Thursday, December 18, 2008

Myths, Purple Poinsettias, Christmas Pud

On one of my favourite sources, Good Morning America, they reported on the work scientists have been doing to debunk popular myths, one of which is that eating candy, or any kind of sugar, makes children hyperactive. Apparently this isn't true even though parents perceive their children to be more active, it isn't actually so. Another myth is wearing a cover for your head in the cold. I have believed this for years, but apparently you lose no more heat through your head than anywhere else on your body which might be exposed. A third myth is about Poinsettias, they are NOT poisonous although many people persist in believing they are. There are six myths "busted" in this article. I was looking at the picture and I couldn't figure out what the plant was, I then realised it was Poinsettias. I have never seen them in those colours. Not very Christmassy but very unusual. We often see whites, pinks and variations of those colours and this year a kind of rusty red, but never in blues or purples. The roads being clear I went for my blood tests this morning. First of all I overslept, I like to get there before they open at 7, then when I got to the garage the car wouldn't start. It has been doing this to us intermittently despite having had a new starter motor. I was on the point of giving up when it decided to start. I arrived at the clinic to discover, to my amazment, the place was totally empty. Normally it is packed - it was by the time I left. I was very glad though, walked straight in and straight out. We are supposed to get a big storm tomorrow, they have been talking 13-15 cm. of snow and maybe freezing rain along with it. I hope none of it will happen as we are going to dinner at a friend's home tomorrow. Have another dinner to go to on Saturday too. Monday is the bowling league lunch and Tuesday we have friends coming here for dinner. Then of course, its Christmas with lots more things to eat. I figure I will look just like this picture by the end of it. I had some Christmas pudding in the freezer which I have defrosted and am now trying to induce it to absorb some brandy to moisten it up nicely. When it comes down to it, I will probably have eaten too much turkey to want Christmas pudding anyway. It is traditional though and I do enjoy it when I have room. We usually eat ours with rum butter, although I might try the sauce I posted the other day. The Lemon Mascarpone Custard. Although I suspect that will be even more rich. I have ordered another fresh turkey breast like I had at Thanksgiving and will be brining it again as that was so very successful. In fact I will post that recipe again for those of you who didn't see it last time. I actually didn't follow the whole recipe. I just brined my turkey breast and then ended up cooking it in an oven bag which I think is a great way to do large roasts. Best Brined Turkey Breast Source: Betty Crocker You've heard about it, now give it a try. This turkey breast is flavorful, moist and delicious! Makes:8 servings 9 cups hot water 3/4 cup salt 1/2 cup sugar 1 bone-in whole turkey breast (4 to 6 pounds), thawed if frozen 1 onion, cut into eighths 2 fresh rosemary sprigs 4 fresh thyme sprigs 3 dried bay leaves 6 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted 1/4 cup dry white wine or chicken broth (from 32-oz carton) 1. In 6-quart container or stockpot, mix water, salt and sugar; stir until sugar and salt are dissolved. Add turkey. Cover; refrigerate at least 12 hours but no longer than 24 hours. 2. Heat oven to 325ºF. Remove turkey from brine, rinse thoroughly under cool running water and pat dry. 3. Place onion on center of rack in large shallow roasting pan; top with rosemary, thyme and bay leaves. Place turkey, skin side up, over onion and herbs. 4. In small bowl, mix butter and wine. Soak 16-inch square of cheesecloth in butter mixture until completely saturated; cover turkey completely with cheesecloth. Roast 1 hour 30 minutes. 5. Remove cheesecloth. Place onion and herbs in pan with drippings if using drippings to make gravy (or discard). Insert meat thermometer horizontally so tip is in thickest part of turkey and does not touch bone. Turn turkey skin side down. Roast 30 to 60 minutes longer or until thermometer reads 170ºF and juice of turkey is clear when center is cut. Have a great day.

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