Food for Thought: Mmm … beer-soaked turkey

Staff Writer
Mount Shasta Herald

A turkey farmer in New Hampshire has a quirky annual Thanksgiving tradition: He feeds his turkeys beer to “keep the birds moist” for turkey day, according to wbztv.com. The farmer this year fed his 300 turkeys a “modest amount” of Coors beer. If you want to get a taste of a “beer turkey,” you’re out of luck unless you’ll be in New England: The birds were sold to Anthony’s Pier 4 in Boston.

Easy Recipe: Quick Microwave Cranberry Relish

1 (12-ounce) bag cranberries

1 to 1 1/2 cups sugar

1/4 cup water

Zest of 1 orange

1 orange, peeled and cut into 1 inch chunks

Pick over berries and remove the mushy ones. Place cranberries in colander and wash under cold running water. Allow to drain for a few minutes. In a large bowl, combine cranberries, sugar, water, orange and zest. Cover with plastic wrap and punch a few holes. Microwave on high for 5 minutes. Stir well and microwave for an additional 10 minutes. There should be some broken berries and some should remain whole surrounded by liquid. All of the sugar should have dissolved and the liquid should be slightly thick. If not, return it to the oven and cook 5 minutes longer. The relish will set as it cools. Transfer to a decorative jar or relish dish and chill. Makes 3 cups. — University of Illinois Extension

Wise to the Word: Giblets

Giblets are the edible offal (entrails and internal organs) of a fowl, typically including the heart, gizzard, liver and other visceral organs. The term is culinary usage only; zoologists do not refer to the "giblets" of a bird. -– Wikipedia.org

Quote of Note

"There's just a growing scientific consensus that current levels of salt in the diet are one of the biggest health threats to the public."

Michael Jacobson of the Center for Science in the Public Interest, a group trying to get the FDA to require food makers to cut back on sodium use in their goods, The Associated Press reported. Americans eat nearly 2 teaspoons of salt per day, more than double the recommended amount –- and it’s mainly because of pre-salted foods.

Number to Know: $25,000

Cost for a dessert from a Manhattan restaurant that was shut down because of a mice and cockroach infestation, Reuters reported. The dessert -- "Frrozen Haute Chocolate," a blend of 28 cocoas fused with 0.2 ounces of edible 23-karat gold -– was rolled out a week before the eatery was ordered closed for failing its second consecutive inspection.

Critics Cupboard: Original Movie Theater Popcorn

Spatula down: The tall bag and dynamic graphic certainly is a head-turner, but the plain and simple truth is this: This popcorn doesn’t taste like movie theater popcorn. As popcorn goes, it’s pretty tasty. Nice and buttery, not too salty. But it’s definitely not the intensely aromatic and flavorful popcorn you get at the cinema. -- Jennifer Mastroianni

Spatula down: My first job was selling concessions at a theater. We poured bags of prepopped popcorn into a warmer so it would look fresh-popped. Each night, we’d pour the unnaturally yellow leftover “butter” into containers to solidify, then the next day we’d remelt it. Since then, I’ve never added butter, faux or real, to popcorn. This popcorn didn’t change my mind. The aroma wasn’t as “theatery” as I expected, and the buttery flavor, while pleasant, didn’t justify the high calorie count. The clincher -- the ridiculous price. -- Saimi Bergmann

Eat Like a Celebrity

Celebrity chef Phillip Andriano has some tips on how to eat during the holidays:

- At a restaurant

Eat as much salad as you like, with a moderate amount of dressing.

If you are offered a bread basket, you can always politely decline.

Choose a protein like chicken, fish, beef or with a side of steamed vegetables.

Try to avoid potatoes, peas, carrots and corn as a side as they contain more sugar than other veggies.

Order fresh fruit for dessert.

- At home – it’s all about portions

Protein: Should be the size and thickness of your palm.

Veggies: Must fit into both hands if they were cupped together.

Starchy veggies: Must fit into one hand.

Fats: Oil and butter should be the size of the tip of your thumb.

Beer Tips

Looking to read more about beer? Log on to the GateHouse writer Norman Miller’s new Beer Nut blog, which is updated every weekday at http://blogs.townonline.com/beernut/. Have questions, comments? Post them on the blog, and the Beer Nut will be sure to get back to you.

GateHouse News Service