Category Archives: Family

Turkey Deep Fried – Do’s And Don’ts

Butterball website is a great source of information on Deep Frying Turkey.

Butterball said: FROZEN WHOLE TURKEY 10 TO 32 LBS.
Thaw in refrigerator (not at room temperature). Place unopened turkey, breast side up, on a tray in refrigerator and follow our refrigerator thawing instructions. Allow at least 24 hours for every 4 pounds.

To thaw more quickly, place unopened turkey breast down in sink filled with cold tap water. Allow 30 minutes per pound. Change water every 30 minutes to keep surface of turkey cold.

When thawed, keep in refrigerator up to 4 days until ready to cook.

Deep Frying turkey turns out an irresistibly tender and delicious turkey, and is a great alternative to traditional cooking methods.
Caution It is especially important to follow instructions carefully and take extra precautions.

Every year there are a number of needless house fires and injuries caused by improper use of deep fryers to cook turkey’s.

Propane deep fryer can be very dangerous. Never leave your deep fryer unattended and be sure to carefully follow these instructions:

To start, take the wrapper off of the turkey, and remove and discard the neck and giblets.
Deep-fry your turkey outside on a flat surface, far away from homes, garages, wooden decks, etc.

If your turkey is 14 lbs. or less, you can deep-fry it whole. If it’s 15 lbs. or more, separate the legs and thighs from the breast and fry them separately.
Be sure your turkey is completely thawed.
Remove any excess fat.
Do not stuff you turkey when deep-frying. Cook the stuffing separately.
To minimize sticking to the basket, submerge the empty basket in the hot oil for about 30 seconds; remove and place turkey inside and slowly submerge your bird in the cooking oil.

To determine how much oil is needed for frying, place the thawed turkey in the fryer basket and place it in the fryer. Add water until the top of the turkey is barely covered. Remove the turkey, allowing the water to drain from the turkey back into the fryer. Measure and mark the water line, and use that line as a guide when adding oil to the propane fryer.

Important Pat the turkey dry with paper towels.
Add oil to the fryer (based on the water line).
Preheat oil in the fryer to 375° F. (Use a thermometer to check oil temperature.)

While the oil is heating, prepare your turkey with any seasonings, marinades, or injected flavor that you desire.

Safety Warning When the oil is hot, turn the burner off and slowly lower the turkey into the hot oil. Slowly lowering the basket helps prevent the oil from bubbling over. Then and only then you can turn the burner back on.
This will prevent a flash fire.

Set your timer and cook the turkey about 3 to 4 minutes per pound.

Use a thermometer. Your turkey is done when the dark meat is at an internal temperature of 175° F to 180° F and all white meat is at an internal temperature of 165° F to 170° F.

Safety Warning When the turkey is done, turn the burner off and slowly lift it from the pot and place it in a pan or on paper towels to drain. Let the turkey stand for 20 minutes before removing it from the rack or basket.

Thank you Butterball

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Aspirin In The Fight Against Cancers

Researchers followed the progress of more than 600,000 people in the largest study to date looking at the link between cancer and aspirin.

They found that people who had taken the drug every day for an average of seven years were:
47 percent less likely to develop liver or oesophageal cancer.
38 percent less likely to be diagnosed with gastric cancer.
34 percent less likely to develop pancreatic cancer.
24 percent reduced risk of being diagnosed with colorectal cancer.
35 percent reduced lung cancer risk.
24 percent reduced leukaemia risk.
14 pedcent reduced prostate cancer risk.

Cardiff University found that a daily aspirin increased the chance of surviving bowel, breast and prostate cancer by 20 percent.

The findings demonstrate that the long-term use of aspirin can reduce the risk of developing many major cancers.

Thanksgiving Food Safety

turkey
Butterball Turkey Talk provides a free service to answer your questions about proper handling, thawing and cooking Turkey.
You can reach them by telephone, email or via live chat line.
Butterball also has a informative page of FAQ’s that you may find useful.

Butterball said:
FROZEN WHOLE TURKEY
Thaw in refrigerator (not at room temperature). Place unopened turkey, breast side up, on a tray in refrigerator and follow our refrigerator thawing instructions. Allow at least 24 hours for every 4 pounds.

To thaw more quickly, place unopened turkey breast down in sink filled with cold tap water. Allow 30 minutes per pound. Change water every 30 minutes to keep surface of turkey cold.

When thawed, keep in refrigerator up to 4 days until ready to cook.

United States Department Of Agricultural (USDA) has a nice and very informative fact sheet as well as a useful PDF file on the safe handling, cooking, Storage and re-heating of Turkey.

United States Department Of Agricultural (USDA) A Consumer Guide to Safely Roasting a Turkey USDA’s information applies to any poultry, Turkey, Chicken, Duck, Goose and so on that you may plan on cooking and serving to your family.

For more information about food safety, call: USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline 1-888-MPHotline (1-888-674-6854). 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Eastern time, Monday through Friday or
E-mail: mphotline.fsis@usda.gov Or “Ask Karen,” FSIS’ Web-based automated response system – available 24/7 at http://www.fsis.usda.gov.

Hints:
Allow 1 pound of turkey per person.

Thawing In the Refrigerator (40 °F or below)
Allow approximately 24 hours for every 4 to 5 pounds
4 to 12 pounds 1 to 3 days
12 to 16 pounds 3 to 4 days
16 to 20 pounds 4 to 5 days
20 to 24 pounds 5 to 6 days
Roasting Time
4 to 8 pounds (breast) 1½ to 3¼ hours
8 to 12 pounds 2¾ to 3 hours
12 to 14 pounds 3 to 3¾ hours
14 to 18 pounds 3¾ to 4¼ hours
18 to 20 pounds 4¼ to 4½ hours
20 to 24 pounds 4½ to 5 hours

United States Department Of Agricultural (USDA) Alternate methods to cook Turkey / poultry Grilling a Turkey, Covered Gas Grill, Covered Charcoal Grill, Smoking a Turkey, Deep Fat Frying a Turkey.

United States Department Of Agricultural (USDA) Basics: Safe Cooking Turkey A PDF file. Great 1 page tip sheet on cooking Turkey / Poultry.

United States Department Of Agricultural (USDA) Turkey Roasting Chart Everything you will ever need to know about Roasting your Turkey.
Hint:
Reheating Your Turkey
In the Oven
Set the oven temperature no lower than 325 °F.
Reheat turkey to an internal temperature of 165 °F. Use a food thermometer to check the internal temperature.
To keep the turkey moist, add a little broth or water and cover.

United States Department Of Agricultural (USDA) Safe Minimum Cooking Temperatures Use this chart and a food thermometer to ensure that meat, poultry, seafood, and other cooked foods reach a safe minimum internal temperature.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. CDC 24/7: Saving Lives. Protecting People. Safely Prepare Your Holiday Meal Important cooking information to providing Safe food preparation information.

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Buttermilk Cornbread

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups yellow or white cornmeal
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
* 1 1/2 cups buttermilk
or
* 6 tablespoons dry cultured buttermilk mix
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
* optional 1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
If using dry buttermilk powder add 1 1/2 cups milk or water to make a thin batter.

Heat oven to 425°F.
Heat oil on stove top to near smoking temperature in a 10 inch or larger cast iron skillet.
In a large bowl, mix all dry ingredients with spoon until blended.
Beat eggs and add to milk or water, mix batter quickly. Don’t over work(mix) your batter.
Carefully pour batter into your very hot skillet. Transfer skillet to your preheated oven.
Bake at 425 degrees F for 25 to 30 minutes until golden brown.

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Broody Hen – What Do I Do Now?

Broody means that a hen wants to hatch her eggs and raise chickens. Broodiness is driven by several factors including genetics, hormone, instinct and lighting conditions.
Almost all breeds will go broody, including Buff Orpingtons, Cochins, Silkies and many of the Bantam breeds. Others are less likely to go broody.

If You Only Have Hens the eggs won’t be fertile and won’t hatch, so there is no point in letting the hen sit on those eggs. If you do want to hatch chicks under your broody hen, you may be able to get fertile eggs from someone in your area.

Let a Broody Hen Hatch Chicks
It is best to isolate your broody hen so she is not disturbed by the other chickens. It takes about 21 days for a hen to hatch eggs, and she will be sitting in a nest box for the majority of that time with few trips daily to get a drink, eat, and poop.

As the hatch date draws near, be sure to also have on hand some starter feed for the chicks. Starter feed contains more protein than layer feed and is formulated to help the baby chicks grow properly. Chick starter feed will be fine for the broody hen as well.

As the baby chicks start to hatch, check on them frequently (several times a day) to make sure they are doing okay. Her egg clutch was not laid in one day, so it may take 2 or 3 days for all her eggs to hatch.

Breaking” a Broody Hen
As soon as you notice that your hen has gone broody transfer her into a cage that is well lit and that has a wire mesh bottom. I use an old rabbit cage.
The floor of the cage should be several feet off the ground. The idea is to make the cage not feel very private, she will not have any nesting materials in this cage. Provide her with food and clean water. Within a few days, usually 3 or 4 days, she will cease to be broody, then you can return her to your flock of chickens. .

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Winterizing Your Hen House

Winterizing your chicken coop.
Keeping your chickens safe, dry and warm this winter will insure you have a steady supply of fresh eggs through the cold winter months.

Install a full daylight spectrum, 6500K color temperature CFL light bulb on a timer so your chickens get a full 15 or 16 hours a day lighting from artificial and sun light will keep your hens laying well year round.

The annual cost of operating a 150-Watt Equivalent Daylight (6500K) Spiral CFL Light Bulb 6 hours a day at $0.11 a kilowatt is about $9.50 a year and you can expect you bulb to last 4 to 5 years.Your cost to light your hen house will be about 80 cents a month.

Currently at my location sunset is about 7PM. To get 15 hours of lighting I wake my chickens by setting my time to turn the lights on at 4AM an off about 8:30AM. Every month or two I will adjust the timer as needed to keep 15-16 hours a day lighting in my hen house.

Look for and repair as need rodent damage, places where rats, mice or snakes can gain entry into your hen house.

Clean windows and vent screens to allow winter sun light in and vents to allow fresh air to circulate in your hen house. Chickens will spent a great deal more time in their house during cold, wet or snowy winter weather.

Insure that you have feeders located to keep feed clean, dry and away from rodents.
Fresh water is very important to the health of your flock.
You may want or need to invest in an elect powered heater to keep your chicken watering devices ice free this winter.

Carefully inspect and repair fencing as needed. As food becomes harder to find and catch, predators like raccoons, skunks, foxes, coyotes, stray dogs and cats will be looking to snatch a quick easy meal and your chickens will be high on their menu.

Remove old nesting materials, bedding from nest boxes. scrape sweep and remove old litter materials from hen house floor.

Put straw and old nesting materials on your garden as winter mulch on add it to your compost pile.

Wash hen house walls, floor, roost and nest boxes with a mild mixture of soap water and household bleach.
Mix bleach and soap water at a 1:5 mix rate. That being 1 part bleach to 5 parts warm soap water.
While not an exact 1:5 mix rate, to 1 cup bleach, add water to make 1 gallon of disinfectant wash water.
Keep chickens out of their house until walls, floor and nest boxes are dry.

Hint: There are a number of industrial and household disinfectants what work well. Be sure to follow ‘all’ mixing and usage instructions, warnings and caution statements. Wear eye protection and always wear rubber gloves when using any cleaning chemicals or disinfectants.

Fill nest boxes 1/4 to 1/3 full of new clean straw, grass hay or what ever is your choice of nesting material.
Spread 3 to 6 inches deep straw litter on hen house floor. This will help keep your hen house clean, dry and will also help keep your hen house a bit warmer than a house with a bare floor.

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Naked Chicken

Maybe this post should be Headed with ‘Where have All My Eggs Gone’.
As day light hours are reduced and temperatures drop many times your chickens will go into Molt cycle.

Molting is normal and all birds drop old feathers and grow new feathers every year. Molt is just more pronounced in some types of birds than others.

Molting is a natural process that chickens go through annually so they can replenish and replace their feathers. Chickens need to grow new feathers to allow them to effectively regulate their body temperature especially those in colder environments.

Chickens will molt several times during their lives. The first molt is called a “juvenile” molt and occurs when they are only 6 – 8 days old. During this molt, the baby chickens actually lose their downy covering to replace it with actual feathers. The second juvenile molt occurs for the male when he is about 8 -12 weeks old when his ornamental feathers will come in.

The first adult molt typically starts around 18 months of age and occurs in the late summer or early fall. This molt will last approximately 8 – 12 weeks. However, some chickens can spread the molting process out up to six months.

Adult chickens will either have a “soft” or “hard” molt.
With a “soft” molt, the bird loses it feathers slowly and it is hard to tell that they are molting. With a “hard” molt, the chicken dramatically loses it feathers and can appear rough-looking or naked.

The decrease of daylight coupled with the end of an egg-laying cycle is the most common trigger for molting. Physical stress, malnutrition, lack of water, extreme heat and non-typical lighting conditions can also trigger molting throughout the year.

Molting chickens cannot support both egg and feather production at the same time and this is why chickens either stop laying eggs all together or have a significant reduction. Once feather replacement has occurred, egg laying will begin again.

When your chickens are going through a molt, providing additional protein is beneficial.
Most commercial egg layer feeds are at around 16% protein. When your chickens are molting, you should increase protein feed supply, using a broiler feed, to provide around 20 – 25% protein may be helpful.

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Garden Success And Failures

Gardening season is ending and the often bewildering holiday season will be dominating our life for the next 2+ months. Fall colors and cool weather will give way to barren and snow covered landscapes and the cold weather of winter.

Now is a good time to look back and evaluate our gardening successes and failures. None of us want to admit that many of our garden failures, both flowering and vegetable were self inflicted.

We often ‘want’ and plant plants that we know or should know are not well suited to our climate and weather conditions. I know avocados will not survive in my climate, but that does not stop me from wanting them in my landscape. Sometimes my wants and desires override my Common Sense.
These failed crops and flowering plants are self inflicted.

Just because a seed package list a plant as being hardy in zone 7(my zone) does not mean it it suitable to withstand my high wind and dry summer heat. Many plants will bolt and produce seed heads. Die from drought stress, will not properly pollinate in the heat of summer. Some plants like an acid soil when I know my soil is mildly to highly alkaline.

Carefully evaluate what crop and just as important, what variety will grow and produce given your climate and weather conditions.

Ask local gardeners that successfully grow flowers and vegetables if you can collect a few seeds or maybe even do a bit of seed trading to improve your gardening success rate.

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America And Organic Labeling

Organic can mean different things to different people, so, I will use (USDA) United States Department of Agriculture’s definition for Organic farming and labeling products as Organic.

USDA said “organic” might appear as one more piece of information to decipher when shopping for foods. Understanding what “organic” really means can help shoppers make informed choices during their next visit to the supermarket or farmers’ market.

Produce can be called organic if it’s certified to have grown on soil that had no prohibited substances applied for three years prior to harvest. Prohibited substances include most synthetic fertilizers and pesticides.

Organic meat, regulations require that animals are raised in living conditions accommodating their natural behaviors (like the ability to graze on pasture), fed 100% organic feed and forage, and not administered antibiotics or hormones.

When it comes to processed, multi-ingredient foods, the USDA organic standards specify additional considerations.
Regulations prohibit organically processed foods from containing artificial preservatives, colors, or flavors and require that their ingredients are organic, with some minor exceptions.
For example, processed organic foods may contain some approved non-agricultural ingredients, like enzymes in yogurt, pectin in fruit jams, or baking soda in baked goods.

USDA labeling: “100 percent organic”

“100 percent organic” can be used to label any product that contains 100 percent organic ingredients (excluding salt and water, which are considered natural). Most raw, unprocessed farm products can be designated “100 percent organic.” Likewise, many value-added farm products that have no added ingredients—such as grain flours, rolled oats, etc. can also be labeled “100 percent organic.”

“Organic”

“Organic” can be used to label any product that contains a minimum of 95 percent organic ingredients (excluding salt and water). Up to 5 percent of the ingredients may be nonorganic agricultural products that are not commercially available as organic.

“Made with Organic ______” can be used to label a product that contains at least 70 percent organically produced ingredients (excluding salt and water). There are a number of detailed constraints regarding the ingredients that comprise the nonorganic portion.

Principal display panel: May state “made with organic (insert up to three ingredients or ingredient categories).” Must not include USDA organic seal anywhere, represent finished product as organic, or state “made with organic ingredients.”

Use Caution when shopping and buying organic foods at Farmers Markets. Sellers can and sometimes do sell produce as organic when in truth the produce may or may not truly be an organic product.

Exemptions & Exclusions
Producers who market less than $5,000 worth of organic products annually are not required to apply for organic certification. They must, however, comply with the organic production and handling requirements of the regulations, including recordkeeping (records must be kept for at least 3 years). The products from such noncertified operations cannot be used as organic ingredients in processed products produced by another operation; such noncertified products also are not allowed to display the USDA certified organic seal.

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GMO crops, Roundup(Glyphosate) usage in America

The uninformed/under informed and in some cases totally ignorant people that hate GMO crops, Glyphosate, Monsanto, Bayer, DOW, DuPont and other seed and pesticide producers are at it again.

Glyphosate has been used in the USA for more than 45 years.
Whether you want avoid GMO crops or crops sprayed with Glyphosate is a choice only you can make and I will not debate the pro’s and con’s of your decision.
Before making that decision educate yourself about just what it takes our farmers to feed more than 7 billion people. In 1970 before the introduction of Glyphosate and GMO crops the world population was about 3.5 billion people.

Hybrids, GMO crops and the introduction of herbicides and pesticides are the main reasons that crop yields have doubled and tripled without adding additional acreage to feed the world’s ever increasing population at a lower production cost.

Hybrid crops: The scientific basis for today’s amazing hybrid crops goes back more than 150 years. The first commercial seed corn company to take advantage of hybrid vigor was Pioneer Hi-Breds, founded in Des Moines, Iowa, in 1926.

Genetically modified crops: A 2014 meta-analysis concluded that GM technology adoption had reduced chemical pesticide use by 37%, increased crop yields by 22%.

There is a scientific consensus that currently available food derived from GM crops poses no greater risk to human health than conventional food, but each GM food needs to be tested on a case-by-case basis before being introduced into our food supply chain.

GMOs crops were approved for commercial use, in USA in 1996, their production has increased dramatically. More than 90% of all soybean, cotton and corn acreage in the USA is used to grow genetically engineered crops. Other popular and approved food crops include sugar beets, alfalfa, canola, papaya and summer squash. Recently, apples that don’t brown and bruise-free potatoes were also approved by the FDA.

The Truth About Glyphosate and its use in the production of wheat in the United States.

Wheat production occurs in the United States across 42 states, in a wide array of weather conditions. Wheat growers face many challenges to growing a quality crop that is sustainable and economically viable. Growers are faced with threats to the viability of the crop from many pests across these 42 states.
One of these pests is weeds.
Glyphosate is one product commonly used by wheat growers that is very effective at controlling grass weeds prior to planting or after wheat is harvested.

Glyphosate use is limited in the wheat industry, if even used at all in some wheat fields. In fact, for 2016, it was applied to 33 percent of wheat acres in the U.S., according to an independent consumer research firm, GfK.
Typically, glyphosate application in wheat occurs during fallow times when a growing, eventually harvestable wheat crop is not present.

Pre-harvest Glyphosate applications made after the wheat plant has shut down, when wheat kernel development is complete and the crop has matured.
This is prior to harvest and used to dry green weeds and allow the crop to even its maturity.
This is an uncommon treatment used in less than 3 percent of all wheat acres.

National Wheat Foundation – The truth about how Wheat growers use glyphosate.

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