Small business Saturday 2019

Brick commercial buildings on west 7th street
Businesses on West 7th

I am not much of a shopper but today is small business Saturday and I will spend money in my own community at small businesses. Today and throughout the holiday season, I’ll choose small neighborhood restaurants and coffee shops.

Shopping small and local is good for the community.

Don’t wait for small business  Saturday. Buy from small businesses all year long, and think about starting your own business one day. Consider Boardman Realty for help buying or selling real estate. We are small business locally owned. Boardman Realty is also 100% woman-owned and operated.

Roast your turkey the easy way

This is like a public service type message. I write some version of this every year. If you are roasting your first turkey this year it is going to be alright. Turkeys are easy to prepare and hard to screw up.

Younger generations, in particular, seem to be afraid of the turkey. It is alright to be afraid of the clean-up, that can be frightening but for that, there is wine, which should never be confused with whine.

If you watch the news or are on social media you may get the impression that roasting a turkey is difficult. It is easy unless you make it hard by watching the news.

There are other ways to cook a turkey but roasting it is the easiest. No need to deep fry it or put it on a stick.

For those of you who have never cooked the bird this is what it looks like:

raw turkey

raw turkey

Turkeys are very easy to roast, in an oven or in an electric roaster, which is kind of like a giant slow cooker.

If your turkey comes out too dry it is because it was overcooked. Use a meat thermometer. Cooking time is just a guide or an estimate.  Use one of the many roasting charts that can be found online.  Just ask Google for the details about cooking temperature and how many minutes per pound.

I will be roasting my 20-pound turkey for about 4.5 hours at 325. I’ll check it after two hours, and stick the thermometer in after 3 hours. Here is a chart, you can find it at .foodsafety.gov

Turkey Size Unstuffed Stuffed
4 to 6 lbs. (breast) 1 1/2 to 2 1/4 hours Not usually applicable
6 to 8 lbs. (breast) 2 1/4 to 3 1/4 hours 3 to 3 1/2 hours
8 to 12 lbs. 2 3/4 to 3 hours 3 to 3 1/2 hours
12 to 14 lbs. 3 to 3 3/4 hours 3 1/2 to 4 hours
14 to 18 lbs. 3 3/4 to 4 1/4 hours 4 to 4 1/4 hours
18 to 20 lbs. 4 1/4 to 4 1/2 hours 4 1/4 to 4 3/4 hours
20 to 24 lbs. 4 1/2 to 5 hours 4 3/4 to 5 1/4 hours

Turkeys can be cooked rapidly at 450 or so, but the easiest way is to put it in an electric turkey roaster or in the oven at 325 to 350 and just ignore it. I like to start with a fresh turkey, never a frozen turkey. Fresh turkey tastes better and I don’t have to worry about thawing it out.

I make the stuffing separately but like to stick a whole orange in the cavity. Sometimes I quarter it, other times I just poke some holes in it. There is less chance of food poisoning if the stuffing is cooked separately. My son-in-law will be making the stuffing. He has a way with stuffing. I like to think of him as the stuffing whisperer.

If you would like to own an electric roaster but don’t have room to store one I can help you find a bigger home with more storage space if needed and of course, sell your current home.

The FDA recommends a minimum internal temperature of 165 . . if you don’t want to risk food poisoning.  personally, I go for up around 180 degrees, which is based on old thanksgiving lore and superstition.

Please don’t rely on that little pop-up thingy to detect doneness. Use a real meat thermometer.

roast turkey

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

Don’t panic, it is only snow

There has been a red circle with an exclamation point in it on my phone since Monday morning. It is an alert to let me know that a snowstorm is coming sometime late this afternoon. This isn’t a surprise considering this is Minnesota and it is the end of November. If you just moved to Minnesota and no one told you about winter, cold and snow you chose the wrong real estate agent.

I don’t want to add to the alerts and warnings and all that. I just want to remind everyone to get their boots out and shovels too. We can do this! It is going to be alright.

Open enrollment makes me crabby

coins
Money

I am one of those people that you read about who has to pay her own health insurance. As a self-employed person, the system is set up so that I don’t get lower group rates, those are for large employers.

Also, I am old. The older a person is the more expensive health insurance is. Just because I paid into it my whole life and have not needed much in the way of health care doesn’t mean I get a break now. Rates go up every year.

Our largest household expense each month is health insurance and it would be worse but I have the crappy bronze plan with the sky-high deductible and a Health Savings Account.

The health insurance is very expensive and the actual health care is poor. Partly because the insurance company controls the amount and type of care given.

When we go for medical treatment, there are no price lists and there are  “gotcha” charges for “out of network” services which can be anything a hospital decides a patient needs. I have tried asking ahead of time how much something is going to cost and nobody knows. Instead of getting an answer they ask me if I have insurance but the insurance.

In addition to figuring out which plan I should choose during the open enrollment, I have to deal with an online health insurance marketplace that doesn’t work well and if I have a question I can expect to be put on hold for hours.

I have often wondered how many entrepreneurs there are out there who never reach their full potential as they stay in dead-end jobs because of health insurance. Health insurance is just another way that corporations can keep people working in jobs that really suck.

Our household receives marketing materials from insurance companies every day. That is part of what we pay for when we pay for health insurance. We are also paying for those fancy office buildings and clinics not to mention the sky-high salaries of insurance company executives.

Billions of dollars are spent on what is called BIR (billing and insurance-related) costs.

It would be nice if there were no insurance companies and if we could just pay for medical care.

The health insurance and pharmaceutical industries are great examples of how people with the money are making the laws. The medical industry gives billions of dollars of our money to politicians who make laws that favor the medical industry over their constituents.  There are laws about group rates and about who can get employer-based insurance and who can not.

Once open enrollment is over I do my best not to think about health insurance because I need to keep my blood pressure in check. I don’t want to pay for the drugs that people take for high blood pressure.