Turkey Tales and Tidbits from the Wilder Side

WILDER SIDE OF OAKLAND COUNTY

No one seems to think about turkeys very much until the turkey’s internal temperature soars to 180 degrees Fahrenheit and it’s surrounded by sweet potatoes, cranberry sauce, cooked greens and a pumpkin pie. Invite me to your Thanksgiving table and I won’t ask about the wishbone; I will try to engage the gathering in a lively conversation of snoods, wattles, caruncles, dewlaps, spurs and beards. Continue reading

Share the Bounty with Forgotten Harvest

Volunteers pack food at the Forgotten Harvest Warehouse

You can help to ensure that every family has food on the table this holiday season by donating surplus prepared and perishable food to Forgotten Harvest. Founded 27 years ago in Metro Detroit, Forgotten Harvest has grown to become the largest and most efficient food rescue organization in the United States.

Forgotten Harvest’s charitable footprint is massive in scale. The organization covers 2,000 square miles, distributing millions of pounds of food to 250 emergency food providers in Wayne, Oakland, and Macomb counties. Last year, Forgotten Harvest rescued 45 million pounds of food that would have been otherwise wasted. Each pound represents a meal enjoyed by community members in need.

Continue reading

Shop Safely with our Holiday Shopping Tips

Thanksgiving is almost here and many of us will soon be scouring the newspapers and checking emails for the best Black Friday deals. After that, we’ll look forward to Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday, and even Giving Tuesday. Many shops offer deals and deep discounts that make shopping trips and online shopping easier on the wallet, but be sure to take precautions to keep you and your accounts safe!

See our tips on Special Sales Events, Online Shopping, and Brick and Mortar Shopping, to ensure safe shopping this holiday season and throughout the year!  Continue reading

Coexisting with Urban Wildlife at Winter’s Approach

WILDER SIDE OF OAKLAND COUNTY

“Great and terrible flesh-eating beasts have always shared landscapes with humans. They were part of the ecological matrix within which Homo sapiens evolved. They were part of the psychological context in which our sense of identity as a species arouse.”

“The teeth of big predators, their claws, their ferocity and their hunger, were grim realities that could be eluded but not forgotten. Every once in a while, a monstrous carnivore emerged like doom from a forest or a river to kill someone and feed on the body. It was a familiar sort of disaster-like auto fatalities today – that must have seemed freshly gruesome each time, despite the familiarity.” — Monster of God, David Quammen

Oakland County lacks the man-eating predators of history that still seem to haunt our minds and exaggerate our fears. But as the cold days of November shorten, and some species of wildlife move closer to our homes to forage under bird feeders, we still behave at times as if our lives are at risk by the very presence of wildlife. Negative comments about opossums, raccoons, deer, wild turkeys and the much maligned Eastern Coyote seem to spread like wildfire as Thanksgiving draws near. Some neighborhood social media sites fuel misinformation about urban wildlife with comments such as, “We saw a coyote lurking in a field.” Deer, rabbits, turkeys and coyotes might be seen in a field, but none lurk there: a reminder that the usage of certain words can be powerful and lead to fear-mongering. Continue reading

Food Safety Tips to be Thankful for this Thanksgiving

Whether you’re a pro at hosting the Thanksgiving meal or this will be your very first time, it’s important to follow and practice food safety tips, especially when any type of raw meat is involved.

Oakland County Health Division put together a helpful list of safety tips that includes cleaning, separating, cooking, and chilling your food. We added a special section from the Partnership for Food Safety Education that tackles one of our Thanksgiving favorites: stuffing!

Read through the tips beforehand to get an idea of what to expect as you’ll be preparing your feast. Jot down some notes as you begin to think about what serving pieces and how many cutting boards you’ll need, your counter space arrangement, how many items need to go in the oven, etc. Continue reading