Archive for the ‘poultry’ Category

Turkeys, Wild and Otherwise

November 25, 2014

Turkeys, Wild and Otherwise
There may or may not have been turkey at the first thanksgiving, but there will probably be one on your holiday table. Centuries before Columbus, the Aztecs domesticated wild turkeys, and Spanish conquerors took some birds home to Europe where they became popular, reaching England between 1524 and 1541. That means the New England “pilgrim” Puritans were as familiar with turkeys as their Wampanoag dinner guests, but neither would recognize the over-bred bird you bought this week.

A wild tom turkey usually weighs about 20 pounds and can fly for up to a mile with speed bursts up to 55 miles per hour. It’s dark-feathered, sly, slim, tall and long-legged, and can run like the devil through the brush. It can live up to 10 years if it doesn’t get an infection and can be found in any of the contiguous 48 states.

A domestic tom turkey can weigh up to 40 pounds, has white feathers, stumps around on short legs, and sports a huge breast. Most market turkeys come from Minnesota or North Carolina. A domestic turkey can’t fly or reproduce normally, is treated with antibiotics, and only lives for 2 or 3 months before it gets slaughtered for your dining pleasure. Happy Thanksgiving!

 More:

“Head To Head: Wild Vs. Supermarket Turkeys (Infographic),” World Science Festival

“Wild and domestic turkeys: birds of a different feather,” South Carolina Department of Natural Resources

“On This Thanksgiving, Celebrating The Wild Turkey,” Barbara J. King, NPR

Related:

“Look How Much Bigger Thanksgiving Turkeys Are Today Than in the 1930s,” Kiera Butler, Mother Jones 

“How Turkeys Got Broad, White Breasts,” Sara Bir, Modern Farmer

“How America’s Thanksgiving turkeys got so huge,” Svati Kirsten Narula, Quartz

“Benjamin Franklin praises the virtues of the turkey,” from a 1784 letter to his daughter via Lapham’s Quarterly

“Get to Know the Turkey Species You Don’t Eat,” Matt Somiak, Mental Floss

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Short link: http://wp.me/p6sb6-kgK

Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

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Turkey Carving Tips for Real Guys

November 24, 2014

Turkey Carving Tips for Real Guys
Oh no! Despite reading Turkey Torching Tips for Guys you have a great big, fully cooked, deep-fried Thanksgiving turkey on your hands. You examine it minutely and discover there’s no little red zip tab to open so you can take out slices. What now?

That’s some big old avian cadaver you got there, buddy. There’s only one manly way to divvy it up. That’s right: chainsaw.

Step 1: De-grease the chain and call the manufacturer to see if you can safely spray it with Pam or a similar food-grade lubricant. Use a clean bedsheet as a dropcloth to gather the “sawdust” for making turkey salad.

Step 2: Observe all chainsaw safety rules, including use of protective eyewear. Imagine having to answer the question “Hey, what happened to your eye?”

Step 3: Start ‘er up. Slice away. Man, that sounds great!

Step 4: Clean out your Shopvac; use it to remove pulverized turkey shreds from the bedsheet drop-cloth before sneaking the linen into the laundry hamper. This may save your marriage. Reserve meat shreds for turkey salad.

Step 5: Chow down, dude!

Remember: Clean the saw completely before using it to prepare the winter woodpile or those goofy lawn sculptures.

Disclaimer:The above is provided for amusement, not actual cooking. Chainsaws have been known to malfunction when used on small objects and/or soft matter. NotionsCapital is not responsible for interpretations by the humor-impaired, mentally challenged, or emotionally disturbed. If English is not your native tongue, please ignore this post. Yes, we are aware that people are injured while improperly using chainsaws, so keep it to yourself. Jeez, what a country.

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Short link: http://wp.me/p6sb6-kgi

Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

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Turkey Torching Tips for Guys

November 23, 2014

Turkey Torching Tips for Guys
The National Fire Protection Association claims “turkey fryers that use oil, as currently designed, are not suitable for acceptably safe use by even a well-informed and careful consumer.” Wimps! Thursday is Thanksgiving, when we give thanks for college football and a four-day weekend. That’s when Real American Men generate Code Orange air quality by incinerating poultry on the patio. Yeah, buddy!

Any pantywaist can cook on those SUV-sized natural gas, propane, electric, or gelignite-powered barbecue grills with all those fancy features (good subwoofers can help spread sauce evenly, though). Nah, let’s get ready to deep-fry us some turkey. Here’s how:

1. Put Fire Department on Speed-Dial. Keep your cell phone in your welding apron pocket. It is unwise to enter a flaming residence to use the telephone.

2. Purchase more equipment. You can never have enough Real Guy outdoor cooking gear. Buy some new stuff at Home Depot first. Forget about those electronic gizmos from Leading Edge, you can never read their LCD screens outdoors anyway. Williams-Sonoma? Isn’t that the California wine the wife likes?

3. Don’t forget the turkey. It should be big enough to bother messing with. Double-check to make sure you are not buying a goat or lamb.

4. Check interior compartment of poultry (note: light does not go on automatically; use your Maglite). Any paper-wrapped parcels inside will not contain Surprise Creme Filling. Remove; give to wife or cat. If the bird is frozen, use your Benz-0-Matic torch judiciously or the meat will be dry. At this point you may marinate the turkey in any fluid mixture as long as it contains beer.

5. Equipment check list. This will vary but should definitely include safety equipment (welding apron, Kevlar™ gloves, safety glasses, fire extinguisher, cell phone, well-stocked beer cooler or full beer keg with ice), fire ignition tools (lighting chimney, matches, butane torch,  highway flares, flamethrower, etc.), food manipulating tools (tongs, skewers, forks, knives, pneumatic jack), cooking implements (meat thermometer, meat hygrometer, count-down timer, 55-gallon deep-fry container, perforated deep-fry container insert with turkey stand and handle, caulking gun for stuffing insertion, brushes, sprayguns, and hypodermic needles for applying sauce, tattoo gun for decorations, crane), deep-fry medium (vegetable oil is better than animal fat; Marvel Mystery Oil is not recommended), sauces, rubs, marinades, condiments, spices, and essential vegetables (potato salad, cole slaw, ketchup). Anything missing? See Step #2. Got everything? Cheers! Begin beer consumption.

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Backyard Chickens Spread Salmonella

September 29, 2014

Backyard Chickens Spread Salmonella

Backyard chickens rule the roost at local regulation hearings, and designer coops and exotic chickens are the new status symbols. The media and Web may abound with pictures of cute kids cuddling hens, but pet family fowls are not an unmixed blessing:

“As of September 23, 2014, a total of 344 persons infected with the outbreak strains of Salmonella Infantis, Salmonella Newport, or Salmonella Hadar have been reported from 42 states and Puerto Rico.

31% of ill persons have been hospitalized, and no deaths have been reported.

Epidemiologic, laboratory, and traceback findings have linked this outbreak of human Salmonella infections to contact with chicks, ducklings, and other live poultry from Mt. Healthy Hatcheries in Ohio.

78% of ill people reported contact with live poultry in the week before their illness began.”

— “Multistate Outbreak of Human Salmonella Infections Linked to Live Poultry in Backyard Flocks,” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

More:

“Backyard Chickens: Cute, Trendy Spreaders Of Salmonella,” Nancy Shute, NPR

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Short link: http://wp.me/p6sb6-jZa

Image from the National Nursery Book

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

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Serve the People! KFC in China.

March 31, 2014

Serve the People! KFC in China.

KFC’s China division is adding 15 new items to menus at the country’s 4,600 restaurants. Let a thousand chickens bloom! The new grub will be promoted by Chinese celebrities Chen Kun and Kē Zhèndōng. What’s the “K” in “KFC” stand for again, Kaiping?

KFC China is also rolling out a new mobile app and updated employee uniforms. Skeptics say it’s all meant to distract attention from last year’s Avian Flu and food safety scares.

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Turkey Carving Tips for Real Guys

November 26, 2013

Turkey Carving Tips for Real Guys
Oh no! Despite reading Turkey Torching Tips for Guys you have a great big, fully cooked, deep-fried Thanksgiving turkey on your hands. You examine it minutely and discover there’s no little red zip tab to open so you can take out slices. What now?

That’s some big old avian cadaver you got there, buddy. There’s only one manly way to divvy it up. That’s right: chainsaw.

(more…)

Turkey Torching Tips for Guys

November 22, 2013

Turkey Torching Tips for Guys

The National Fire Protection Association claims “turkey fryers that use oil, as currently designed, are not suitable for acceptably safe use by even a well-informed and careful consumer.” Wimps! Next Thursday is Thanksgiving, when we give thanks for college football and a four-day weekend. That’s when Real American Men generate Code Orange air quality by incinerating poultry on the patio. Yeah, buddy!

Any pantywaist can cook on those SUV-sized natural gas, propane, electric, or gelignite-powered barbecue grills with all those fancy features (good subwoofers can help spread sauce evenly, though). Nah, let’s get ready to deep-fry us some turkey. Here’s how:

1. Put Fire Department on Speed-Dial. Keep your cell phone in your welding apron pocket. It is unwise to enter a flaming residence to use the telephone.

2. Purchase more equipment. You can never have enough Real Guy outdoor cooking gear. Buy some new stuff at Home Depot first. Forget about those electronic gizmos from Leading Edge, you can never read their LCD screens outdoors anyway. Williams-Sonoma? Isn’t that the California wine the wife likes?

3. Don’t forget the turkey. It should be big enough to bother messing with. Double-check to make sure you are not buying a goat or lamb.

4. Check interior compartment of poultry (note: light does not go on automatically; use your Maglite). Any paper-wrapped parcels inside will not contain Surprise Creme Filling. Remove; give to wife or cat. If the bird is frozen, use your Benz-0-Matic torch judiciously or the meat will be dry. At this point you may marinate the turkey in any fluid mixture as long as it contains beer.

(more…)

KFC Cancels Syria’s Order

November 8, 2013

KFC Cancels Syria's Order

“In 2006, Kentucky Fried Chicken opened Syria’s first American restaurant in Damascus. The franchise weathered more than two and a half years of war, but this month, it became one of the last foreign businesses in the country to close its doors.”

 — Adam Heffez, “What KFC’s Exit From Syria Says About the Country’s Horrifying Food Crisis,” The Atlantic

___________________

Short link: http://wp.me/p6sb6-hJm

Image (“Arabian Delights, after Ludwig Deutsch”) by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

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Urban Eggs

January 8, 2013

Urban Eggs

Backyard Chickens are the new status symbol in hipster neighborhoods and upscale suburbs, a way to have pretty feathered pets and go green with local, fresh organic eggs. What’s not to like? Okay, aside from the noise and the odors and the expense and the cats and the authorities and the parasites and the thieves and  Avian Flu?

Plenty.

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Japan’s Jolly Old Elf: Colonel Sanders

December 24, 2012

Japan’s Jolly Old Elf: Colonel Sanders

When Christmas comes to Japan, thoughts turn to that jolly old man, Harland Sanders. America’s Kentucky Fried Chicken came to the Land of the Rising Sun in 1970, and homesick expat Yanks soon began gobbling the deep-fried fowl for the holidays. Japanese folks give Yuletide luxury gifts to their sweeties, and many have adopted this exotic Christmas culinary custom, too. Those who can afford it, that is. A KFC Christmas Barrel costs about US$40.

So クリスマス用のケンタッキー  (Kurisumasu ni wa kentakkii! “Kentucky for Christmas!”) and to all a good night.

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