Solutions & Substitutions by Reena: Turkey Preparation Tips

By Reena Nerbas

Pot Lid On or Off?

Dear Reena,

Julia Child once said, “The lid should always be left “ajar” if potatoes are left in the pot after cooking”. Also, someone said that cabbage should be cooked without a lid on. Would you know why? By the way here are some of my own tips: Leftover cheese sauce is good in mashed potatoes, and grated cheese perks up potatoes. Bon appetite! Doris

Dear Doris,

While there is no one right way to cook potatoes or cabbage, here are a few hints that you may want to consider. For fluffier boiled potatoes, pour off all the water after they are boiled and cover the pot with a double thickness of paper towels, then cover with the saucepan lid. In ten minutes, steam will be absorbed by the towels and your potatoes will be dry and fluffy. The idea behind cooking potatoes with the lid left “ajar” is to cook the potatoes in less time (instead of no lid) without allowing the water to boil over. To cook cabbage, plunge the cabbage into a pot of boiling water, cover the pan only until the water returns to a boil. Remove the lid and let the cabbage cook gently until tender and still a vibrant color.

Leftover Salmon

Dear Reena,

I had company over last night and served ‘Teriyaki Salmon’ which I cooked in oven. I have one fillet leftover and wondered whether I can freeze it. Much thanks; love your column and read it regularly. Pearl

Dear Pearl,

You can freeze the fillet as long as it was not previously frozen but not for longer than six months. After that, you will notice a serious decline in quality. Fatty fish, such as salmon or trout, are best frozen for less than three months. All types of fish must be wrapped or packaged in airtight and moisture-vapor proof packaging such as freezable bags. Remove all air from packaging before sealing and over wrap with plastic wrap. Ensure that all packages are labelled with the date, weight and contents. When you thaw your frozen fish, do it gradually. Never in the microwave or room temperature! Let fish thaw in the fridge.

Ballpoint Ink in Dryer

Dear Reena,

My tenant put a ballpoint pen in my dryer and it has left blue skid marks all over the drum. We have tried a variety of solutions to no avail. Please tell me what to do? Thank you. Gwen

Dear Gwen,

It may take time to completely remove the stain but it will lessen over the next few months (especially if you use your dryer often). Soak one or two large rags with bleach and water. Run the dryer and allow the towels to dry inside. Clean with dish soap and water.

Cigarette Smoke Smell

Dear Reena,

I just bought a house and it smells like cigarette smoke. We took out the carpet, washed the walls and the smell is still there. Do you have any quick solutions to solve this problem? Thanks! Love your articles in the newspaper. Dominique

Dear Dominique,

Wash and paint the walls and rent (or purchase) an ozone machine. Use it according to the directions when you are not home. This little machine is what they use in smoke damaged buildings and hospitals. It is not a good idea to use often but you should only need it once.

Turkey Preparation Tips:

·      Loosen the skin of a turkey without damaging the skin. Poke the end of a small spoon between the breast meat and skin, starting at the open cavity of the turkey. Move the spoon over the breast to separate the skin from the meat; take care not to rip the skin. Do this on both sides of the breastbone. Place a spoonful of herbs, butter and spices under the skin, and press it out to distribute it evenly over the breast.

·      When stuffing a turkey, mix ingredients just before stuffing it; stuff loosely. Additional time is required for the turkey and stuffing to reach a safe minimum internal temperature. For safety and doneness, the internal temperature should be checked with a food thermometer. The temperature of the turkey and the center of the stuffing must reach a safe minimum internal temperature of 165 °F. Check the temperature in the innermost part of the thigh and wing and the thickest part of the breast. Let the turkey stand for 20 minutes before removing stuffing and carving.

Note: Every user assumes all risks of injury or damage resulting from the implementation of any suggestions in this column. Test all products on an inconspicuous area first.

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