THANKSGIVING–TURKEY TALK

Thanksgiving is a special time to gather with family and friends and share memories. As with many families, we always have each person at the table, including children, say something for which they are thankful.

An excellent website having to do with the origin of Thanksgiving, traditions, recipes, stories & jokes is  http://www.thanksgiving-day.org/.  Great website!

I would like to do a little “Turkey Talk” regarding turkey preparation. Proper cooking of a turkey is imperative if you do not wish to spend the evening or the next day in the ER with food poisoning.

1. Cook a fresh turkey within 3 days.
2. Thaw a turkey in a refrigerator or for quicker thawing use a chest cooler with ice or frozen cold packs.  (It should be started in the fridge about 4 days ahead of the day you wish to cook it and spend no more than 2 days in a COLD cooler.)
3. Do NOT thaw a turkey at room temp as bacteria will grow.
4. If you stuff your turkey, place an unpeeled apple in the opening rather than sewing it closed.  The dressing will pick up a nice apple flavor and the apple will absorb extra grease.  (APPLE NOT EDIBLE–altho’ it WILL lookl like a baked apple, after removing from turkey)
5. I rub the turkey with mayonaise and salt and pepper it.  After putting in a roasting pan, I tent the turkey with aluminum foil and place it in a 425 degree oven for 1/2-1 hr., depending on size of turkey.  I then turn it down to 325 degrees for the duration.
6. I remove the foil about 1-2 hrs. before I think it is done.  It will brown the skin.
6. DO NOT overcook or undercook a turkey.  If it does not have a pop-up timer or meat thermometer, move the turkey leg back & forth to see if it is a little loose.
Then cut into the breast mid turkey–you do not want to see pink meat.

“We may give without loving, but we cannot love without giving.” author unknown    Thanksgiving
HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

10 Great Vinegar Hints

VERSATILE VINEGAR

1. Add about 1/2 cup of vinegar to a load of NEW dark clothes or towels will help set the color.

2. Rinse a soft rag in a mild vinegar solution and then dry. This makes a great dusting cloth.

3. When molding jello, add a teaspoon of vinegar to make a better mold.*Place a teaspoon of water on your serving platter before you release the jello from it’s mold and you can reposition it with ease on the platter.

4. Vinegar helps remove odors and kills mold bacteria from storage containers such as Tupperware.

5. White vinegar rubbed into the armpits of blouses, shirts and sweaters and left for about an hour prior to washing will help remove perspiration odor.

6. To brighten the color of red cabbage, cooked uncovered and add a little vinegar or lemon juice to salted water.

7. Vinegar rubbed on tiled shower wall and floor will help remove mold and mildew.

8. Put a Cup of vinegar in the washing machine during the rinse cycle to help remove odors from tennis shoes socks or bath towels.

9. Rubbing brick tiling with a vinegar saturated cloth will renew the looks of the brick.

10. A solution of vinegar and water is great for cleaning the interior of refrigerators or the inside of coolers.

Common Cooking Terms

Have you ever read a recipe and wondered what some of the terms  mean?    Let’s clear up a few of the most common ones in alphabetical order.

Au Jus: Served in juice, usually from roasted meat.

Baste: To moisten food by spooning liquid or fat over it during the cooking to help retain moistness.

Blanch: To immerse briefly in boiling water, usually followed by quick cooling in cold water.  It is used for easy skin removal, as in fruits and vegetables like peaches & tomatoes.

Bouillon:  A clear soup usually made from beef or chicken.

Braise: To simmer covered in a small amount of liquid on top of the range or in the oven.  Meat may sometimes be browned first.

Bread: To coat by dipping in milk or egg and then in fine crumbs.

Brown: To make food brown either in a small amount of hot fat in a pan or by exposing it to dry heat in an oven.

Cream: Combining two or more ingredients until mixture is light and completely blended.

Drippings: The residue left in the pan after meat or poultry is cooked.

Glaze: To coat with syrup, thin icing, honey or jelly.

Marinate: To let stand in liquid (marinade) to add flavor & tenderize prior to cooking, baking or grilling.

Pan Broil: To cook meat uncovered in skillet, turning frequently and pouring off excess fat.

Pan Fry:  to cook in skillet with small amount of fat.

Parboil: To boil until partially cooked.

Saute: To cook in a skillet in a small amount of oil, stirring until tender.

Sear: A quick application of heat to brown the surface of foods.

Steam: To cook over, but not in, boiling water.  Microwaves can be used for quick steaming in a dish that has holes in it and is placed into another.

Stew: To cook long and slowly in liquid.

Stock: The liquid in which meat, fish or vegetables have been cooked.

Tempura: A method of preparing Japanese dishes by dipping sliced vegetables or meat in a batter until well coated and then into hot oil to cook.

Whisk: a wire tool, somewaht balloon shapped at the end, used for hand beating.

Measurements & Equivalents for Cooking

This may seem simple, but how often do these measurements  leave your mind just about the time you need them for a recipe? Having this handy has really helped save me time!

3  teaspoons = 1 Tablesoon   (tsp. is a teaspoon, Tbl. is a  Tablespoon
1/4  cup = 4 Tabls.
1  cup = 8 fluid ounces
2  cups  = 1 pint ( 16 ozs.)
4  cups = 1 quart  (32 ozs.)
2  pints = 1 quart
2  quarts = 1/2 gallon
quarts = 1 gallon