If you are like us, you like turkey leftovers more than you like Thanksgiving dinner, but don’t have a ton of creative ideas for turkey and stuffing.
Consumer Reports recommends that consumers try new, safer electric turkey fryers this Thanksgiving. Propane powered fryers have this nasty habit of setting themselves on fire—a feature that tends to annoy Consumer Reports, the fire department and the burn unit at your local hospital.
A turkey fryer has never really sounded like a safe way to cook—there’s just something inherently stupid about the act of dropping a dead bird the size of a basketball into a vat of boiling oil, no matter how tasty the outcome. According to TheStreet.com, “Turkey fryers are a known cause of many fires, so much so that the National Fire Protection Association advises against their use.” TheStreet test-drives an alternative, the $129 Char-Broil Big Easy oil-less fryer, which Char-Broil describes as “Just like a turkey fryer, minus the boiling, hot oil and visits from your local firefighters.” According to TheStreet, it doesn’t leave the skin as crispy as a real fryer would, but otherwise works great.
Mary Clingman, the director of Butterball’s help line, gave Newsday some advice on finding a good roasting pan for your Thanksgiving dinner. Her advice: get a shallow pan 2 to 2 1/2 inches deep that’s large enough to place a rack inside to sit the turkey on. You can buy a new, reusable one at a restaurant supply store or Sur La Table for between $35 and $200, but the next best thing is a cheap disposable aluminum one from the supermarket: “Place four-five whole carrots on the bottom and rest the turkey on them. Put a cookie sheet underneath the foil pan for extra support.”
In the grand scheme of things to watch out for—heavy metals, date rape drugs, foreclosure—a jar of less-than-potent nutmeg might not seem like such a big deal. But most ground spices lose their potency after only six months, which means households all across the country are about to enter the most spice-centric time of the year with expired spices. Spice seller McCormick now offers a handy spice-dating service via its website, which is how one highly excitable reader discovered that her local supermarket was selling stuff that was 5 years old.
The worst part of cutting your expenses is also the worst part of going on a diet. Boredom. Not being able to do exactly what you want, when you want to do it is boring. “Grown up,” but boring.
Nope. It sure isn’t, but Trent at the Simple Dollar makes a good case for why you should just make yourself a cheeseburger. He went to McDonald’s, bought a cheeseburger and then tried to replicate it at home for the same amount of money. (He used real tomato instead of ketchup, however.)
Some dumbass didn’t tighten the cap on the Coke? It’s no big deal. Apparently, Coke is as acidic as lemon juice or vinegar, making it a good (albeit probably not very healthy) product to cook with, according to the South Carolina newspaper The State.
Cast iron cookware is not only indestructible, it’s amazing! It may look all worn out, but even the most neglected cast iron can be restored to its former glory with a little TLC.
If you, like us, watch the Food Network, you’ll no doubt have noticed all the nifty gadgets and high-end cookware the star chefs are using. It’s pretty, and we’re sure it sells well after Bobby Flay chops his omnipresent mango chutney next to it, but do you really need all those copper pots and $100 knives? Nope. Hooray! According to Mark Bittman, you can equip a kitchen for $200, and nicely equip one for $300. That’s less than we paid for a semester’s worth of text books in college. (Goddamn you, Art History degree.) So what did Mark buy?
Whew! What a relief. No more cooking with the 2000 Chateau Lafite-Rothschild for us! — MARK ASHLEY
If your mom cooked everything in a crock-pot and as a result the idea of slow cooked food gives you nightmares, you’re excused from this post. Go make something on your George Foreman grill.
A turducken, in case you don’t know, is a turkey stuffed with a duck, stuffed with a chicken. We know. Fantastic idea. Anyway, turducken is the stuff of legends, so we thought we’d try to help the dream become reality with a few links to some turducken HOWTO action. Thanksgiving isn’t until tomorrow! There’s still time for turducken! —MEGHANN MARCO