Thursday, December 15, 2011

Jeff Turner-My Grand Dad's Unexpected Present

We've been asking GFW Writers to share their fondest holiday memories.Today we asked Jeffery Turner. Jeff has published two books,  the story of a marriage before divorce and another after divorce, Notes To Stephanie: Middle Aged Love Letters and life Stories and  Notes To Stephanie, Days Remembered. His current WIP is titled Notes To My Kids: Little Stories About Grown Up Kids. When he is not writing he is involved in I-T Projects and loves cooking.

If you love Christmas, can you say why?
The family get-togethers around a nice big meal is the reason for me.

What’s one thing you’d like to get rid of during the holiday season?
Shopping and the media hype around pushing you to shop and center Christmas around mere presents and gifts. Plus pushing the Christmas season ever earlier in the year; something that is part of the ever more noticeable
commercialization of Christmas.

What are your favorite childhood memories of Christmas?
 On Christmas Eve in 1968 my Granddad Couch got a real unexpected present. A gas well he had invested in “blew out”. He, my dad, and I went to Sulphur Springs to see it. Since it was belching “sour gas” which will kill you we approached it from up wind. Once there the rig was totally destroyed and Red Adair’s famous oil well firefighting crew in their red overalls were there doing prep work to put it out. Merry Christmas Granddad……this will be in book #4 one day.
What’s your idea of a perfect Christmas meal?
Either smoked turkey and ham or a prime rib.

Do you have a dish that has become a tradition with your family?
Prime rib or doing something unexpected for Christmas like cooking Mexican food.

What’s the best Christmas present you ever received?
 Maybe my ten speed bicycle or my shotgun when I was a kid.

What’s the best Christmas present you ever gave?
There are too many to count since one always tries to give loved ones something that is special to them.

What are your favorite Christmas movies?
 None of them, except maybe something with Scrooge. “There’s no reason to be jolly” you see.

What’s your favorite Christmas carol?
Oh more than one. Silent Night, Winter Wonderland, O Christmas Tree, Little Town of Bethlehem, and more as well.

What’s your idea of a perfect holiday season.?
Take a week off from work , have a big meal with the extended family, open presents, have some drinks, and enjoy some cold weather.


 Simple Roast Beef


For prime rib beef (5-8 lbs), French trimmed, on the bone

olive oil


freshly cracked black pepper

Preheat the oven to its highest setting.

Rub the beef with the olive oil, salt and pepper all over.

Put a heavy-based roasting pan on the stove and when hot, add the beef.

Transfer the beef immediately to the oven and leave the oven on 450 F for 20 minutes.

Reduce the heat to 375F and roast for 15 minutes per lb. for rare, adding another ten minutes per lb. for medium rare, 20 minutes per lb. for medium, and 30 minutes per lb. for well done (though this is not ideal).

Remove the beef from the oven, transfer it to a carving board and cover with foil. Allow it to rest in a warm place for 30 minutes.

Serve with Yorkshire pudding, green peas, and potatoes.~~

Stuffed Cuttlefish In Wine Sauce
This is one of my very favorite things to cook. Very tasty. Do not think the cuttlefish taste weird. They are very mild and good.
• Two packs of frozen small cuttlefish thawed (some oriental or seafood markets have these), or use fresh small cuttlefish

• Italian style bread crumbs, one and one half cup.

• One can of diced tomatoes, Italian style.

• One cup dry white wine

• One cup of red onion finely diced.

• Olive oil

• Green and black olives chopped, one cup.

• Capers, two tablespoons chopped very finely.

• Salt

• Pepper

•  Dill weed,one tablespoon

• Red pepper flakes 1/8 tsp

• Garlic 2 tsp

• One lemon

1. Mix bread crumbs, onion, tomatoes, capers, spices (to taste), olives in a mixing bowl.
2. Stuff cuttlefish with mixture.
3. Heat olive oil over medium heat, one half cup.
4. Put cuttlefish in skillet seam side down, brown for three minutes.
5. Turn over.
6. Add wine, red pepper flakes (to taste) and lemon juice.
7. Adjust heat to simmer.
8. Add onions.
9. Simmer for 30 minutes or until tender..
Serve over white rice or couscous.

Contact Jeff at


J.A. Bennett said...

That story about your grand-dad is great! Thanks for sharing :)

Caroline Clemmons said...

Jeff, my brother and I are compiling a book on our dad's family. We're including all the stories we remember him telling about his childhood and also including our memories. I did one several years ago for my mom and one for my mother-in-law. Having the stories and family information in permanent form is reassuring.

Jeff Turner said...

Thanks to you both. Preserving family history is one reason I'm doing the books. Something to give to my kids and they can pass them on to theirs.

Since I am about done with the draft of the one to my kids, I am going to buy flash drives for a stocking stuffer and load the book file onto then. Of course I'll ask the kids to read it all, since it is about them afterall......

SusieSheehey said...

That sounds like a great gift, Jeff! Thanks for sharing!

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