One of the more “interesting” activities of preparing the traditional Thanksgiving feast is making sure the turkey is thoroughly washed and properly prepared for roasting. Turkey, like any poultry, is prone to salmonella. Salmonella is an airborne pathogen that can find its way to your turkey via improper handling at the packing house or by improper handling at your house.
Most of us buy frozen turkeys, and the best way to defrost is to put them in the refrigerator several days before the Thanksgiving meal, but sometimes unexpected things happen. If you have to do a quick defrost the best way to proceed is by filling the sink with scalding hot water and soaking the bird. You’ll probably have to repeat these steps several times over the course of a few hours, but it sure beats trying to defrost the bird in the microwave. Whichever defrosting technique you use, be sure to keep the bird covered, and the original wrapper works best. Again, salmonella can be airborne, so an uncovered turkey, or any meat for that matter, left uncovered on a countertop to defrost, is an open invitation to trouble.
Once the turkey has been completely defrosted it needs a bath. With any poultry I go on the assumption that salmonella is there, so I put it in the kitchen sink, (which by the way, needs to be cleaned and sanitized first), and I run the water over all over it. Salmonella can hide in the nooks and crannies, so be sure to wash under the wings and thighs, in the joints, and make sure to flush out the body cavity while you’re at it. Yes, this process can get a little messy, particularly if you’re washing a big turkey, so if your faucet has a spray attachment use it as it will help make the job a little easier.
Once the turkey has been completely washed it’s ready for the roaster or the fryer, or even the smoker. Be sure to wipe up any water that may have splashed on the counter tops and around the sink with a disinfectant wipe. This helps prevent cross-contamination so you don’t end up with a rather nasty, uninvited guest.
Happy Thanksgiving everyone.
With the holiday season coming up there’s no need to buy canned cranberry sauce with its high fructose corn syrup and other additives that you may not want when it’s so easy to make it yourself, just like Rosie used to do. You can also make it the day before and allow it to chill overnight.
TRADITIONAL CRANBERRY SAUCE
- 3 cups fresh cranberries
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup water
Place cranberries in a colander or strainer and wash thoroughly, removing any damaged cranberries. Set aside.
Pour water into a 2 quart saucepan and place over medium high heat. Add sugar and stir until dissolved. Bring to a boil, and add cranberries. Reduce heat to medium, stirring occasionally until cranberry skins begin to pop. Keep stirring for several minutes. If a smoother sauce is desired, keep stirring until most of the skins have popped. Remove from heat and set aside. Sauce will thicken as it cools. Refrigerate sauce once it reaches room temperature.
It’s that time of year, what I like to think of as, “Pumpkin Spice,” season. Ha!
This recipe may not exactly be low carb, but it’s yummy, and it’s seasonal. You may even want to consider serving it as part of your Thanksgiving meal.
PUMPKIN WALNUT CHEESECAKE PIE
- 2 packages (8 oz) cream cheese
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1 (15 oz) can of pumpkin
- 2 eggs
- 2 frozen pie shells, thawed
- 1 1/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ginger
- 1 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 6 tablespoons butter, softened
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1 cup chopped walnuts
Preheat oven to 350° F. Cream sugar and cheese together in a large mixing bowl. Add pumpkin and spices and mix thoroughly. Beat in eggs, one at a time. Add salt and blend until creamy. Pour equal amounts into pie shells and bake for 30 minutes.
While cheesecake is baking prepare topping. Cream butter and brown sugar in a small mixing bowl. Add walnuts and blend thoroughly. Remove cheesecakes from oven after 30 minutes and sprinkle on topping. Return to oven and bake for approximately 50 minutes to 1 hour, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool. Serve with whipped cream topping, if desired.