Friday, December 6, 2013

Turkey Day and Egg Day


I know the turkey is supposed to get all the attention on Thanksgiving, but when I look back through the photos I took as I prepared the meal, it was very apparent that the eggs were stealing the show in my eyes.  The pictures above are all screen shots from my phone camera that show how many pictures of eggs I took!  I may be obsessed.  Since Helen and Mrs. Hall are taking an egg laying break while they grow new feathers, and because the holiday meal would require more eggs that those old biddies could produce in a month, I bought two big cartons of eggs from Joe.  They were lovely eggs.  So lovely in fact, that I took dozens of photos while they were still in the carton.  Turns out there are all sorts of fun compositions to be found with eggs in a grid pattern.  

The majority of the eggs went into the pies.  Chocolate pies with fluffy egg meringue, and pumpkin pies made with honey.  The apple pie made from the apples picked by my nephew turned out perfectly!  The apples held their shape and were nice and tart, just the way I like it.  Notice the vase of turkey feathers I kept from our recent plucking party.  I kept some of each type of turkey, so I had black feathers, red feathers, gray feathers, and pretty white ones with black stripes.  Little did I know that my feather collections would turn out to not only be decorative, but also be perfect cat toys.  It's not ideal to have feathers coveted by kittens in the midst of your holiday decor.  

The kittens love to chase the turkey tail feathers and fight with them.  Of all their toys, they love the feathers best.  

Even the dog enjoys some turkey tail tug of war.  Who knew? 

I used lard to make my pie crusts this year, and they turned out very lovely to look at, and flaky, but not as tasty as crusts I've made in the past with butter.  I thought they were a little bland and left a bit of a greasy feel in my mouth.  

Isn't this a pretty apple pie? 

The turkey, which was raised by Joe, plucked by Jamie or Brandon, and gutted and cleaned up by myself and Ashley with help from Leigh (it takes a team to make a turkey!), turned out to be one of the most delicious turkeys I've ever cooked.  I used an oven bag, and included lots of potatoes, herbs, and vegetables with it, and because it was a heritage breed of turkey, with smaller breasts and bigger legs, cooked it a little less time than a factory farm bird.  It was so moist!  And if you are a fan of turkey flavor, it was the perfect bird.  The meat was so very flavorful, especially the dark meat, that now I realize that most of the turkey I have had in the past was bland and salty.  I used the giblets in the dressing, and stock made from the giblets for the gravy.  

I like to daydream of someday serving a thanksgiving meal of all food from local sources.  This year I had homegrown turkey and eggs, my own herbs, lard in the pie dough I rendered from a local pig, and apples picked by my nephew for the pie.  Surely next year I can plan the garden a little better and have some potatoes and carrots.  Not sure how to grow cranberry sauce...

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