Turkey in Advance

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Prepare, stuff, cook and carve the turkey as usual but do it all 1-2 days beforehand. We use 2 aluminum trays about 2-3” deep and about 8” x 15” for a 15lb bird. These are not critical dimensions. Divide the meat as you see fit but we usually put all the white and dark from one side of the bird in each tray and so each tray holds about ½ of the turkey. Cover the meat completely with damp paper towels and then put aluminum foil over the top to seal. Store refrigerated until ready to reheat.

Reheat in an oven at 350F for about 1 hour. When the foil is removed and then the paper towels, the meat should be warm and moist.

We also remove all the stuffing from the turkey and store it in bowls to be reheated with the turkey.

Do whatever you normally do with the carcass and then clean up. This way there is considerably less mess to handle on Christmas Day.

Courtesy of Gerry & Alannah


Planting Ahead

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The best times to plant bulbs.

Tulip and daffodil bulbs should be planted in fall or early winter for spring flowering, and early spring for summer blooms. The best time to plant bulbs is when evening low temperatures are between 5°C to 10°C (40°F to 50°F). Fall planting should be done about six weeks before the ground freezes and spring planting will require a period of chilling before you plant. Check the packaging at the garden center, if it says the bulbs are ‘prechilled’ they’re ready to plant. If they have not been prechilled, keep them in the fridge in a paper bag for a couple of weeks before planting. The chilling period is needed to stimulate the roots so they’ll flower. 

How to plant bulbs

Dig the hole according to depth indicated on the package and place the bulb with pointed end up. Larger bulbs should be planted about 8 inches deep and smaller bulbs about 5 inches deep. Replace soil and water thoroughly.

Keep squirrels from eating your bulbs

Squirrels don’t eat daffodil bulbs so plant in groups of 3 or 5 with daffodils around the perimeter to protect your tastier tulips!

What if I missed planting in early fall?

If you missed fall planting, or if winter set in earlier than normal, plant your bulbs anyway. If you can get a shovel into the ground, the bulbs will be better off planted than in storage. Place them a little deeper than 5 – 8 inches, and top with extra straw or evergreen boughs for additional insulation.

What to do if the ground is frozen

If you’ve missed the window of opportunity completely and the ground is frozen solid, plant bulbs in large pots leaving lots of soil for insulation between the bulb and the sides of the pot. Store them in an unheated garage or shed and water monthly so that the soil doesn’t dry out; they need the cold and should not be too wet. In spring, bring the pots outdoors and transplant bulbs into the garden or let them bloom in the pots.

Quick Tips about Bulbs

  • select good quality, plump healthy bulbs at the garden centre, the bigger the bulb the more blooms it will produce.
  • keep soil well-drained, bulbs will rot if the soil remains wet too long.
  • try to maintain a soil pH level of 6 to 7 for the most brilliant colored blooms.
  • spring blooming bulbs should be planted before the ground freezes.
  • be careful about planting too early in fall, you don’t want them to sprout before winter.
  • summer blooming bulbs should be planted in early spring after the last frost.
  • chill summer blooming bulbs for a couple of weeks before planting in early spring
  • summer bulbs require lots of water immediately; after planting in spring maintain moist but well-drained soil.
  • don’t save bulbs for the next season, plant them within the season that you get them.
  • in zone 1 or 2 (the coldest zones), bulbs may need to be lifted out of the ground for winter. Shake off excess dirt and store in breathable bags in a cool well-ventilated location.
  • bulbs do well in patio containers and may be planted close together for fullness.