So I’m incredibly excited this Thanksgiving. Not because we’re traveling anywhere good – we have gone to Sarasota, Florida in the past, and that was fun. Not because we’re NOT traveling, but staying home for a much-needed rest, even though we are. No, I’m excited because we’re CSA members. We heart Horse and Buggy Produce. Because this year, in addition to all the yummy winter tubers coming our way (sweet potatoes, turnips, squash) we are the proud owners of our very first 14.4 pound totally free range, organic, has lived his whole life in a pasture, turkey. Hooray! I feel like Barbara Kingsolver on Christmas Day.
Direct quote from Brett and April (Horse and Buggy’s hardworking team):
Our Mennonite turkey farmer, Mark Horst, raised 39 beautiful turkeys for us this year. They were raised on his pasture, dined on non-GMO feed, were given no antibiotics, and, most importantly, received lots of love from his two small children who helped with the whole process.
Doesn’t that just give you a warm fuzzy inside? Okay, maybe the last part has a slight factor of creepy, but hey, I’d rather eat a bird that was loved instead of caged and force-fed until his breast was so huge he fell over. Just watched a Tony Bourdain episode filmed in Puerto Rico, and his companion commented on their barbecued pork, “My momma always said a pig this good must’ve been loved.” Amen brotha!
We’ve really entered foreign territory with this bird. Even just getting it told us something was different, because instead of the pure white bulbous breast of your standard Butterball, our turkey’s breast is more shallow, the legs in better proportion to it. This bird’s skin is pinker in color. And nubby, not smooth. It actually looks healthy, like something that was born and grew, not something that was created in a lab and injected with silicone implants in 0rder to maximize white meat for the kiddies.
I can’t wait to cook the thing. And no, we’re not total organic-green-environmental-hippy-foodie snobs. We can’t be because the recipe I’ll be using is from Sandra Lee. Yes, THAT Sandra Lee. The Barbie-who-cooks-with-prepackaged-crap-and-always-makes-a-cocktail-to-match Sandra Lee. That one. Her book on how to throw parties is HIGH-sterical. I gave it as a Christmas gift one year and we all howled flipping through the pages. She actually creates a Christmas cocktail tree if you can believe it.
You can make fun of her all you want, and I do, but her recipe for Herbed Butter Turkey is no slouch. It’s damn good. This will be our third year making it, and hubby and I can’t wait to make it again. I mean, something that calls for two sticks of butter can’t be all bad, right? Underneath we’ll throw in all the butternut squash, carrots, and sweet potatoes from the CSA that we haven’t eaten yet. That bird will roast in butter on a soft bed of orangey goodness. Seriously, is there anything better than roasted vegetables as a bed? I think not.
And yes, we will serve it with jellied-in-a-can cranberry sauce. Gripe all you want, but to me, this stuff kills. It’s not some fancy relish with nuts (blech!) but more like a condiment, a tasty acid that melts away the moment it reaches your tongue. And yummy on a sandwich – with Duke’s mayonnaise of course. Anything else would be sacrilege. But more on that later…watch this space…