Wednesday,December 14th, 2011 westerntelegraph.co.uk
Countdowntoturkey ecstasy... Successful festive lunch without going overboard, with all the timings
VERYBODY’S talkingturkey at this time of year, but it wasn’talwaysthe case that the plump bird occupied centrestage at meal time.It
long agothat agoose graced the table of the well-off, while the poorer of societywouldmakedowith acapon – if theywerelucky. It was onlywhen we discoveredthe NewWorld that the new
birdonthe chopping block came along to set us drooling, and our friend the turkey became the annual must have dinner item. Getting the basics right is crucial, and that starts with
de-frosting from frozen right through to correct basting throughout the cooking process. But don’tworry.We’ve worked out all the timings foryour Christmas dinner,sosimplyfollowour guide and get the kids lined up to do the washing up.Th
ey’ll be dealing with clean plates anyway, if the meal’sasgood as youplan to makeit.
As earlyaspossible • Order fresh turkey – organic and free-range,maybe? – to be delivered on Christmas Eve, or takeyour pick of the frozen turkeysinthe supermarket beforethe best aregone.
The weekbefore Christmas • Check if anyofyour guests arevegetarian or have other dietaryneeds, and get in an alternativetothe turkey. • If there’sany space in your freezer,fill it with half-baked rolls to warm up on the day.
Oneortwo daysbefore • Startthawing the turkey if frozen.Youmust do it properlyto avoid food poisoning. • Buy vegetables and makesureyou have enough pans to cook them all in.
• If youmakeyour owncranberry sauce,this is the time to do it – or giveinand get ajar... • Check out stuffing recipes. Some need chestnuts, which may need to be soaked beforepreparation.
Christmas Eve • Peel vegetables and leave them in cold water overnight. It will minimise the hassle in the morning so youcan enjoywatching the kids unwrapping their presents.An
d unwrapping your own, of course. • Stuff the turkey at the neck end and put it in the fridge.Work out howlong the cooking will take – see our guide below.
Christmas Day morning,early • Put the turkey in. It will need basting every45minutes, unless youlikeshoe-leather on your plate.It
’salso agood idea to wrap the drumsticks in tin foil.
40 minutes before • Put on the potatoes and parsnips. Open the wine.Sa
mple it... • Cook anystuffing left over.Put cranberry sauce in adish and put starters on the plates.
20 minutes before • Heat the bread sauce.Pour yourself aglass of wine.Ortwo.
10 minutesbefore • Put the turkey on awarmed serving plate and leave it to stand beforeyou carve it. Dish everything out. • Enjoyyour dinner – youdeserve it!
Frozenturkeys -the rules To defrost:
Defrost it in abag in acool room. Remove the bag and giblets. Once it’sthoroughly thawed, coverand storeinthe fridge,and cook as soon as possible.Do
not re-freeze once thawed. To roast: This is arough guide,because different cookers vary: Weight: 5lb (2.25kg).Thawing time: 15 hours. Cooking time: 1and three-quarter hours to 2hrs. Weight: 10lb (4.5kg).Thawing time: 20 hours. Cooking: 3and aquarter to 3and three-quarter hours. Weight: 15lb (6.75lb).Thawing: 20 hours. Cooking: 4and ahalf to 5hrs. Weight: 20lb (9kg).Thawing: 30 hrs. Cooking: 5and ahalf to 6and ahalf hrs.
Cooking aturkey Weigh the birdafter stuffing the breast to calculate the cooking time,tobeready10 minutes beforecarving. Place in aroasting tin and coverwith buttered foil. Place in apre-heated oven at 190C/375F/Gas Mark 5for the calculated cooking time. Baste every45minutes and remove the foil forthe last 40 minutes to brown.
This ‘local’ gift is areal blast!
WE all seek something special foraChristmas gift.Th
is year,thereisjust the thing for Pembrokeshirefolk with ataste forgood music and adesiretosupportlocal initiative. Goodwick Brass Band’syouthful players have produced abrilliant CD featuring some delightful popular tunes and delivered with all the consummate skills that have brought them many competition successes in recent years. What makes this different from the vast range of CDs
THE PERFECT MUSICAL GIFT Goodwick BrassBand’s
centenary celebration CD!
Favouritehit tunes played by Pembrokeshire’s youthful,home-growntalent.
Agreatgift bringinghours of enjoyment. Only £10fromPost OfficesatFishguard, Goodwick andStDavid’s,Castle
Photography Haverfordwest,AwenTeifi Cardigan,YrHen Emporium Cardigan, Square andCompassFillingStation.
Or call 01348 874228
available formusic-lovers is the fact that the superb sounds areproduced by the home-growntalent assembled by musical director MatthewJenkins, who took PembrokeshireCounty Youth Brass Band to the finals of the National Festival of Youth Music this year. Youcannot fail to be impressed and entertained by the
terrific programme of music on the 14-track CD which features great movie themes plus Manilowand Sedaka hits and Bach’sstirring Toccata in DMinor as well as traditional band favourites. Enquiries call 01348 874228.
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