Today is November 7
Published 8:00 am Sunday, November 7, 2021
Daylight saving time comes to an end each fall, at a time when the hours of available sunlight already are beginning to decline.
Some people are more accustomed to darkness than others. Norwegians, Swedes and people living in Alaska and the upper reaches of Canada near or above the Arctic Circle may go through a period when winters can be especially dark. Fairbanks, Alaska, gets just three hours and 42 minutes of sunlight on the winter solstice. Those in Barrow, Alaska, will endure a period of 67 days of darkness, according to Alaska.org. Residents of Seattle, which is even further north than cities such as Fargo, North Dakota, or Portland, Maine, deal with more darkness than those living outside the city may know.
Although much of the rest of North America doesn’t experience such profound periods of darkness, when the darkness of fall and winter arrives, it can be difficult to maintain a positive outlook. Borrowing some of the coping mechanisms relied on in northern latitudes can help many people to see the dark in a different light.
· Be aware of SAD. Seasonal affective disorder, or SAD, is defined by the Mayo Clinic as a type of depression that’s related to changes in seasons, beginning and ending at about the same times each year. Symptoms tend to start in the fall and continue into the winter, sapping energy and making a person feel moody. As with other types of depression, SAD can get worse and lead to severe problems if left untreated. Light treatment, talk therapy and medication can help people who are susceptible to SAD.
· Make daylight hours count. Spend time outdoors while the sun is bright in the sky. Make an effort to switch your schedule if work interferes with getting outdoors, even if all that can be managed is an outdoor walk at lunch. Sit by a bright window and soak up rays whenever possible.
· Celebrate winter activities. Go skiing, snowboarding, outdoor ice skating, or snowshoeing. Look forward to winter for what can be done, rather than what can’t.
· Socialize more often. Instead of holing up indoors alone, frequent the places that become indoor gathering spots for locals. These can include coffee houses, breweries, restaurants, or even the local church. Plan more social occasions with friends and families so everyone can collectively shoo away the winter blues.
· Exercise more. Use the darker hours as an excuse to exercise more, be it at the gym or outside. The Mayo Clinic says that exercise and other types of physical activity can relieve anxiety and depression, lifting an individual’s mood as a result.
· Light a fire. Set the kindling ablaze in a fire pit, fireplace or woodburning stove, or just light a handful of candles. Flames can be soothing and less harsh on the eyes than artificial light.
Fall and winter darkness does not have to send a person into the doldrums if he or she embraces the right attitude.
Preparing for Thanksgiving: 2 Unique Ways to Cook Turkey
Thanksgiving is a beloved holiday. Families may have their own unique Thanksgiving traditions, but one staple of this kickoff to the holiday season is bound to make its way to Thanksgiving dinner tables no matter how unusual families’ holiday celebrations may be: turkey.
Much effort goes into picking and preparing a Thanksgiving turkey. Depending on the size of the bird, turkeys can take many hours to cook. Thanksgiving celebrants are no doubt familiar with oven-roasted turkey, which is the most traditional way to cook turkey. But this year hosts who want to expand their horizons and think beyond the oven can consider two popular alternative methods to cooking a Thanksgiving turkey.
1. Deep frying
Deep frying is a popular way to prepare foods at outdoor events. For example, stroll through the parking lot on game day and you’re liable to find football fans deep frying their favorite foods at their tailgate parties. Turkey can be deep fried and this method makes for an ideal option for hosts who want to enjoy the great outdoors while welcoming friends and loved ones to their homes. Deep frying imparts a juicy flavor that can be hard to replicate when roasting a turkey. Deep frying is a much faster way to cook a turkey than cooking it in the oven. However, deep frying also can be more dangerous, so it’s imperative that cooks remain attentive when setting up the fryer and while the turkey is frying.
Where to deep fry the turkey also bears consideration. The turkey experts at Butterball® recommend deep frying the turkey outside on a flat surface that’s far away from structures, including your home, garage, deck, etc.
The time required to deep fry a turkey will depend on the size of the bird, but experts note that it typically takes about 3 to 3.5 minutes per pound. Electric fryers may take significantly less time and they typically require less oil, so this is another option to consider. Many experts note that it’s best to deep fry turkeys that are 15 lbs. or less, as the turkey will need to be completely submerged in oil when frying. In addition, turkeys larger than 15 lbs. may cook unevenly, which can affect flavor.
Smoking has grown in popularity in recent years as grills that make this method possible have become more affordable. Smoking is a “low and slow” method of cooking, so this option is ideal for people who intend to be home all day on Thanksgiving and want to infuse their birds with a smoky flavor. However, even busy hosts can still consider smoking, as electric smokers now allow cooks to remotely control the temperatures in their grills. That’s important, as smoking requires cooks to periodically check the temperature on their grills to ensure it has not dropped too low or risen too high.
Smoking a turkey typically requires maintaining a temperature between 225 and 250 F. Cooking times for smoked turkeys are typically around 30 minutes per pound, though it can take longer if the temperature is lower. Because of the extended cooking time, hosts may want to pick a turkey that weighs around 15 lbs., especially if they don’t have much experience smoking.
This Thanksgiving, hosts can try something new by deep frying or smoking their turkeys