Extension and Ag Research News


Prairie Fare: Try These 10 Questions About Turkey

Do you know about how much turkey a person eats each year?

By Julie Garden-Robinson, Food and Nutrition Specialist

NDSU Extension Service

The other evening, I was poking around an antique store in West Virginia while on a break from the conference I was attending. I always enjoy seeing the antiques that are available in states that have been in existence longer than those in most of the Midwest.

I came upon little candles shaped like pilgrims in gray and white outfits. A brown turkey candle stood nearby.

These were the same type of candles that we placed on our Thanksgiving table when I was a child, year after year. We were not allowed to light the pilgrim or turkey candles. I think I tested whether they were candy because our candles had little teeth marks. Despite their flaws, our candles still appeared every year on the table.

I suddenly felt quite old that the decorations of my childhood are now in antique stores.

While holding those candles, I found myself reminiscing about Thanksgiving and the feasts we used to have when I was a child. We always had a roasted turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy, two or three kinds of vegetables, lutefisk and lefse (because of our Scandinavian heritage), Jell-O salad with fruit, home-canned pickles of all sorts and a couple of desserts, including pumpkin pie.

After all that food, a nap was in order. We should have taken a walk.

Holiday meals promote lifelong memories that can catch you in the most unusual places. Are you ready for Thanksgiving? This quiz is based on information from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and National Turkey Federation.

Question 1: About how many pounds of turkey are eaten per person per year in the U.S.? (Turkey is a good source of protein, vitamins and minerals, by the way.)

  1. 7 pounds
  2. 16 pounds
  3. 24 pounds

Question 2: Turkey can be thawed safely in the refrigerator or under cold water. When thawing a turkey under cold water, how often should the water be changed?

  1. Every 10 minutes
  2. Every 30 minutes
  3. Every two hours

Question 3: If you would like some leftovers, about how much turkey (including bone weight) should you allow per person?

  1. 0.5 pound
  2. 1 to 1 1/2 pounds
  3. 3 to 4 pounds

Question 4: True or False. “Dressing” and “stuffing” are interchangeable terms that relate to the bread mixture served with turkey.

Question 5: How many turkeys does the president of the U.S. pardon annually? (Yes, this actually happens.)

  1. One
  2. Two
  3. Three

Question 6: How long can you safely store leftover turkey in the refrigerator?

  1. Three to four days
  2. Five to six days
  3. Seven to 10 days

Question 7: When you are serving food in a buffet line at a family event, at what temperature should the food be maintained? (You might need to use slow cookers to keep food hot or keep food in an oven set on low heat.)

  1. 180 degrees Fahrenheit
  2. 160 degrees Fahrenheit
  3. 140 degrees Fahrenheit

Question 8: Which type of turkey meat is lowest in fat and calories?

  1. Dark meat without skin
  2. Dark meat with skin
  3. White meat without skin

Question 9: To what internal temperature should a whole turkey be cooked, as measured with a food thermometer? (Check temperature in three places: the thickest part of the breast, the innermost part of the thigh and the innermost part of the wing.)

  1. 120 F
  2. 165 F
  3. 195 F

Question 10: True or False: Sometimes pop-up thermometers prematurely pop up, before a turkey has reached a safe internal temperature, so using a food thermometer is recommended.

Answers: 1. b; 2. b; 3. b; 4. True; 5. a; 6. a; 7. c; 8. c; 9. b; 10. True

After the annual “Thanksgiving Day stuffing of the relatives,” lighter fare, such as this salad, might be in order. This tasty recipe is courtesy of Alice Henneman from University of Nebraska Lincoln Extension in Lancaster County. If desired, you can substitute a commercial dressing of choice.

Turkey Salad With Orange Vinaigrette

Orange Vinaigrette

1/4 c. orange juice

2 Tbsp. white wine vinegar

2 Tbsp. onion, finely chopped

1/4 tsp. salt

Dash pepper

1 Tbsp. canola oil or other salad oil

2 tsp. Dijon mustard


4 c. torn salad greens (such as mixed greens with romaine and/or spinach)

2 c. cooked turkey breast, cut into julienne strips

1 (11-ounce) can mandarin orange segments, drained

1/2 c. sliced celery

Optional: 4 Tbsp. walnuts or pecans

Optional: 4 sliced fresh strawberries for garnish

In jar with tight-fitting lid, combine all vinaigrette ingredients; shake well. Or place ingredients in a bowl and whisk together. In large bowl, combine all salad ingredients; toss gently. Serve with vinaigrette. If desired, garnish with fresh strawberries.

Makes four (1 1/2-cup) servings. Without optional ingredients, each serving has 190 calories, 6 grams (g) fat, 12 g carbohydrate, 22 g protein, 2 g fiber and 270 milligrams of sodium. The recipe also provides 100 percent of the daily recommendation for vitamin A (as beta carotene) and 60 percent of the daily recommendation for vitamin C.

(Julie Garden-Robinson, Ph.D., R.D., L.R.D., is a North Dakota State University Extension Service food and nutrition specialist and professor in the Department of Health, Nutrition and Exercise Sciences.)

NDSU Agriculture Communication - Nov. 12, 2015

Source:Julie Garden-Robinson, (701) 231-7187, julie.garden-robinson@ndsu.edu
Editor:Ellen Crawford, (701) 231-5391, ellen.crawford@ndsu.edu
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