Sunday, December 07, 2008

Thankful for Slow Food

From this:

To this:

To this:

To this:

To this:

Round here, Thanksgiving dinner begins in the spring with the hatching of an egg. It takes 7 to 9 months to grow a heritage turkey to a modest table weight. That's roughly 420 to 540 trips out to the pasture to provide food and water for the gobblers. That's a lot of time.

This year I cooked two ~ 8 lb hens for our Thanksgiving feast: one for dinner and one for left overs. Me, I don't much like leftovers, but I found out the hard way one year when it was just Jim and I—after I'd brilliantly labored over a gorgeous duck—that Thanksgiving leftovers are apparently more important than the celebratory feast itself. So, I oblige.

Our turkeys not only provided a feast for 8, they also provided leftovers for four households, at least two more dinners for us, as well as lunches for Jim over the coming year, not to mention the remaining meals provided for two very happy dogs. Once all Thanksgiving gluttony was sated, I made turkey lentil soup with the two carcasses, eking out one last dinner before canning the remainder—5 quarts of soup that will nourish Jim through the winter.

Thank you turkeys for your beauty in life and your bounty in death. I am humbly grateful for all you have provided my family and sincerely wish to be worthy of the gift taken.


threecollie said...

Those are gorgeous turkeys...or were I guess, but surely very pretty.

Matriarchy said...

That soup looks good. Is there a recipe?

el said...

Beautiful post, especially because you are so appreciative. Our girl was pushing 9 lbs but boy was she tasty. So many good meals came out of her sacrifice and yes indeed we were all ridiculously grateful, and will be again when I thaw the last of that soup in February.

Christy said...

Next year I'll raise my own turkey for Thanksgiving. Did you sell any? Did you process them yourself?

karl said...

nicely said. the circle of life apparent at the thanks giving dinner table.

Alex Polikowsky said...

Danielle I hope you don't mind me talking about you here:
YOu are inspiring!

Maria said...

Wow, they are very beautiful!

Danielle said...

Matriarchy, no, sorry, no real recipe—I just kinda toss in what I have to use. Soups are great that way: they let you use up whatever needs to be used in the fridge or whatever you have growing, and it's all good.

Threecollie, I love my turkeys. They are absolutely beautiful—dumb, but beautiful. The geese on the other hand are just totally annoying.

Yes, Christy, we sold 14 of our birds this year, and that was just about the right number for me. We did end up saving one of the hens, so we now have three breeding hens. I'm planning to separate them in the spring in the hopes of a more successful hatching season this year. I suspect one of them was eating the eggs last year—either that or a predator was.

Thanks for the compliment Alex. What a cool blog you're putting together! I'm sure it will be very helpful for folks new to family cows.

Madeline said...

Your turkeys are unusually beautiful! Way more than ours. The meat was tough for us but the soup we made was amazing. Was yours tough?