Let The Miracle League Fry Your Turkey

November 24, 2014

Want a fried turkey but afraid to try it yourself? Volunteers from the Miracle League of Pensacola will fry your turkey for you on Wednesday, November 26, saving you the time and trouble while benefiting the charity. And there is still time to make an appointment.

Completely thaw your turkey, removing all of the inside packaging and giblets. Write down exactly how much your turkey weighs so it is fried perfectly and take it to the Miracle League Park at 555 East Nine Mile Road from 7 a.m. until 5 p.m. on Wednesday. For a monetary donation to Miracle League, the volunteers will fry your turkey to perfection. A minimum of $20 per turkey is necessary to help cover costs, and any additional donation will benefit the Miracle League of Pensacola.

Call Greg Wiggins at (850) 529-2155 or Paul Hinson at (850) 450-8319 with questions or to schedule your time (leave a message if no answer). Reservations should be made early as they number of time slots is limited.

Turkey Time: Extension Service Offers Thawing Tips

November 24, 2014

It’s Thanksgiving week, time for family and friends to gather and give thanks. And time for cooks to ponder the correct way to prepare their turkey.

Today, we are taking a look how to make sure your turkey is properly thawed with tips from Dorthy Lee, Family and Consumer Sciences Agent for the Escambia County Extension Office.

Following four simple food-handling practices—clean, separate, cook, chill—will ensure a delicious and safe meal.

Frozen turkeys should be thawed—at a safe temperature— prior to cooking. There are three safe ways to thaw a turkey — in the refrigerator at 40°F or less; in cold water; and in the microwave.

Frozen Turkeys

Allow 1 pound of turkey per person.
Keep frozen until you’re ready to thaw it.
Turkeys kept frozen in the freezer should be cooked within one year for best quality.

Thawing Your Turkey

In the Refrigerator (40°F or below)

Keep the turkey in its original wrapper. Place it on a tray or in a pan to catch any juices that may leak. A thawed turkey can remain in the refrigerator for 1 to 2 days. If necessary, a turkey that has been properly thawed in the refrigerator may be refrozen. When thawing in the refrigerator, allow 24 hours thawing time for every 5 pounds of turkey.

4 to 12 pounds = 1 to 3 days
12 to 16 pounds = 3 to 4 days
16 to 20 pounds = 4 to 5 days
20 to 24 pounds = 5 to 6 days

In Cold Water

When thawing in cold water, allow 30 minutes per pound and change the water every 30 minutes until the turkey is thawed. Wrap your turkey securely, making sure the water is not able to leak through the wrapping. Submerge your wrapped turkey in cold tap water. Change the water every 30 minutes. Cook the turkey immediately after it is thawed. Do not refreeze. Allow approximately 30 minutes per pound.

4 to 12 pounds = 2 to 6 hours
12 to 16 pounds = 6 to 8 hours
16 to 20 pounds = 8 to 10 hours
20 to 24 pounds = 10 to 12 hours

In the Microwave

When thawing in the microwave, follow the manufacturer’s instructions, and plan to cook the turkey immediately after thawing because some areas of the turkey may become warm and begin to cook during microwave thawing.

For more information, call the Escambia County Extension office, (850) 475-5230.

Northview Cross Country Team Members Honored

November 24, 2014

The Northview High School Cross Country team honored their outstanding members recently during their annual banquet.

Award winners included:

Most Improved female runner: Mary Sullivan
Most Improved male runner: James Attes
Fastest female runner: Moriah McGahan
Fastest male runner: Brandon Korinchak
Junmi Ross Award: Moriah McGahan
Jim Ross Award: Joshua Borelli
Coach’s Award: Triston Reaves

Photos: Escambia Academy Wins State Championship

November 24, 2014

The Escambia Academy Cougars from Canoe, AL, won the AISA Class AAA state championship Friday night with a 35-28 defeat of Bessemer Academy at Veterans Memorial Stadium in Troy, AL.

For a bonus photo gallery, click here.

For the game story, click here.

NorthEscambia.com photos by Ditto Gorme, click to enlarge.

Former Principal’s Wooden Santas On Display At Molino Library

November 24, 2014

Hand-carved wooden Santas created by a former principal are on display this month at the Molino Branch Library.

Dale Cooey was principal of Molino Elementary School and Molino Park Elementary School from 1997-2007, and was also principal at Barrineau Park Elementary school during the consolidation into Molino Park.  He apprenticed under his uncle was a master wood carver.

Through a one year grant from the Florida Folk Art Association, Cooey and his uncle  began showing their carvings and received several blue ribbons.  The “Santa with the Tree” carving included in the display case won a blue ribbon this year at the Pensacola State Fair. His carvings are made from cypress knees and bass wood.

Pictured: Wooden Santas on display at the Molino Branch Library. Courtesy photo for NorthEscambia.com, click to enlarge.

Florida Lifts Ban On Silencers For Hunting Deer, Other Game

November 24, 2014

Florida hunters can now muffle their shots when hunting deer, gray squirrels, rabbits, wild turkeys, quail and crows.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission on Friday agreed, with little comment, to issue an order that immediately removes a prohibition on the use of noise-suppressors, or silencers, with rifles and pistols.

Florida becomes the 33rd state to allow the noise-suppressors for game hunting.

Florida had been the only state in the Southeast to have such a ban, which was lifted at the request of hunters, said Diane Eggeman, director of the agency’s Division of Hunting and Game Management.

Eggeman said silencers cut noise by about 30 decibels, and it’s a common misconception that such noise-suppressers eliminate sound from the weapon.

“You can hear it from a long way away,” Eggeman said. “It’s a significant noise.”

Florida already allows the use of suppressors on shotguns for game hunting. A suppressor can also be placed on a rifle or pistol when hunting on private lands for non-game wildlife, including hogs and armadillos.

During the commission meeting, held in Key Largo, Fish and Wildlife staff and a couple of hunters defended the proposal as a means to protect hunters’ hearing, lessen the impact of hunting on others and help while introducing people to the sport.

Buck Holly, an owner of C&H Precision Weapons in LaBelle, told the commission that silencers also improve communications among hunters in the field, and he noted his 17-year-old daughter prefers using a silencer on a rifle as it reduces the recoil and sound.

“None of my kids are afraid to hunt with rifles because there is no longer the loud bang,” Holly said. “There is not a lot of recoil, they all think it’s fun.”

Holly added there has been an uptick in silencer sales in Hendry County in anticipation of the prohibition being lifted.

Concerns have been expressed to the commission that lifting the ban would reduce safety and increase opportunities for illegal activities. But Eggeman said wildlife officials from other states haven’t reported an increase in illegal activities as few hunters use suppressors because they are expensive and highly regulated.

To purchase a silencer, a hunter must pay a $200 registration fee with the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and pass an FBI background check.

The cost of a rifle suppressor has been estimated between $450 and $2,000.

by Jim Turner, The News Service of Florida

Molino Fire Holds Live Burn Demonstrations (With Fire Videos)

November 23, 2014

The Molino Station of Escambia Fire Rescue held an open house and special fire safety demonstrations Saturday.

In live burn scenarios, the department demonstrated holiday and winter fire dangers in the home — from grease fires and a toaster fire in a mock kitchen to a dried-out Christmas tree in a living room setup.

In less than two minutes, a live Christmas tree that had been improperly watered became a raging inferno, filling an entire living room with fire. Click here to watch video.

A grease fire exploded into a tower of flames when water was incorrectly used on the flames. And in a second kitchen demonstration, a residential sprinkler system installed by Living Water Fire Protection of Molino quickly put out an appliance fire. Click here to watch video.

Organizers said they plan to have future live demonstrations to promote fire safety in the local community.

For more photos, click here.

Pictured top and inset: A small fire on a dry Christmas tree explodes in just minutes into a raging inferno. Pictured below: The incorrect use of water to extinguish a grease fire results in a tower of flames. NorthEscambia.com photos, click to enlarge.

Motorcyclist Airlifted To Hospital After Crash

November 23, 2014

One person was injured in a single motorcycle accident near Bratt Saturday morning.

The accident occurred about 9:50 a.m. on North Pine Barren Road just south of Highway 168. The motorcyclist failed to properly negotiate a curve, lost control and ran off the roadway. He was airlifted by Life Flight to Baptist Hospital in Pensacola in serious condition.

The Walnut Hill Station of Escambia Fire Rescue and Atmore Ambulance responded to the call. Further details have not been released by the Florida Highway Patrol.

Northescambia.com photos, click to enlarge.

Firefighters Hold Annual Toy Drive For Needy Kids

November 23, 2014

The Atmore Fire Department held their annual toy drive Saturday in Atmore, collecting Christmas toys for needy children in the Atmore area. NorthEscambia.com photos, click to enlarge.

Weekend Gardening: What To Do Before November’s End

November 23, 2014

Here is your November gardening calendar from the University of Florida/IFAS Extension:

What to Plant

  • Bedding Plants: Create a display of fall colors with cool season plants. Some to try are pansy, viola, and chrysanthemum.
  • Bulbs: Bulbs to plant this month include amaryllis, crinum, and daylily. Plant Lycoris (spider lily) in partial shade. Plants will produce foliage in winter and beautiful red flowers emerge in late summer.
  • Herbs: Continue planting herbs from seeds or plants. A wide variety of herbs like cooler, dryer weather, including cilantro, dill, fennel, parsley, sage, and thyme.
  • Vegetables: Continue planting cool season crops such as beet, broccoli, cabbage, carrot, kale, and lettuce.

What to Do

  • Citrus: If freezing temperatures are predicted, protect small citrus trees by watering  well at least a day before the freeze. You may also use covers that extend to the
  • ground for protection.
  • Scale on ornamental plants: Now that temperatures are lower, use dormant oil sprays to control scale insects on trees and shrubs.
  • Irrigation: Plants need less supplemental watering in cooler weather. Turn off  systems and water only if needed.
  • Flowering Trees: Taiwan cherry is an ornamental cherry suitable for north Florida. Late winter will bring pink buds so consider planting one now.
  • Birds: As you prune your plants during the cooler months, make a small brush pile in the back of the yard for birds.
  • Camellias: Add some of the new cultivars for bright spots of color in winter. Disbudding, or removing some buds now, will insure larger blooms later.

What to Do Every Month

  • Adjust irrigation based on rainfall.
  • Deadhead flowers to encourage new blooms.
  • Monitor the garden for insects and disease.
  • Plant trees, shrubs, and perennials and water until established.

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