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MailTribune.com
  • Since You Asked: Moveable feast can be tricky

  • I'd like to offer to cook and bring the turkey to Thanksgiving at our son's home, a 45-minute to one-hour drive away. Although I like to cook, I've rarely done a turkey. I plan to buy a fresh, "green" bird and not stuff it. It needs to feed nine adults and two young children.
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  • I'd like to offer to cook and bring the turkey to Thanksgiving at our son's home, a 45-minute to one-hour drive away. Although I like to cook, I've rarely done a turkey. I plan to buy a fresh, "green" bird and not stuff it. It needs to feed nine adults and two young children.
    — Barbara D., Central Point
    Your gesture certainly is a nice holiday gift to your family. But it could backfire if you inadvertently cause them food-borne illness.
    Turkeys — raw or cooked — should be kept really cold or really hot, meaning they don't travel particularly well. In-between temperatures are ideal for bacterial growth, a more serious concern to the young children mentioned.
    Some government and university websites say the easiest way to transport a cooked bird is to cut it into parts, chill, pack the parts in ice, refrigerate them upon arrival and reheat right before serving. But there's a lot of room for error if you can't keep the turkey cold enough en route. What happens if there's a traffic jam, or you get a flat tire?
    The simplest plan is your son purchases the turkey (if fresh, no sooner than two days before the meal) and keeps it refrigerated until you arrive to cook it. Your travel plans may need to be altered so you arrive early enough — depending on when you intend to eat — to deal with the turkey. But think of it as quality time you can spend with your family while the bird roasts.
    Just make sure your son has all the necessary equipment: roasting pan with rack, instant-read thermometer, baster, fat separator and large spoon for stirring gravy. If his kitchen lacks those items, they might be the best holiday treats you can give.
    Send questions to "Since You Asked, A la carte" Mail Tribune Newsroom, P.O. Box 1108, Medford OR 97501; by fax to 541-776-4376; email to youasked@mailtribune.com.
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