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The last Christmas I spent with my grandma Pearl was at her and grandpa’s place in Olympia. Most of my immediate family were there, and like always, there was football on the tv and tons of snacks and treats. For me though, the day was all centered around my grandma. My oldest son was just a year old, and the only great-grandchild my grandma was able to meet while still here on this earth. She would have been so pleased to know she would eventually have 18, and one who carries on her name. I don’t have a lot of photos of grandma because she would duck and hide from the camera all the time, but on this day, I quietly just recorded her playing blocks with Mitch. She would make a stack, he would knock them over, this went on and on. Her voice was weaker than it used to be, her cancer and her illnesses taking their toll on her body, stripping her of the strength she used to have. Still her voice, just wispier than it used to be, and it was laughing and cooing to her long-awaited great-grandson. Nothing I can say will ever be able to describe the tender sweetness of this moment. The pure love and joy of it beat in my heart. Grandma giggling and playing with “Mitchy”.

In her prime, Pearl White was a force of nature, tough as nails, and then all marshmallowy on the inside if you got to know her. The oldest of three girls, she fought and protected her younger sisters through the hardship of growing up during the depression, and an extremely unkind stepmother. Little boys would cross the street to avoid her and her wrath in her youth. This fierce girl grew up to be my cherished, loving grandma. A woman I could call long distance to ask how to make carrots, and who taught me to bake. Women who I hope I have made proud of my accomplishments, and the life I have lived so far. If I had known this was going to be my last Christmas, I would have filmed the whole day. I really thought we were out of the woods. It had been over a year since her bypass, and I thought we had licked cancer. Instead, I have a treasured piece of video, about 5 minutes long, where she is just laughing and playing.

I don’t think she was up to making a big turkey dinner that day, instead, she made turkey and homemade noodles. It was strange for me, and how I really started to realize she just wasn’t the same vigorous woman I had always known. She told me, “now Kimmie, this is a great meal to make with leftover turkey, don’t ever let it go to waste”. After living through the depression, I don’t think she ever wasted anything the whole rest of her life.

I have made turkey and noodles lots of times, but I also learned a few other ways to use up that Thanksgiving bird. Today’s recipe is one of those. I can hear her now, “good girl Kimmie, don’t let it go to waste”.

The Polish Stoneware pictured today is available for purchase at The Pottery Avenue by Pangaea website at This shape is available in multiple patterns, so if Mod Floral isn’t your cup of tea, I know there is a pattern available that will make you happy! Just send a message and Twila and her team will be happy to help you. Use discount code Twila or PAF for your 20% discount.

From my heart to yours, Smacznego!

Kim’s Turkey Tetrazzini

  • 1 1/2 lb cooked and shredded turkey ( you can use chicken too )
  • 7 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 lb white mushrooms sliced
  • 1 large onion finely chopped
  • 5 cloves of garlic minced
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 cups whole milk room temperature
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream room temperature
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 12 ounces cooked and drained linguine
  • 3/4 cup frozen peas
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan
  • 1/4 cup dried Italian bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup panko crumbs

In a large frying pan add 1 tablespoon each of butter and oil, add the mushrooms and sauté over medium heat until the liquid from the mushrooms evaporates, about 12 minutes.

Add the onion, garlic, and thyme, and sauté until the onion is translucent about eight minutes. Add the wine and simmer until it evaporates about two minutes. Transfer the mushroom mixture into a large bowl and add the shredded turkey. Mix gently.

In the same pan melt three tablespoons butter, over medium-low heat. Add the flour and whisk for two minutes. Whisk in the milk, cream, broth, nutmeg, 1 3/4 teaspoon salt and 3/4 teaspoon pepper. Increase the heat to medium-high and bring to a boil. Turn the heat down and let simmer until the sauce thickens slightly, whisking often, for about 10 minutes.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the linguine, and cook until it is tender but still firm to the bite. Approximately nine minutes. Drain. Add the linguine, sauce, peas, and parsley, to the chicken mixture. Toss until everything is mixed well blended.

Transfer the pasta mixture to a baking dish. Mix together the Parmesan cheese, panko, and breadcrumbs in a small bowl to blend. Sprinkle the cheese mixture over the pasta and dot with 3 tablespoons of butter. Bake uncovered at 400 degrees until golden brown on top and the sauce bubbles about 50-60 minutes.

Serve with a fresh green salad and crusty bread!

Someday this may be the meal your children or grandchildren remember you making... don’t let it go to waste Kimmie!