In this segment of Countdown to T Day, We thought we would dig into the roots of the real Thanksgiving army, Vegetables. They are perhaps one of the most underrated additions to the table. We think there is a reason for that, which brings us straight to one of this segment's Golden Rule, Demand Freshness with your vegetables and do not leave the store without the best in your basket.You would be surprised in the real taste difference with a fresh pristine pick and with the right preparation and some homemade creativity, you can easily turn vegetables into one of the Thanksgiving highlights right alongside our gourmet parmesan dip.
Let Us breakdown some of the basics...
You should never be afraid to smell a good vegetable. Always ask yourself how the veggie smells with a quick sniff. Gently pick it up and check for consistency, even coloration and firmness all the way around. For cucumbers, peppers, onions, and potatoes, the more firm, the better. Check for bruising or softness, which could indicate inside rot which isn’t as obvious to spot or smell.
for leafy greens...
For leafy greens like lettuce and kale you want crisp and firm leaves that are evenly colored throughout. Allow some browning from handling but that should be minimal.
Look for breaks in the stems, grab only greens that remain mostly unbroken. Snapping off a small portion can be a good indicator however for a fresher taste and longer life always treat all your vegetables with care and gentle handling.
**Do not Forget**
*thoroughly Rinse all VEGetables*
Here are a few specific tips on picking some of our favorite vegetables...
- Look for squash that has a smooth glossy finish. Try to avoid mature squash which tends to have larger seeds inside, they will have a tough surface with a dull appearance
Buy bunches of carrots, with their leafy green tops. Buy small, bright orange and smooth, without any cracking.
Save the tops, which are full of nutrition and goodies, try adding them to just about any soup recipe or you can chop them and add in your salads.
- Carrots can be stored for a very long time but you will sacrifice sweetness and flavor if stored too long.
- Look for a solid stock with a glossy surface, a rigid feel and crisp leaflets
- The perfect sweet corn has a moist, bright green husk with stiff silk. Press against the husk and feel the kernels. If you arent cooking the corn you buy on the same day add a little sugar to your water when cooking. Using a teaspoon for every quart should do it.
- Choose crisp and slender beans that are bright-colored, and free of blemishes.
- Look for a tough and hard rind. A too tender rind indicates immaturity, and won’t have the highest flavor quality.
- Sweet potatoes with worm holes, cuts, grub injury, or any other defects which penetrate the skin are best avoided and will cause a lower flavor quality.
- If you find your asparagus tips slightly wilted, freshen them up by soaking them in cold water.
- Your nose is best for tomatoes. Smell the stem end and look for that garden aroma. A strong earthy garden smell will indicate a favorable flavor.
FOLLOW THESE RULES FOR THANKSGIVING SUCCESS!
1. THE TURKEY IS NOT FULLY COOKED UNTIL THE INTERNAL TEMPERATURE OF THE THIGH REACHES 165 DEGREE F.
2. BUDGET AN EXTRA 30-45MIN BEFORE YOUR MEAL IN CASE OF FOOD EMERGENCIES AND TARDY FRIENDS AND FAMILY.
3. Demand Freshness with your vegetables and do not leave the store without the very best in your basket.
4.Always thoroughly rinse all your vegetables, especially if purchased from a farm stand or local market.
Thank you for reading and learning from us, Stay tuned for one of our next segments on Simple Gravy Recipes! From Us to You at The Little Red Kitchen.