Are you ready yet? Tips to Help

by Joanne on December 21, 2009


The following tips were found in FisherSci Magazine “LabReport”.

The Turkey:

Brine or No Brine – You decide

You want cooked but moist meat. 

Brining is letting the raw bird sit in a salt solution so the chemical reaction between the salt and the proteins in the meat will enable those proteins to absorb more water.  The result is that during cooking, the turkey will lose about 15 % of its moisture as opposed to a possible 30% when you don’t brine. 


The Bread:

Bread depends on chemical reactions between flour, water, and leaveners (baking soda, baking powder, or yeast). 

Yeast will help to develop the gluten in wheat based flours which contribute to the texture and flavor of yeast based breads.

Kneading the yeast based bread is essential to develop the proteins. The proteins will form strong and stretchy gluten strands which hold the CO2 given off by the yeast to enable the bread to rise.

Non gluten flours cannot be used alone in a yeast based bread.


Eat Your Vegetables:

There are chemical reactions that happen to our veggies as well. 

If you want a citrus flavor added to vegetables without a loss of color, instead of adding lemon juice, simply add lemon zest.



It’s all about the Maillard Reaction.   From Wikipedia….

The Maillard reaction is responsible for many colors and flavors in foods:

Choose high protein flour to make cookies darker.  Corn syrup and baking soda also causes darkening of the cookie (promotes the Maillard reaction). 

Use baking powder to speed up baking time, create less spread, and a LESS brown cookie.


No more tips, just a question:  Did you buy yourself a gift while shopping for others this year?  I did:

DSC_2451 DSC_2452 DSC_2455

The Nutcracker Ballet Music Box. It plays three different tunes and offers three different scenes. Yay Me!

More favorites than don the tree every year:

DSC_2462 DSC_2466

DSC_2464  DSC_2475

DSC_2471 DSC_2470

DSC_2474 DSC_2469

I’d love to see your favorite ornament.  Send me a link in the comments so we all can share.

Happy Holidays! 


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  • At 2009.12.21 18:18, kilax said:

    Stupidly, this is my favorite ornament – – a Star Wars one. I know. So Lame!

    • At 2009.12.21 20:04, Joanne said:

      Kilax: I love it!

      • At 2009.12.22 09:22, marla {Family Fresh Cooking} said:

        cute post!!! I cannot choose just one favorite ornament. I love all the visual stimulation this time of year. I think my favorite ornaments are the ones made by my little kids with their drawings and photos on them

        • At 2009.12.22 09:33, Joanne said:

          Marla: The homemade ornaments are the best in so many ways. You’ll cherish those forever. Thanks for sharing.

          • […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by applecrumbles, applecrumbles. applecrumbles said: Are you ready yet? Tips to Help: The following tips were found in FisherSci Magazine “LabReport”. The Turkey: B… […]

            • At 2009.12.22 14:31, Peggy said:

              Joanne, my favorite ornament is a big fat stuffed Santa that was given to me years ago by my best friend Sharon. She passed away a couple of years later and I keep putting the ornament on my tree even though it has faded and isn’t in the best of shape. I love the memory of her. My kids got a new ornament every year at Christmas so I cherish those also. What a sweet post. Merry Christmas to you and your family!

              • At 2009.12.22 15:04, Joanne said:

                Peggy: I have those faded, super old, but very meaningful ornaments as well. They are not pretty but they hold the most memories. Thanks for sharing.

                • At 2009.12.22 15:14, Gera @ SweetsFoods said:

                  Thanks for sharing this helpful food tips for these festive days and so cute post with all the ornaments 🙂

                  Happy Holidays Joanne!



                  • At 2009.12.22 15:21, Jeena said:

                    Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

                    I love your tree decorations so pretty. 🙂

                    • At 2009.12.24 12:45, Nancy Jean said:

                      Great post, Joanne. To me, the sweetest memories are those at Christmastime. I like your fabric rocking horse with the peach bow the best, i think…altho it is hard to choose. My Dad and I used to head to “Garden World” after Christmas to select a couple of choice ornaments discounted after the holiday. It was a large nursery, and they had great stuff! My favorites we chose together include a lovely blond angel with whisper thin wings and a sweet little elf wearing an impish grin. Thanks for bringing me back … MERRY, MERRY CHRISTMAS TO YOU, TED & SHANE!

                      • At 2009.12.24 13:48, Joanne said:

                        Nancy: Thanks so much for sharing the memories.

                        • At 2009.12.24 21:41, Libby said:

                          I’m just flat out here, and too tired to snap pics of the tree. So I’ll just pick from what you posted. I am a sucker for carousel horses, but the rabbits in the acorn definitely win me over. That glass ball you posted with the roses – I do believe I have a set of those 😉

                          Lots of baking today, and just got done. A few Challahs, a monster Danish braid (gotta weigh at 4 lbs at least), and a few odds and ends.

                          Merry Christmas to you and you family, ad let’s all try for some Peace On Earth.


                          • At 2009.12.27 22:11, MaryEllen said:

                            I cannot choose — I love all ornaments. However, I am partial to snowmen and snowladies, too ! I sent an e-mail to you with our new, personal favorite — 2009 photo ornament of Gigi. Our tree is filled with ornaments with a “history” — our childhood favorites, ornaments purchased on our various travels, our yearly Hallmark collection and, our course, those made by our children. Love them all. However, this year while visiting a friend, I did fall in love with a Christmas (non-tree ornament) decoration — an adorable rocking horse ! Hope you and yours had a wonderful Christmas and enjoy a safe and happy New Year !

                            • At 2009.12.28 08:23, Joanne said:

                              Thank you so much MaryEllen! Great pic!

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