂

      • I noticed this in Greece too. I’ve taken a couple of tour groups over, and use a local travel agent who takes us to local restaurants. The tables are always groaning under the weight of the food. I mentioned once that he could tell them to put out about 1/2 the amount since we never came close to eating everything and he said that there should be a lot of leftovers-if there weren’t, someone was probably still hungry, and that is NOT OK 🙂 I didn’t argue after that-just wore looser pants 😉

          • traditionally, in n. Germany, the host is expected to urge the guest who has stopped eating, at least three times (maybe more), to eat more food. There’s even a verb for this kind of asking (“nötigen”).

            • My mother worried people didn’t like the food if they didn’t eat a certain amount and felt she had failed somehow as a good hostess. However, I really don’t recall that happening a lot. Good country cooking was her forte.

              • I think it comes from a social environment in which feast meals weren’t that common because diets were more limited, and so guests might be reticent for fear they would be rude / taking advantage of the host if they ate too much of a delicacy. Nowadays, when we in the West can in principle feast on every day, it would seem like a more appropriate style would be not to pressure people to eat more than they are comfortable with (who hasn’t eaten another slice of pie to make mom happy at some point?), but old habits die hard. And the food does taste so good.

              • Ah, food nostalgia — I sometimes have attack of it. I woke up from a nap one day and wanted something I don’t even like anymore — “ambrosia”, you know, with whipped cream, marshmallows, canned fruit, extra cherries, and shredded coconut. I used to make it for Christmas Eve back when, for a dessert after baked ham, scalloped potatoes, green beans, and a mixed salad. It was simple and easy, and gave me time to do the big dinner on Christmas Day.

              • I had a feeling what that link was going to before I even clicked it-a midwestern potluck staple!

              • yeah — dishes that can be made entirely by opening jars, cans, and boxes, lol. I’ll be making all the holiday food, so I maybe will make it this year. I know my brother still loves it. My tolerance for the piles of sugar has fallen significantly since leaving the Midwest.

              • Spawning a whole generation of cooks who don’t actually cook, just stir 🙂 Do you do the lime jello, cottage cheese, pineapple and whipped topping salad? I prefer that one to the pistashio-not *quite* as sweet.

              • I don’t really like cottage cheese + sweet under most circumstances (though I will eat cottage cheese with most things that are not sweet and am addicted to cottage cheese + tomato). You?

              • My mom’s lime congealed salad recipe actually has a nice tang to it–it’s not overly sweet like the watergate salad (the pistachio stuff). But it’s sweet enough to make it a dessert if you want it to be.

              • The jello cottage cheese thing sounds so disgusting, but I ate it like a maniac after my daughter was born-turns out I was in the early stages of liver failure from a drug reaction and it was apparently giving me weird food cravings (I think there is a medical journal article about me somewhere) but I haven’t had it since then I don’t think. I love cottage cheese (esp. full fat of course) all by it’s lonesome. I am a bit of a tomato snob though-I love them if they actually taste like tomatoes-hard to come by here in November 😦

              • Uch, that sounds awful. Glad they figured it out, though.

                re: tomatoes — the trick is to give in and buy those little goldplated cherry tomatoes. They always have a relatively intense flavor, even if they don’t have the full August tomato kick.

              • There is nothing better than a ripe, juicy tomato, ripened on the vine and still warm from the sun. Give me a salt shaker and a knife and get out of my way. I dislike the ones that look pretty but taste chiefly of cardboard. Gosh, obscura, I am glad to hear you apparently recovered OK from your drug reaction. That’s scary.

              • I do like the grape tomatoes year round – I will investigate Woodman’s for cherry – in my recent experience, if they don’t have it, I really don’t need it. (incidently, I checked for paneer – they don’t have it 😦 )

              • I suspect Woodman’s will have cherry tomatoes — look for Nature’s Sweet or something like that. Grape is also good, although they are meatier and less juicy. Woodman’s is also the supermarket where I’d have looked for paneer — they have the best int’l foods section of any grocery I’ve seen in that neck of the woods.

              • I haven’t checked at Festival-they might have it, although they do more organic than Int’l

              • Festival doesn’t have paneer, afaik, although they do have all the main Mexican cheese staples (cotija, Oaxaca, etc.), and a lot of the European cheeses, albeit at very high prices. (I lived my summer on an axis between home, Festival, Sbux, and the major hospital that is just a little bit further east of that, so that Festival was my goto store).

              • That’s my general experience with Festival-they have a great deli, but everything seems to be a bit pricey. There’s one on my way home from school though, so it is convenient.

              • Festival also has cherry tomatoes 🙂 but what they mostly have are great store locations. I would prefer to shop at Woodmans but getting there is not convenient to most of what I have to do when I am there, and then there’s that huge mess slightly to the west of them that I try to avoid as much as possible. Festival also has politics, I don’t agree with, they subsidized that pro-life music fest this summer, but in the end, my driving pattern meant that it was usually the best place to stop.

              • Now I must go and manufacture some enthusiasm to talk about the March to WWII to a 1/2 full class room the day before a major national holiday – can you feel it?! Later 🙂

              • Bless your heart, it’s almost a lost cause on days like this, isn’t it? 😉 I can’t believe how my little post on giblets blew up, but I think we like talking about food. 😀

              • It was a bit of a near thing..and very bizarre according to all of the doctor. They ruled out everything but the blood pressure meds I had switched to because they were “safer” during pregnancy – not for me evidently 🙂 The weird thing was that if I was going to react at all, it should have been 6 months before when I first started taking them. Collective shrug..goes to show that even 21st century medicine is an inexact science. Oh, and if you get a weird, unexplained, all over, never ending itch-get to the doc. Turns out non-specific itching is a symtom of liver distress.

              • How many of us are survivors of the profoundly weird? I know I am. I’m very glad the docs figured out what was causing your liver failure in time to stop it, so you survived, too.

              • I know bizarre from way back. So glad that everything was sorted out for you. I’ve had horrible itching, but thankfully it was just a miserable case of long-term chronic hives which the top allergist in the state was finally able to get under control for me. Nothing life-threatening, just maddeningly uncomfortable.

            • I did have to stop shopping there for a while because of my objections to their support of a particular objectionable (to me anyway) candidate for the statehouse. I’m not bitter..

    • Oh me too Servetus!! After reading what others have been saying, “giblet lovers” seem few and far between. I can’t say I like chicken or turkey livers but I’ll eat the heart and the gizzard no problem. I adore steak and kidney pie (my Mom made fantastic ones) and every now and then enjoy calf or beef liver. In Scotland we had wonderful Ayrshire bacon. I can buy it here but because it is imported the cost tends to be prohibitive. Of course it goes without saying that I adore haggis which does have organ meats in it’s ingredients! Yumm! 🙂

      • Maybe it depends in part on what we grew up eating and also how it is prepared. 😉 I looked up the Nueske’s bacon that my sister serves for company and it is very pricey. But boy those Wisconsinites know how to make some good bacon and cheese! I will always love bacon, but the rest of it–nooooo.

        I do have to say the deep-fried Mars bars we had at the Highland Festival at Shakespeare Park in Montgomery were delicious. Unhealthy, but delicious. 😀

        • I do miss the cheeses from Wisconsin. The Spanish cheeses are yummy, but sometimes I want a good sharp Wisconsin cheddar or that lovely nutty-flavoured “baby Swiss”. I used to make a terrific fondue with the latter. Here, the closest thing I can get to cheddar is from Ireland.

          Fried Mars bars?? I assume they’re battered, like sweet fritters? It sounds like something Elvis would have eaten.

          • I generally keep a good sharp cheddar on hand all the time. One of my favorite stand-bys. Yes, the candy bar is battered. Apparently this culinary delight started in Scotland. Now you can find it not only at highland games, but also at many large fairs and festivals around the country here. There is also such a thing as deep-fried Coke. Go figure! LOL

            • A Scottish friend recently told me of so many things in Scotland that you can now get deep fried! I was truly amazed. How about deep fried pizza – or even more bizarre – deep fried butter! Heart attack anyone?

              • I remember reading that the most popular vegetable in Scotland was some type of tinned peas canned in fat. Apparently the Scottish diet is not rated highly for its overall healthiness. Heart attack on a plate! Could be a good thing you are living in Canada now, my darling. 😉

              • In a cold, damp climate, you need serious fuel, hence the concentration of fats in the Scottish diet. The Inuit and Tlingit diets make the Scots look healthy. Interestingly, the Masai diet, which is almost exclusively animal products and high fat, has not produced high cholesterol or coronary artery disease in the tribe. This seems to suggest that dietary fats are only one factor, that stress, heredity, smoking, etc., may be more damaging contributing factors.

              • Where we lived on the Northwest Coast of Scotland our climate was relatively mild. Being on the sea or in our case a sea loch, any snow that fell melted quite quickly. What was a much greater influence on the climate there is the North Atlantic Drift which, as an extension of the Gulf Stream which begins in the Eastern Gulf of Mexico, brings warmer water up the West Coast. Visitors were always amazed that palm trees grew in these villages. Just Google Plockton for example and you will see what I mean. Pretty, isn’t it?

              • Plockton looks charming. I knew there were a few warm places in Scotland, but I’d no idea of anything like this. My husband’s family were always complaining of the cold, and my friend who went for three months to do research could never wear enough wool.

              • Actually, I am partial to a bit of Italian wickedness called fried cream. You make a custard with heavy cream; I like it flavoured with a little fior de sicilia or bitter orange. Chill it, cut it in cubes, dip in beaten egg white then in breadcrumbs, and chill to set. Then deep fry the cubes ’til golden, drain, and serve flaming with rum or brandy. Not as yummy as Richard, but they’ll do…

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