Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Different Turkey

Thanksgiving can be a time of wonderful family gatherings and warm memories. It can also be a very stressful time for the people hosting Thanksgiving dinner. Whether this is your first time or your twentieth time cooking a turkey, you know it is imperative for it to come out perfect. The Thanksgiving turkey is talked about long after the wishbone has been broken and it will either come back to haunt you with delightful memories of how delicious it was, or your family will be groaning about how badly the turkey turned out. To increase your odds of having your Thanksgiving turkey go down into the Hall of Fame memory vault, here are some tried and true turkey recipes and tips for preparing your turkey.

Brine Turkey

One of my favorite secrets to a juicy, delicious turkey is to brine it. Brining means allowing the turkey to marinate in a bath of ingredients consisting of water, salt, vegetable broth, and spices. The brine seeps into the meat while the salt prevents the turkey's natural juices from escaping during cooking, leaving you with a moist, tender turkey packed with flavor. The time needed to brine is dependent on the size of your turkey.
Allrecipes is a website that offers free recipes and user reviews. To find the perfect brine recipe for your turkey, simply go to the website and type in "brine" into the search field. Once you've picked out your recipe, you can adjust it to fit the size of your turkey. It's as simple as that. In addition, once the turkey has been cooked, you can use the juices as a base for the gravy.

Roast Turkey
If your main concern is a dry turkey (and who isn't fearful of this), try roasting the turkey instead of cooking it in a conventional oven. This is a very simple solution to a common problem. Although a roaster can take up quite a bit of under cabinet storage space, it is worth its weight in gold. Most roasters come with an instruction
booklet and some recipes. Find the recipe for roast turkey and follow the directions. Typically, the directions will consist of telling you what temperature to heat the roaster to, and how to calculate the roasting time based on the weight of your turkey. It could not get any easier. The beautiful thing about roasting a turkey is that it is virtually impossible to screw up. The turkey will be so moist and juicy that it will literally be falling off the bones when you take it out of the roaster. Another benefit is that the roaster frees up the oven so you can bake other things at their proper temperatures.

Organic Turkey

Although hard to find, some people swear that once you go organic, you'll never go back to store brand turkey. Even when prepared in a conventional oven, organic turkey tends to come out juicier and more flavorful. This is due to the freshness of the turkey. It never gets frozen, which is where much flavor tends to get lost. Also, an organically fed bird tends to naturally have more flavorful meat. Organic turkey is generally not sold in local chain super markets. Try butcher shops and natural food stores to see if they are planning on getting a shipment of organic turkey and then reserve one if you can. If that doesn't work,
Williams-Sonoma offers fresh organic turkeys through their Internet ordering system. Be prepared to pay more for this level of freshness and flavor, as organic turkeys are in limited supply.

When in Doubt, Order Out

If cooking
the Thanksgiving meal is just too daunting, or you absolutely cannot risk any errors, you always have the option of ordering a turkey and have it shipped to your home. Places such as
Hickory Farms offer fully cooked Thanksgiving turkeys in addition to all the trimmings. The birds ship frozen but fully cooked. Simply thaw and then pop it in the oven. Nobody will ever know the turkey was not homemade and you can bask in glory as your family members praise your fine culinary skills.


A turkey is a big, domesticated bird that is native to North America. It has white plumage and a bare neck and head with a wattle on it. The turkey’s feathers are brown with some color on its tail and the tips of its wings.

The name turkey was given to this bird because it was thought to have originated in Turkey. This is not true though. The wild turkey is actually a staple food in the
diet of most North Americans. Quite a few of these domesticated turkeys were actually brought to North America by the Pilgrims in 1620. After their arrival the Wampanog Indian tribe introduced the wild turkey to the Pilgrims. Then in 1621 the Pilgrims celebrated their first Thanksgiving with the Wampanog Indian tribe. In fact, the Wampanog Indians were the Pilgrims guests of honor at this dinner. While there is no hard evidence, it is believed that turkey was eaten at this celebration. In 1863 Thanksgiving finally became an official holiday. President Abraham Lincoln made this proclamation. From that point on Thanksgiving has been celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November.

Turkey has always been associated with Thanksgiving. In fact, turkey is actually a very important part of the Thanksgiving dinner menu. This is why Thanksgiving Day has also been called “turkey day.” Generally a turkey weighs between 25 – 35 pounds. They can be purchased fresh or frozen. Their skin is smooth, soft and creamy. They should not have any bruises or cuts on them. Once you purchase your turkey you should not store it for any more than two days. This is true regardless as to whether you are storing it in the refrigerator or freezer. Before you store your turkey you also need to remove the giblets and store them separately.
Like other poultry products, bacteria can affect turkey. For this reason, the area in which you are cooking the turkey should be very clean. You also need to make sure that you properly wash and cook your turkey. If you are going to stuff your turkey you should do so right before it is baked. When the internal temperature of the turkey reaches at least 180 degrees F, you can be sure that the turkey is fully cooked. In order to check the turkey’s temperature you are going to need to use an internal meat thermometer.

There are numerous ways in which you can prepare your turkey for Thanksgiving Day. Some of the favorite ways in which to prepare turkey include:
· Turkey breast Diane
· Garlic roasted turkey
· Seasoned turkey with rice pilaf
· Turkey scaloppini

Some things that you can do with your leftover turkey include making:
· Grilled turkey brat hoagies
· Stir fried turkey with walnuts and cashews
· Turkey pizza
· Turkey sandwiches
· Turkey chili
· Turkey enchiladas
· Ginger lime turkey strips
· Turkey lasagna
· Turkey parmesan

Now that you know where your turkey comes from and how to properly prepare it, go enjoy your turkey and have a happy Thanksgiving.

Dog Benefit

Physical therapy helps dogs lose weight and recover from injuries.

A 75-pound dog walks effortlessly on the underwater treadmill, strengthening his surgically repaired elbow as he goes, wrote Kathy Van Mullekom.

"We're trying to build up his triceps," said Cori Baldwin, lead canine rehabilitator. "A lot of times we do exercises until they are obviously fatigued."

The underwater treadmill is one of several animal rehab techniques used at the St. Francis Pet Resort and Rehabilitation Center in Williamsburg, VA, according to a recent article.

"We've taken some dogs who could barely get across the room and worked with them on the treadmill until they last 25 minutes on it," said veterinarian Pamela Nersesian Dumont in a recent interview.

The Animal Clinic and Wellness Center, also in Williamsburg, offers a similar program, the article stated.

"Nationwide animal rehabilitation is a growing trend and emerging field of study at many veterinary medical schools," reports Mullekom. "Acceptance and demand for the specialty also helped create the animal physical therapy special interest group associated with the American Physical Therapy Association."

"It's not acceptable for a pet owner to pay for a knee surgery for Fluffy and just wait around for two months for it to heal," Amie Lamoreaux Hesbach told Mullekom.

Baldwin sets up the walking treadmill for Jewel's treatment at the center. She works with 12-year-old Jewel on the large ball in an attempt to help the dog's mobility and flexibility. In addition to post-operative clients St. Francis in Williamsburg works with aging, overweight dogs like Jewel, a clumber spaniel who weighed 67 pounds when she started therapy about four months ago, according to research.

"She seems to have a real blast there and it's been so good for her," said Loren Grimes, Jewel's owner, in the article.

When Baldwin and canine rehabilitation assistant Megan Stanley work with dogs like Jewel they are careful to push them only as far as each dog is willing to go, they say.
But right now a low-calorie cookie convinces Jewel to go a few more minutes so Baldwin inclines the treadmill and speeds it up to one mile per hour, according to reports.

Cooper enters the glassed-in box calm as can be, writes Mullekom. Cooper, a two-year-old black Lab, walks inside the underwater treadmill as Baldwin stands inside the tank.

Before any treatments are done dogs are evaluated for their condition and needs.

"Rehab is not invasive like surgery and something dogs enjoy," says Dumont.