Living Well In Yalobusha County

Turkey Tips For Thanksgiving

By Pamela Redwine


Please remember our Food for Families Food Drive which is going on now through the middle of December.  Drop off boxes are located in Coffeeville at the Extension Office, Renasant Bank, The drug store, library and in Water Valley at Larson’s Big Star and The Other Place.
 The 4-H FCS Club will meet Thursday, November 15 from 4 to 5:30 p.m. at the Extension Office.  We will be painting santa clause gourds.  The program is free and open to youth ages 5 to 18 however, you must call 675-2730 to register as the space and supplies are limited.
The United Y.C. MHV Club will meet Tuesday, November 20 at 9 a.m. at the Extension office.  Members and prospective members are invited to attend.
The Healthy You Exer-cise Class meets every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.  However, we will not meet on Friday, November 23 due to Thanksgiving Holidays.
 
Turkey Tips
 As Thanksgiving approaches, cooking the traditional turkey dinner gives rise to anxieties and questions. What kind of turkey should I buy? Should I buy a frozen turkey or a fresh one? How do I store my turkey?
A few simple steps will not only ease your holiday fears, but will ensure a delicious and a safe meal for you, your family, and your friends. The following information may help you prepare your special Thanksgiving meal and help you countdown to the holiday.
Plan Ahead
Plan your menu several weeks before the holiday. Shopping early will ease the countdown tension for your Thanksgiving meal. Ask these questions to help plan your meal. Do you want a fresh or frozen turkey? Do you have enough space to store a frozen bird if purchased in advance; if not, when should you purchase a turkey? What size bird do you need to buy?
Fresh or Frozen
If you choose to buy a frozen bird you may do so at any time, but make sure you have adequate storage space in your freezer. If you buy a fresh turkey, be sure you purchase it only 1-2 days before cooking. Do not buy a pre-stuffed fresh turkey.
Use the following chart as a helpful guide to determine what size turkey to purchase:
Whole bird – 1 pound per person; boneless breast of turkey – 1/2 pound per person; breast of turkey – 3/4 pound per person; pre-stuffed frozen turkey – 1 1/4 pounds per person – keep frozen until ready to cook
Thawing
In the refrigerator, place frozen bird in original wrapper in the refrigerator (40 °F or below). Allow approximately 24 hours per 4 to 5 pounds of turkey. A thawed turkey can remain in the refrigerator for 1-2 days.
If you forget to thaw the turkey or don’t have room in the refrigerator for thawing, don’t panic. You can submerge the turkey in cold water and change the water every 30 minutes. Allow about 30 minutes defrosting time per pound of turkey.
Microwave thawing is safe if the turkey is not too large. Check the manufacturer’s instructions for the size turkey that will fit into your oven, the minutes per pound, and the power level to use for thawing. Cook immediately after thawing.
Preparation
The day before Thanks-giving make sure you have all the ingredients you need to prepare your holiday meal. Check to make sure you have all the equipment you will need, including a roasting pan large enough to hold your turkey and a food thermometer. Wet and dry stuffing ingredients can be prepared ahead of time and refrigerated separately. This may also be done on Thanksgiving Day.
Mix ingredients just before placing the stuffing inside the turkey cavity or into a casserole dish.

Recipe of the Week

By: Pamela Redwine

Almond Turkey Salad With Cranberry Vinaigrette

Ingredients
• 1 package (16 oz.)  Iceberg Salad
• 1 lb. cooked turkey breast, chopped
• 1/2 cup toasted, slivered almonds
• 3/4 – 1 cup fat-free Cranberry Vinaigrette
• 3/4 cup fresh or frozen Cranberries
Cranberry Vinaigrette Ingredients
• 1 cup orange juice
• 2 tablespoons honey
• 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
• 2 tablespoons chopped fresh mixed herbs
 
Directions
1. Combine salad, turkey and almonds in large salad bowl
2. Pour Cranberry Vinaigrette over salad. Toss gently to coat evenly
Cranberry Vinaigrette Directions
1. Cook cranberries with orange juice, in small saucepan, until skins burst.  Cool
2. Combine cooked cranberries with honey, balsamic vinegar and mixed herbs in blender or food processor
3. Cover; blend until smooth
Recipe Source: Adapted from http://newsletter.dole.com/items/almond-turkey-salad-with-cranberry-vinaigrette/ of the loaf comes out clean.

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