Turkey gets a bad rap for causing the post Thanksgiving meal nap. Give the poor bird a break!
Tryptophan is an amino acid in turkey and many other foods. The body uses it to make serotonin, which triggers happy and calm feelings, and is a precursor to melatonin, which controls wake/sleep cycles. But there’s not a lot of tryptophan in turkey to impact melatonin.
What is it then? It’s how much food you eat. We tend to overeat at the holidays which includes high carbohydrate foods, then include energy spent interacting with guests, extra time cooking and more. So, the reason to take a nap can be due to many reasons. Give the turkey a break!
Source: Tufts Health & Nutrition, Nov. 2019
The cooking time is determined by the weight of one bird—not the combined weight. Use the weight of the smaller bird to determine cooking time. Use a food thermometer to check the internal temperature of the smaller bird first and then check the second bird. A whole turkey is safe when cooked to a minimum internal temperature of 165 °F as measured with a food thermometer. Check the internal temperature in the innermost part of the thigh and wing and the thickest part of the breast. When cooking two turkeys at the same time make sure there is enough oven space for proper heat circulation.
Whether it is a simple meal for two, or a large gathering with a buffet, food safety is a priority at any meal, and especially at the holidays. Nobody wants the gift of foodborne illness!
Are you the host for the holiday meal? Reduce your stress by starting a list now to plan the location, food and recipes, activities and games, and what your guests could bring. Put it in a timeline or on a calendar to stay on schedule.
Are you buying a fresh or frozen turkey? If you choose fresh, be sure to place an order with your grocer or butcher shop and pick it up 1-2 days before the meal. Frozen turkeys can be purchased any time and stored in the freezer. Pay attention to grocery sales to save some money.
Frozen turkeys are best thawed in the refrigerator or in cold water. In the refrigerator, plan on at least five days for a 20 pound turkey. In cold water, allow about 30 minutes per pound of turkey.
Do you only have one oven? Use a slow cooker for hot dishes. A table top roaster oven can be used like a regular oven for many items. Even electric pressure cookers can cook up some tasty dishes! Some items, such as dessert or bread can be made ahead and frozen.
When cooking the turkey, remember that 325 degrees F is the lowest oven temperature to safely cook turkey. Use a food thermometer to be sure it reaches a minimum internal temperature of 165 degrees F.
Learn more at www.ksre.k-state.edu/foodsafety/topics/holiday.html
Thanksgiving remains the “Super Bowl” of home cooking. The Partnership for Food Safety Education supports people in making the holiday meal and its leftovers delicious and safe. This webinar will discuss the importance of handwashing and good hygiene in the kitchen. Marianne Gravely, an expert from the USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline, will cover confusion expressed by consumers about the main part of the meal — the holiday turkey — and simple guidance to alleviate confusion and anxiety. Other topics will include side dishes and recipes with safe handling instructions built in, and convenience foods and take-out items as enhancements to home preparation of meal components. The webinar will conclude with proper handling and storage of holiday meal leftovers as well as reheating basics to cover with consumers.
Tue, Oct 30, 2018 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM CDT
Register at: https://bit.ly/2y9KoBU
The holiday season is almost here! From Thanksgiving through New Year’s Day, many events will happen to gather friends and family.
Keep food safety in mind when preparing, serving and wrapping up the tasty meal. Many tips can be found at www.ksre.k-state.edu/foodsafety/topics/holiday.html.
Food pantry donations also increase during the holidays. Give safe food to help those in need have a safe holiday. Learn more at www.bookstore.ksre.k-state.edu/pubs/MF3352.pdf.