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Time has come to start talking turkey

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Dear Reena,
With Christmas just around the corner, I am planning to cook a turkey for my family. How big of a turkey should I buy for 20 people? Henry

Dear Henry,
Here are a few of my favorite turkey making hints. Before you cook the turkey, season the outside as well as the inside with salt and pepper. Brush a light coating of olive oil onto the outside; this will give the meat great flavor and a golden brown appearance. An option is to push a combination of rosemary, sage, bay leaves or thyme under the turkey skin. Add two halves of an apple to the inside. If the turkey is frozen, allow at least five hours thawing time per pound in your fridge. Push your oven-safe thermometer into the thickest part of the thigh. Cook the turkey uncovered in a preheated oven at 325 F. If certain parts of the meat are browning, cover those areas with foil. An unstuffed turkey is ready when it has reached 170 F and 180 F for a stuffed turkey. A 14-pound turkey takes approximately three and a half to four hours to cook. Estimate one or one and a half pounds of turkey per person depending on whether or not you are feeding big eaters. Delicious leftovers can be gobbled up or frozen.

Dear Reena,
We have a two-year-old bench made out of wrought iron. It is in good shape and we would like to prevent rust from forming. What is the best way to clean and care for wrought iron? Betty

Dear Betty,
Either spray the bench with a garden hose or pressure washer to get rid of dust, spider webs and dirt. Using dish soap and water scrub the bench and rinse with vinegar or water. If the surface is very dirty, use an abrasive cloth to tackle those areas. After the bench is clean, spray the bench with WD-40 in a ventilated area to prevent rust from forming. Use a cloth to make sure that WD-40 hits each part of the bench.

Dear Reena,
Can you please provide me with a homemade carpet shampoo that is effective for spot cleaning my carpet? I really don’t want to pay to rent a machine. Do you have any suggestions? Rachelle

Dear Rachelle,
Hold onto your hat because this formula is powerful and easy to make. Into a mixing bowl combine 3 tbsp. dish soap, 1 tbsp. white vinegar and quarter to half tsp. household ammonia. Beat until foamy. Add half cup water and beat for a few seconds. Dip a sponge into the foam of the solution and scrub it onto your carpet to remove dirt. If you have a foam soap dispenser, pour the ingredients into the dispenser and spray it onto your carpet. Spray and scrub. Always test on an inconspicuous area first.

I enjoy your questions and tips, keep them coming! Missed a column? Can’t remember a solution? Need a speaker for an upcoming event? Interested in grocery coupons? Check out my brand new blog and website at www.reena.ca. You can contact me by email at householdsolutions@mts.net.

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