Showing posts with label Turkey. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Turkey. Show all posts

Nov 27, 2015

Turkey Terms

A few common labels and what they actually mean, which is not much. I hope you are enjoying the leftovers from your premium, young, fresh, free range turkey, with no hormones added.

  • Young: Most commercial turkeys are killed at 16 to 18 weeks, so this is mostly meaningless. The USDA does not define “young” for turkeys and only requires the label of “mature” or “yearling” for turkeys that lived more than a year.
  • Fresh: This means the turkey was never frozen.
  • No Hormones Added: Mostly meaningless as commercial turkeys, and other poultry are not given growth hormones, per USDA rules.
  • Premium: Meaningless as premium has no USDA definition.
  • Free range: Often misleading, as it means the animal was given “access to the outdoors.” In most cases, the animal is still raised in standard, crowded cages.

Nov 20, 2015

Whats in a Name

A 16-week-old turkey is called a fryer. A five to seven month old turkey is called a young roaster. A group of turkeys is technically called a “rafter”, though they are often incorrectly referred to as a “gobble” or a “flock.”

Turkeys and Bowling

Late eighteenth and early nineteenth century prizes given out during bowling tournaments were often food items, such as a basket filled with various grocery items, a large ham, etc. Around Thanksgiving in the United States, turkeys became common prizes. At some point, one tournament decided to give away a turkey to people who managed to bowl three strikes in a row. This practice spread and eventually embedded itself in common bowling vernacular, long after giving away actual turkeys stopped.

Back then, bowling three strikes in a row was extremely difficult to do, because they did not have the beautiful lanes we have now. Also, bowling pins were setup by hand and not always uniform, bowling balls were not well balanced, and people running the tournaments would often use tricks to make the pins more difficult to knock down.

Because it is more common to hit three strikes or more in a row today, new names have been developed. Six consecutive strikes is a Wild Turkey and nine consecutive strikes is a Golden Turkey.

May 15, 2015

Black, Green, White, OOlong Teas

Both black and green tea is harvested from an evergreen, tree-like shrub known as camellia sinensis. Most likely originating in China, the camellia sinensis is thought to have first been used to brew a medicinal drink during the Shang Dynasty (1600 BC to 1046 BC). By the third century BC, it had become a relatively popular drink using only the leaves from this plant, rather than mixed with other things as was common when used medicinally.

Leaves that are going to be used for black tea are allowed to ferment, or oxidize, completely. The general process is to roll, tear, or crush the leaves to help the oxidation process (similar to why the inside of an apple turns brown when exposed to air). The leaves are then dried out, sometimes in the sun or using machines. As the leaves oxidize, they gradually turn from green to black.

Manufacturers create green tea by picking the leaves off the plant and then heating them immediately. This is commonly done by pan firing the leaves or steaming them. Heat stops the leaves from oxidizing and allows them to maintain their green color.

Oolong tea is initially generally processed in the same way as black tea, but is not allowed to oxidize for as long. Once the desired oxidation level has been reached, which varies by type and manufacturer (some oolong tea is closer to green tea, while others are closer to black), the leaves are fired similar to green tea to stop the oxidation process at that point.

White tea is made by picking the leaves and buds early in the year while the bud is still closed. The leaves may be placed out to dry in the sun or mechanically, and minimizing oxidation.

Highest tea consumption per person per year, as of 2014:
1 Turkey 6.87 kg (242 oz)
2 Morocco 4.34 kg (153 oz)
3 Ireland 3.22 kg (114 oz)
4 Mauritania (Africa) 3.22 kg (114 oz)
5 United Kingdom 2.74 kg (97 oz).

A cup of tea is generally six ounces.

Nov 28, 2014

Twelve Turkey Facts

Here are a few tidbits to digest along with your turkey leftovers. Turkeys have been roaming North and South America for over 10-million years.

Over short flights, a wild turkey can top out at about 55 miles per hour (89 km/h). Domestic turkeys cannot fly because they are too heavy.

The largest turkey on record weighed 86 pounds.

Turkeys (and many birds) ingest small stones that go into a part of their stomachs called the gizzard, which helps the turkey break down food. This process is necessary because turkeys, like all birds, don't have teeth.

Turkeys have two stomachs: the glandular stomach that softens the food with gastric juices and the gizzard that grinds it up for the intestines or the first stomach, if needed.

The feces of male turkeys are J-shaped, and also straighter and larger than a female's, which look more spiral shaped.

There is a festival honoring turkeys, the Eldon, Missouri Turkey Festival which is held each October. It includes a turkey egg toss, turkey calling seminars and a 5-K turkey trot.

Wild turkeys prefer to sleep in trees, because their eyesight is so poor.

The tops of male turkeys are not only colorful, but highly variable. Males normally have almost no feathers on their heads, but when it comes time to breed, the colors can change between red, white, and blue.

Male turkeys gobble, female turkeys do not gobble, they make a clicking noise.

Mature turkeys have about 3,500 feathers at maturity.

The red bumps on a turkey's head are called caruncles.

Apr 25, 2014

ANZAC Day

ANZAC Day is the solemn day of remembrance of those Australian and New Zealand Army Corps soldiers who fought and died at Gallipoli in 1915. It is also a day of remembrance for all soldiers who died while fighting for their country.

On 25 April 1915, eight months into the First World War, Allied soldiers landed on the shores of the Gallipoli peninsula. The troops were there as part of a plan to open the Dardanelles Strait to the Allied fleets and force a Turkish surrender. The Allied forces encountered unexpectedly strong resistance from the Turks, and both sides suffered enormous loss of life. The forces from New Zealand and Australia, fighting as part of the ANZAC (Australian and New Zealand Army Corps), played an important part in the Gallipoli campaign.

The day is marked with parades, tributes, and playing Reveille and The Last Post (now used in British Ceremonies and funerals).

Apr 4, 2014

Eight More Egg Facts

We all know dinosaurs laid eggs. Ostriches and turkeys also lay eggs, but the ones we eat most often are chicken eggs.
Eggs take about 24 to 26 hours to form inside a hen.
An average hen can lay 250 to 270 eggs per year.
In China, approximately 390 billion eggs are produced a year, while the US produces about 75 billion eggs a year.
An egg shell is made of calcium carbonate and makes up 9-12 percent of an egg's total weight. It contains pores that allow oxygen in and carbon dioxide and moisture out.
The blood sometimes seen in an egg comes from the rupture of small blood vessels in the yolk. It does not indicate the egg is unsafe to eat.
An average person on Earth consumes 173 eggs a year (less than one chicken lays).
The world record for eating hard-boiled eggs is 65 in 6min 40sec, by Sonya Thomas in 2003. She would have eaten more but they ran out of eggs.
Here is the big answer to the big question of which came first, the chicken or the egg. The egg came first, because dinosaurs laid eggs before chickens evolved.

Nov 26, 2011

Bacon Turkey

In case you missed it, here is a nice pic to make your mouth water all over again. 

Also, warm up your leftover turkey in the oven with a few strips of bacon draped on top. It enhances the flavor. Partially cook the bacon first, so you do not overheat the leftover turkey.

Update - Bud sent this along to one-up me -  Bacon covered Turducken, chicken stuffed in duck stuffed in a 15 lb. turkey, all nicely packaged in pork bacon. The bacon isn't just on the outside. The chicken pieces were wrapped in it then the duck was bundled in bacon, and then the turkey was lovingly covered in more bacon, resulting in a total of five pounds of the porcine product. Mmmm!

Nov 18, 2011

Thanksgiving

Don't forget next week is Thanksgiving. Happy Thanksgiving to all.

PS - Here is a site for bacon wrapped turkey recipe.  LINK  Also, I read where some folks are beginning to add bacon and sausage to the stuffing for Turducken. Mmmm!

Dec 14, 2010

Saint Nikolas and Santa Claus

Though they have similar outfits, Nikolaus is not to be confused with Santa Claus, who Germans call the Weihnachtsmann, or Father Christmas. They are two different people. In fact, many religious families try to focus more on Nikolaus earlier in December to insure that Christmas is actually about Jesus’ birth, and not presents from an Americanized and commercialized Santa.

Each year on December 6, Germans remember the death of Nikolas of Myra (now part of modern Turkey), who died on that day in 346. He was a Greek Christian bishop known for miracles and giving gifts secretly, and is now the patron saint of little children, sailors, merchants and students. Known as Nikolas the Wonderworker for his miracles, he is also identified with Santa Claus. Beliefs and traditions about Nikolaus were probably combined with German mythology, particularly regarding stories about the bearded pagan god Odin, who also had a beard and a bag to capture naughty children.

The custom of leaving shoes out began because the historical St. Nicholas had a reputation for leaving secret gifts, such as coins, in people’s shoes overnight. Kids traditionally put out their boots, though shoes or stockings will suffice for those without boots. Dirty boots are unacceptable. Children polish their boots to show they’ve been good. They usually place just one boot outside their door so they don’t appear too greedy.

Nov 19, 2010

Turkey Facts

Here are some interesting Turkey tidbits as we approach Thanksgiving.

Turkeys can fly for short bursts at up to 55 mph. However, domestic turkeys are usually too fat to fly.

Turkey eggs are not usually sold for eating because farmers have learned that they make more raising turkeys for meat rather than eggs.

It's not the turkey that makes you sleepy. Although turkey contains a natural chemical called tryptophan, and  tryptophan is related to the production of serotonin, which helps us sleep. All meat has about the same amount of tryptophan. What really makes you sleepier after a Thanksgiving meal compared to other meals is eating too many carbohydrates, from potatoes to pies. Alcohol can contribute, too.

The wishbone, called a furcula, is the fusion of two collarbones at the sternum. It's where a turkey’s flying muscles hook up and is very elastic and great for flapping.

Nov 12, 2010

Two Turkey Myths

Some things to think about as we approach the great Turkey Day.
MYTH No. 1: The turkey is cooked when the juices run clear or when the leg pulls away from the bone.

FACT: Color is not an indicator of safety or doneness. Turkey juices do change from raw-meat pink to a clear color as the bird cooks, but that doesn't equate with safe eating because color doesn't show the temperature that the salmonella or campylobacter are killed (165 degrees).

MYTH No. 2: You should cool your turkey to room temperature for a while before putting it in the refrigerator.

FACT: Decades ago, when people plopped a hot turkey into the refrigerator, the heat would overload the system and lead to spoiled milk, but refrigerators today are now built to keep the temperature constant. The safest thing to do is get the leftover meat in the fridge within two hours of removing it from the oven.