Blog :: 11-2014

How You Can Help...

giveEvery year at this time we direct our focus toward helping those in need. This year we will be delivering coats to Grace Center, shopping for our local food pantry, buying children's books for Ipswich Caring and sponsoring a gift tree for Ipswich Humane Group. Visit our office at 16 Market Street, Ipswich, across from Family Dollar during business hours which are Monday through Friday 9am-5pm and Saturdays 9am-3pm. Donate gently worn, adult winter clothing and/or non-perishable food items including paper products and personal hygiene items. Some examples of items in need: Peanut butter, cereal, canned soup, canned chicken/tuna, canned fruit, healthy snacks, such as granola bars, raisins, dried fruit and graham crackers, shampoo, deodorant, razors, toothpaste, toothbrushes. Please make sure food has not expired. All donations we receive will be delivered to the Ipswich Community Food Pantry.

Turkey Tips

turkeyGood Housekeeping has been around a long time so I will happily take their advice this Thanksgiving on how to handle the turkey!

1. Should I buy a fresh or frozen turkey? Frozen turkeys are widely available and often on sale during the holidays. Some are prebasted to enhance juiciness. You can buy them well in advance of Thanksgiving, but you'll need to allow enough time for them to thaw.

Many people prefer fresh turkeys but they are usually more expensive, have a shorter shelf life, and you may need to special-order one. Don't buy one more than two days ahead.

2. What are other differences in types of turkeys that I should be aware of? Kosher turkeys are salted as part of the koshering process, so no additional salt is needed. This process makes the meat very tender and juicy, similar to the results you'd get from a brined bird.

Organic turkeys are raised and fed without the use of antibiotics, hormones or artificial flavors or colors It is against the law to use hormones on any turkey, so even your frozen nonbranded will be hormone free.

Free-range turkeys are raised and allowed free access to feed outdoors.

Prepackaged turkeys have water added to keep the meat moist.

3. How do I figure out what size bird I need? The rule is 1 pound of uncooked turkey per person. That gives you enough for everyone to have a generous serving, with leftovers for the weekend.

If you'll be cooking for a large crowd, consult our handy chart for the amounts you should buy.

4. What if most of my family wants white meat? Cook an additional turkey breast. If your family prefers dark meat, on the other hand, cook two small turkeys instead of one large one.

5. I bought two turkeys last year but used only one -- the other is in my freezer. Can I cook it this year? Properly wrapped poultry can be kept for up to one year if it is frozen below 0 degrees F. Keep whole uncooked turkeys in their original packaging when you freeze them.

6. How do I thaw a frozen turkey? The best way: Place frozen turkey (still in packaging) in a shallow pan on the bottom shelf of the refrigerator. Allow 24 hours thawing time for every 4 to 5 pounds. A thawed bird can keep up to 4 days in the fridge.

Last-minute solution: Place a still-wrapped turkey in a large cooler or bowl and submerge in cold water. Allow 30 minutes of thawing time per pound and change the water every 30 minutes. Cook turkey immediately.

7. How can I stuff the bird safely? The best way: Bake stuffing separately in a shallow casserole in the oven alongside the turkey. If you prefer to stuff the bird, follow these guidelines: o Make sure the turkey is fully thawed. o Mix ingredients just before using and pack stuffing loosely into cavity to allow room for expansion. o Roast turkey about 30 minutes longer than an unstuffed one. o Check that the internal temperature of the stuffing reaches 165 degrees F.

8. What's the best roasting method? o Place the turkey (breast side up) on a rack in a large roasting pan in an oven preheated to 325 degrees F. If you don't have a rack, place 2 or 3 large carrots crosswise underneath the bird to ensure good heat circulation. o For moist meat, cover with foil from the start -- but remove foil during the last hour of roasting for browner, crispier skin. o Basting with pan juices isn't necessary, but it will help with browning after the foil is removed. o Roast turkey 3 to 3 3/4 hours for a 12- to 14-pounder. (That's around 15 to 17 minutes per pound for an unstuffed bird.) o Use an instant-read meat thermometer to test doneness. Turkey should be taken out of the oven when the thickest part of the thigh (next to but not touching the bone) reaches 175 degrees F and the breast reaches 165 degrees F. Keep in mind that temperature will rise 5 degrees to 10 degrees F upon standing. o If the turkey is fully cooked earlier than expected, wrap the entire bird and pan with foil and place a large bath towel on top to keep it hot and moist for 1 hour. Never leave at room temperature longer than 2 hours.

9. Everything I'm making will be done at different times. How can I get it all on the table at once? Keep hot foods hot and cold foods cold: Bacteria growth increases when food is kept between 40 degrees F and 140 degrees F for more than two hours. Figure out which cold dishes and desserts can be made in advance and kept in the refrigerator. When possible, use shallow baking dishes for side dishes -- they can often fit on the lowest rack of the oven while the turkey is roasting. To keep food warm, reduce the oven temperature to 200 degrees F and wrap dishes with aluminum foil. The microwave can be used on less than full power to reheat smaller dishes that have been refrigerated.

10. We have a lot of leftovers this year. How long will they stay fresh? Cooked poultry should be kept refrigerated for a maximum of three to four days; stuffing and gravy are good for one to two days. Reheat leftovers to an internal temperature of 165 degrees F.

Thank you Good Housekeeping! You are a life-saver!

Baby It's Cold Outside - Fireplace Safety

fireplace3Thumbing through an old edition of "This Old House" magazine, thinking about Thanksgiving festivities about to begin and guests arriving any minute now, I thought you'd find this enlightening. Tip #6 gives an easy measure for safety, mainly for older fireplaces, that if it's too hot to hold your hand right above the mantle, stop using your fireplace and have it checked out.  Oh, and if Uncle Al or Cousin Bill insist on "helping" you might want to point out tips 5 & 6. Happy Holidays!

Excerpted from "This Old House" December 2009 edition.

Before you succumb to your primal urges and set even a single log ablaze, be certain you've taken the steps required to make the fires you start this season as successful--and safe--as possible. Mark Schaub, of Chimney Savers in Hillsborough, New Jersey, has offered his expertise on many This Old House television projects. Here, he takes you through the drill.

1. Hire a Chimney Sweep

Book a pro to give your chimney and hearth its annual physical. A certified chimney sweep will inspect your masonry, flue liner, chimney cap, and venting system to make sure everything's clean, clear, and up to code. You can locate a sweep through the Chimney Safety Institute of America (csia.org). Prices vary, but expect a basic hour-long inspection and cleaning to run around $200.

2. Test Your Gear

Shine a flashlight on the damper and try it out a few times to make sure it opens and closes tightly. Most wood-burning fireplaces have a metal grate to cradle firewood up off the bottom so air can circulate around the logs; if the grate is cracked or sagging, replace it. Sparks can fly into living areas through ripped screens or mesh that doesn't close all the way; prevent injury and damage by lubricating or replacing worn-out mesh.

3. Use the Right Wood

Next to an annual sweeping, burning dry, split hardwood is the best thing you can do for your fireplace. It starts easily, burns for a long time, and leaves less creosote in the flue. Try to buy or cut wood in the late winter, before it's full of spring sap, and let it dry outside for six months. Well-seasoned wood is grayish and furrowed with natural cracks. Bring in only as much as you need for your next fire; wood can harbor insects that may become active in the warmth of the house. Outside, keep the stack covered on top and open on the sides to keep the wood dry.

4. Warm the Flue

Smoke won't rise if the flue is filled with cold air. To avoid downdrafts that can push out smoke and toxic fumes, warm up the air in the flue first. After you've opened the damper--and before you've lit the logs--encourage fireplace smoke to travel up and out the chimney by lighting a rolled-up sheet of newspaper and holding it in a gloved hand at the opening to the flue, so warm air can ascend.

5. Know What Not to Burn

Fireplaces make poor incinerators. Avoid tossing in Christmas trees, pizza boxes, and driftwood, which flare up fast and could cause a fire in a dirty chimney. Also on the "do not burn" list: painted or treated lumber and newspaper printed in color, because the preservatives and inks create noxious fumes. Manufactured firewood--formed of compressed sawdust, pencil shavings, copper sulfate, and paraffin wax--is a fine choice on its own, but don't burn manufactured logs with real wood or flare-ups could result.

6. Don't Overload the Firebox

Burning more than three logs at a time increases heat saturation, which could eventually ignite combustible materials adjacent to the fireplace and chimney. (This is a bigger issue with older fireplaces, which may not have the air gap between framing and masonry mandated by current codes.) Schaub recommends testing for heat saturation by placing your hand right above the mantel: If it's too hot to keep your hand there, quit using the fireplace until you have the system inspected.

7. Build a Fire (the easy way)

Here's Schaub's foolproof technique for a cozy fire in 15 minutes: Ignite a fire-starter brick in the center of the grate. Next, place one log, lengthwise, behind the starter and another one in front of it. When those catch, place a log diagonally across them. This setup encourages combustion air to flow around all three logs.

8. Watch and Wait

"Fireplaces are like children. They need to be watched," says Schaub. "Be prepared to stay with the fire until the end." Let it burn out naturally--water tossed onto the fire can damage the firebox--then dispose of ashes safely in a metal bin left outdoors until the embers die. Never vacuum up fresh ashes. "You'd be amazed at how long embers can stay hot in a bed of ash," Schaub says. "It could be a couple of days before they cool."

Home Sales in Your Neighborhood - Topsfield, MA

9/1/14-10/31/14

Address #BR #BA List $ Sale $
Single Family
151 River Rd, Topsfield, MA 3 1 $339,900 $360,000
10 Colrain Rd, Topsfield, MA 3 1.5 $410,000 $405,000
2 Antoria Way, Topsfield, MA 2 2 $445,000 $420,000
6 Sleepy Hollow Rd, Topsfield, MA 3 2.5 $519,000 $510,000
3 Dover Hill Rd, Topsfield, MA 4 3.5 $549,900 $510,000
244 Rowley Bridge Rd, Topsfield, MA 4 2.5 $559,995 $545,000
23 Campmeeting Rd, Topsfield, MA 4 2.5 $569,000 $562,000
6 Heritage Ln, Topsfield, MA 4 2.5 $650,000 $652,500
8 Wilmor Rd, Topsfield, MA 4 2.5 $659,000 $625,000
6 Mansion Dr, Topsfield, MA 4 2.5 $670,000 $623,000
117 Main St, Topsfield, MA 5 2.5 $699,900 $692,000
51 Fox Run Rd, Topsfield, MA 4 3.5 $739,900 $699,000
Lot 23 Hickory Ln, Topsfield, MA 4 2.5 $749,900 $770,000
2 Fuller Farms Rd, Topsfield, MA 4 3.5 $769,900 $770,000
15 Morningside Dr, Topsfield, MA 4 2+2 $884,000 $875,000
49 Alderbrook Dr, Topsfield, MA 4 2.5 $895,000 $885,000
124 Hill St, Topsfield, MA 4 3 $919,900 $919,900
6 High Ridge Rd, Topsfield, MA 4 3.5 $939,000 $915,000

 

This representation is based in whole or in part on data supplied by our MLS partners. These entities neither guarantee nor are responsible for data accuracy. Data maintained by MLS may not reflect all real estate activity in the market.

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Home Sales in Your Neighborhood - Ipswich, MA

Address #BR #BA List $ Sale $
Single Family
3 Town Farm Rd, Ipswich, MA 3 2 $299,000 $320,000
90-92 High St, Ipswich, MA 3 2 $299,900 $275,000
5 Cherry St, Ipswich, MA 2 1 $299,900 $290,000
89 Topsfield Rd, Ipswich, MA 3 1 $315,000 $294,500
7 Congress St, Ipswich, MA 3 1 $359,000 $350,000
25 Birch Ln, Ipswich 3 1.5 $375,000 $377,000
1 Chattanooga Rd, Ipswich, MA 2 2.5 $399,000 $380,000
20 Oakhurst Ave, Ipswich, MA 3 2.5 $425,000 $393,319
443 Linebrook Rd, Ipswich, MA 4 1.5 $439,500 $418,000
3 Dudley Way, Ipswich, MA 3 1+2 $439,900 $439,900
15 Labor-in-Vain, Ipswich 2 1.5 $475,000 $460,000
6 Alderson Drive, Ipswich, MA 4 2.5 $499,500 $499,500
354 Linebrook Rd, Ipswich, MA 3 2.5 $579,000 $579,000
80 County Rd, Ipswich, MA 3 2.5 $579,900 $580,000
31 Candlewood Rd, Ipswich, MA 4 2.5 $589,000 $575,000
14 Oakwood Knoll Rd, Ipswich, MA 3 2.5 $594,900 $600,000
3 Mulholland Dr, Ipswich, MA 3 3 $599,000 $582,000
23 Mullholland Dr, Ipswich, MA 3 3 $634,900 $600,000
4 Fox Run Rd, Ipswich, MA 4 2.5 $645,000 $625,000
21 Hawk Hill Ln, Ipswich, MA 3 2+2 $659,000 $650,000
8 Oakhurst Ave, Ipswich, MA 4 2.5 $699,900 $665,000
38 Fellows Rd, Ipswich, MA 3 3 $825,000 $781,000
Condominium
500-302 Colonial Dr, Ipswich, MA 2 2 $219,900 $200,000
29 Summer St #17, Ipswich, MA 1 1 $259,000 $259,000
29 Summer St #18, Ipswich, MA 1 1 $264,000 $252,000
45 County St #3, Ipswich, MA 2 2 $279,900 $267,500
3 Mayfair Ct, Ipswich, MA 3 2.5 $319,900 $318,000
12 Mayfair Ct, Ipswich, MA 2 2.5 $335,000 $330,000
2 New Mill Pl, Ipswich, MA 2 2.5 $359,900 $355,000
24 Moray, Ipswich, MA 3 2.5 $739,900 $739,900
22 Moray, Ipswich, MA 3 3.5 $799,900 $799,900
Multi-Family
4 Mineral St, Ipswich, MA 2 Unit $399,900 $399,900

 

This representation is based in whole or in part on data supplied by our MLS partners. These entities neither guarantee nor are responsible for data accuracy. Data maintained by MLS may not reflect all real estate activity in the market.

Comments

  1. Girish on

    That's infuriating. Greg, have you ever coeerdsind writing a piece for MLSS or someplace clearing up issues like this?I can see the headline: "Jol is full of sh*t."Thanks for the great work, Greg. I speak for the entire Alliance of American Association Football Transfer Knowledge Seekers in thanking you for your public service.

    Home Sales in Your Neighborhood - Essex, MA

    9/1/14-10/31/14

    Address #BR #BA List $ Sale $
    Single Family
    41 Robbins Island Rd, Essex, MA 3 1 $30,000 $11,000
    4 Town Farm Rd, Essex, MA 2 1 $249,000 $28,000
    6 Turtleback Rd, Essex, MA 2 2 $288,000 $288,000
    130 Rocky Hill Rd, Essex, MA 3 2.5 $892,000 $892,000
    9 Dodge St, Essex, MA 3 1 $359,000 $345,000
    11 Winthrop St, Essex, MA 3 1 $439,000 $425,000

     

    This representation is based in whole or in part on data supplied by our MLS partners. These entities neither guarantee nor are responsible for data accuracy. Data maintained by MLS may not reflect all real estate activity in the market.

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    Home Sales in Your Neighborhood - Wenham, MA

    9/1/14-10/31/14

    Address #BR #BA List $ Sale $
    Single Family
    Lot 4 Settlers' Lane Wenham, MA 4 3.5 $985,000 $940,000
    11 Batchelder Park Wenham, MA 3 1.5 $299,900 $315,000
    2 Speakers Lane Wenham, MA 4 2.5 $799,999 $799,999
    116 Maple St Wenham, MA 4 20 $429,900 $422,500
    3 Gussett Rd Wenham, MA 5 5.5 $1,798,888 $1,700,000
    1 Toppan Lane Wenham, MA 4 2.5 $699,900 $685,000
    11 Puritan Road Wenham, MA 3 1.5 $399,000 $405,000

     

     

    This representation is based in whole or in part on data supplied by our MLS partners. These entities neither guarantee nor are responsible for data accuracy. Data maintained by MLS may not reflect all real estate activity in the market.

    Home Sales in Your Neigborhood - Hamilton, MA

    9/1/14-10/31/14

    Address #BR #BA List $ Sale $
    Single Family
    49 Perkins Ave, Hamilton, MA 2 1 $145,000 $115,000
    300 Asbury St, Hamilton, MA 3 1 $310,000 $300,000
    22 Naples Rd, Hamilton, MA 2 2 $379,000 $370,000
    67 Rust St, Hamilton, MA 3 1.5 $399,900 $400,000
    16 Rust St, Hamilton, MA 4 1.5 $429,000 $420,000
    504 Essex St, Hamilton, MA 4 2.5 $459,000 $442,000
    28 Union St, Hamilton, MA 3 1.5 $459,900 $440,000
    5 Howard St, Hamilton, MA 4 1.5 $495,000 $478,500
    17 Berrywood Ln, Hamilton, MA 3 3 $499,000 $473,000
    11 Martel Rd, Hamilton, MA 4 2 $510,000 $500,000
    47 Howard St, Hamilton, MA 4 2 $529,900 $512,000
    65 Berry Cir, Hamilton, MA 4 2.5 $850,000 $786,200
    Land
    0 Turkey Island, Hamilton, MA 2 ac non-build $9,000 $5,000

    This representation is based in whole or in part on data supplied by our MLS partners. These entities neither guarantee nor are responsible for data accuracy. Data maintained by MLS may not reflect all real estate activity in the market.

    Homes for Sale in Your Neighborhood - Rowley, MA

    9/1/14-10/31/14

    Address #BR #BA List $ Sale $
    Single Family
    12 Allen Ave, Rowley, MA 3 1 $329,900 $327,500
    165 Newbury Rd, Rowley, MA 3 1.5 $330,000 $320,000
    704 Haverhill, Rowley, MA 3 2 $354,000 $350,000
    26 Fenno Dr, Rowley, MA 3 2 $384,617 $372,000
    13 Perley Ave, Rowley, MA 3 2.5 $439,900 $468,900
    89 Newbury Rd, Rowley, MA 4 2 $479,900 $460,000
    34 Pleasant St, Rowley, MA 4 2.5 $569,900 $569,500
    Condominium
    8 Longmeadow Dr #12, Rowley, MA 2 1.5 $169,000 $164,000
    11 Heritage Way #6, Rowley, MA 2 2.5 $460,000 $450,000
    17 Heritage Way #9, Rowley, MA 2 2.5 $460,000 $445,000

     

    This representation is based in whole or in part on data supplied by our MLS partners. These entities neither guarantee nor are responsible for data accuracy. Data maintained by MLS may not reflect all real estate activity in the market.

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    Home Sales in Your Neighborhood - Manchester, MA

    9/1/14-10/31/14

    Address #BR #BA List $ Sale $
    Single Family
    44 Norwood Ave, Manchester, MA 4 2 $525,000 $470,000
    20 Washington St, Manchester, MA 2 1.5 $596,000 $612,000
    31 Lincoln St, Manchester, MA 4 2.5 $710,000 $750,000
    24 Walker Rd, Manchester, MA 3 3 $789,900 $769,005
    21 Woodholm Rd, Manchester, MA 4 2.5 $980,000 $980,000
    1 Woodholm Rd, Manchester, MA 3 2 $1,200,000 $1,140,000
    5 Blynman Cir, Manchester, MA 3 3.5 $1,620,000 $1,500,000
    22 Proctor St, Manchester, MA 6 4.5 $2,500,000 $2,100,000
    5 Proctor St, Manchester, MA 5 5.5 $4,850,000 $4,150,000
    Condominium
    47 Raymond St #3, Manchester, MA 2 1 $575,000 $575,000
    Multi-Family
    19 Harbor St, Manchester, MA 2 Unit $1,100,000 $1,075,000
    Land
    41 Walker, Manchester, MA 0.66 acres $400,000 $375,000

     

     

    This representation is based in whole or in part on data supplied by our MLS partners. These entities neither guarantee nor are responsible for data accuracy. Data maintained by MLS may not reflect all real estate activity in the market.

    Comments

    1. No comments. Be the first to comment.