Three Holiday Cooking Tips

The holidays are a time for families to gather and memories to be made. Here are a few tips that can help make this holiday season memorable.

  1. Deep Fry the Turkey – Carefully
    Deep fried turkey is a southern delicacy that has been adopted across the United States. If you’re going to deep-fry a turkey, know the rules!

Thaw the turkey properly. Read the directions that came with a store-bought turkey for proper thawing times and methods.
It can take anywhere from 2 to 6 days to thaw a turkey in the refrigerator (best method) based on the size of the turkey.
It can take anywhere from 4 to 12 hours to thaw a turkey in cold water.
Set the pan away from the house. DO NOT ATTEMPT INSIDE.
Pick the right size turkey. Big birds (more than fifteen pounds… and no yellow feathers) aren’t ideal for deep frying, and trying to put a turkey that large into boiling oil is a tricky proposition.
Don’t overfill the pot. Oil boiling at 450 degrees can cause some serious damage, including third degree burns and explosive fires.
Keep a fire extinguisher nearby that’s approved for grease fires.
Deep fried turkey is delicious, but it’s not worth a house-call from the fire department. Unless they’re just drawn in by the smell of a safely cooked, savory turkey.

  1. Use the right kitchen equipment
    If you are hosting a holiday party, know your limits in advance. An apartment kitchen just isn’t as efficient as a ranch house kitchen. Ask yourself these questions:

How many people that will be in the kitchen (either preparing items or sneaking bites while mom’s back is turned)?
How many of burners will be in use on the cooktop or range at the same time?
How many items need to go into the oven?
At what temperature(s)?
For how long?
How much food needs to be stored in the refrigerator?
How much counter space or table space is needed to prepare everything?
If you’re in tight quarters, you can still make a fulfilling family feast. Go for sides that can be prepared quickly or (even better) stored overnight and just reheated when it’s time.

If you have plenty of space, but are questioning the reliability of your decades-old appliances, shop the internet for money-saving rebates from appliance websites like goedekers.com.

  1. Aim for a fun day with loved ones
    Don’t try to make the perfect meal for everyone that will be descending on your dining room. Focus on the reason that you’re gathering, and spend time with the people who enrich your life. Some ways to cut holiday tension include preparing foods in advance, having kid-friendly activities ready, stock up on healthy pre-feast snacks (veggies and dip work well), and above all, smile.

Fill your holiday season with love and happiness and the rest will follow.

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