Fresh Market offers tips for tackling worrisome turkey


It’s hard enough having to cook for your family without having to make something you don’t even touch for the rest of the year.

If you are one of the millions who suffers from turkey anxiety, the good folks at The Fresh Market have some tips for how to survive Thanksgiving. Which, if you think about it, is awfully nice of them.

Don’t underestimate how much turkey to buy. It’s better to have too much than too little. Count on at least one pound of turkey per person, which should allow for seconds and leftovers.

Be flexible with roasting times. All sorts of things can affect the roasting time, including opening the oven door too frequently (um…guilty), inaccurate oven temperature, and even the temperature of the turkey and stuffing before putting it in the oven. To be on the safe side, add an additional 30 minutes onto the estimated roasting time.

Use an accurate meat thermometer. And insert it in the thickest part of the thigh, between the thigh and the drumstick, without touching a bone. Why take chances on your turkey being underdone or overdone?

Stuff warm stuffing in a cold turkey. If you’re cooking the turkey with the stuffing inside, this is the best way to assure that the turkey reaches the temperature necessary (160°, since you asked) to kill any potentially harmful bacteria.

Let the turkey rest before carving. It will make the turkey moist and juicy — carving too soon is one of the main reasons turkeys turn dry. Let a 15-pound bird rest for 30 minutes, and a 20-pound bird for up to one hour.

Beyond hummus

Want to learn the secrets of The Beirut?

Karyn Hajjar — wife of The Beirut’s owner and chef, Labib Hajjar — will be giving a cooking course tomorrow at 6:30 p.m. at the Paula Brown Shop, 912 Monroe St.

Whether any of The Beirut’s secrets will actually be revealed is not known. But she will be demonstrating Lebanese family recipes, and if we’re lucky she will be making some desserts. She makes fabulous desserts.

The cost is $50, which includes food, recipes, and wine pairings, and space is limited. For reservations and more information, call 419-241-8100.

Fruit of the grape

For its wine tastings in November, the Walt Churchill’s Market in Monclova Township is pulling out the big guns. The big grape guns.

This Saturday’s tasting is especially impressive. Offering what Wine Dude Austin Beeman calls “iconic Cabernet Sauvignons of the Napa Valley,” the store will pour glasses of Opus One 2010, Robert Mondavi 2009 Napa Valley Reserve, Cakebread Cellars 2010, Chimney Rock 2008 Stag’s Leap, Chateau St. Jean 2010 Cinq Cepages, and World’s End 2009 Good Times, Bad Times, from To Kalon.

There are some awfully big names in that list, and some awfully good wines — though we would be remiss if we did not mention, politely, that Chateau St. Jean is actually in Sonoma County. But it’s close to Napa, sort of.

On Nov. 23, the store will turn its attentions to the often overlooked, yet classic wines of Spain, particularly the region of Rioja.

And on Nov. 30, Mr. Beeman will be opening some of his favorite new discoveries.

The wine tastings are from noon-5 p.m. Reservations are not needed, and you can pay by the glass. The store is located at 3320 Briarfield Blvd. For more information, call 419-794-4000.

They’re selling like...

Tomorrow, of course, is Veterans Day, and what better way to celebrate it than with some free hotcakes?

Current and former servicemen and women will be served free, all-you-can-eat pancakes tomorrow at all Bob Evans restaurants. It is a tasty way for the Ohio-based restaurant chain to give back to those who have served their country.

According to the folks at Bob Evans, veterans make up eight percent of the population of Ohio (about seven percent of Michiganders are vets, according to the US Census Bureau).

To receive the free flapjacks, you must provide proof of service, including a U.S. Uniform Services Identification Card, U.S. Uniform Services Retired Identification Card, a current Leave and Earnings Statement (LES, in military speak), or a card from a veterans organization, such as the American Legion or the VFW. Wearing a uniform also qualifies.

Bob Evans has 28 restaurants within a 50-mile radius of Toledo.

Items for Morsels may be submitted up to two weeks before an event to