Turkey day the eco way

for this year’s celebratory dinner this news comes just a tad too late, but it is something to remember before your next turkey is brought to the table. I think we have all been conditioned (not to use the word brainwashed) to think that turkeys come frozen, with breasts that are puffed up like balloons, lots of white meat that doesn’t really have all that much flavor when you come down to it. But there is some good news: some farmers are raising heritage birds again, turkeys that are not bred for their huge sizes but for flavorful meat, turkeys that are not cooped up in places too small for them but have the run of the land. And they are beautiful birds, resembling those we remember from picture books about the pilgrims’ first Thanksgiving, the Bourbon Reds. They are colorful animals with reddish brown feathers and white tipped wings that I first read about in Barbara Kingsolver’s “Animal Vegetable Miracle“. Maybe you can find a farm in your area that specializes in old breeds. If you do, let us know. My grandmother used to tell us kids that turkeys have 12 different kinds of meat. Over the years that fact seems to have gotten lost. Ah, maybe those were the good old days after all ;)

Wishing you and your loved ones a Happy Thankgsgiving!

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11 Responses to “Turkey day the eco way”

  1. Kerstin Says:

    Happy Thanksgiving to you both!

    As for the turkey, this one is the kind I knew before I moved to the US:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Male_north_american_turkey_supersaturated.jpg

    but we had it only once instead of a goose for our Christmas feast. We liked the geese better.

  2. ingrid Says:

    Thank you, Kerstin. We hope you had a happy Thanksgiving too. That turkey in the picture is a glorious animal, really a shame to kill, isn’t it. (We had Chile-con-pumpkin for thanksgiving dinner tonight, so I only ‘slaughtered’ a big pumpkin and I feel better for it ;)
    I always had a hard time finding a fresh goose when I still lived in NJ, here in Austria geese are the usual Christmas dinner, but turkeys are making inroads. The all-white-feathers kind only.

  3. Kerstin Says:

    I actually have no clue what kind of turkey I eat when I get turkey breast or other pieces.
    In the US I tried goose once, ordered from a German butcher in Mountainview. It was a Canada goose, which I realized too late, and I prepared it like a normal domesticated goose. The result was too dry, but the people I afflicted with it said they liked it, sure :)

    Glad you enjoyed your pumpkin :)

  4. ingrid Says:

    the supermarket I shop in carries many local products, so even though I don’t know the breed of turkey I can tell the farm where it came from. At least it I know it didn’t come from a meat factory.
    I don’t think I ever had a Canada goose. wild duck and pheasant yes. Once someone brought a wild rabbit (fur, head, buckshot and all) – I made him take it apart ;)

  5. Kerstin Says:

    Luckily I never had to take a complete animal apart myself. My mom had to once and she cursed all the way through the process.
    Canada goose is probably very taste too, if you prepare it correctly :)

  6. ingrid Says:

    I have only watched other people, it is an experience I can do without. And yes, the way food is prepared does make a difference ;)
    My parents used to tell the story of coming upon an old man in the forest who had a basket of mushrooms, the lot of them so poisonous most people would probably have died from just eating a tiny bit but he knew how to prepare them. I can identify about 4 different kinds of edible mushrooms and that is what I stick with ;)

  7. Kerstin Says:

    ingrid:
    “I can identify about 4 different kinds of edible mushrooms and that is what I stick with ;)

    maybe 6 or 7 here, even though I basically grew up picking and eating them “en masse” :)

  8. ingrid Says:

    Kerstin:
    “maybe 6 or 7 here, even though I basically grew up picking and eating them “en masse”
    and picking them is half the fun. I love that almost as much as I enjoy the taste -but there are some people I know who do not enjoy either ;)

  9. Kerstin Says:

    as a child I didn’t much appreciate the picking. my dad was always up really early and we had to go with him. my sister once just ran away home. she was only 4 at the time :)

  10. ingrid Says:

    “she was only 4 at the time”
    now that is funny, but I bet it wasn’t at the time. :)

  11. Kerstin Says:

    no, not when my dad and I came home. We had been running around like crazy looking for her :)

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