I wanted to let you know about the amazing Thanksgiving I was fortunate to have this year. Maumee Valley Slow Food held a convivium at the home of a famous lawyer who raises his own food. He raised heritage turkeys this year for his and his family's use and thankfully, I was able to get one, too.
Hearing that heritage turkeys raised naturally tend to yield tougher meat, I took care to ensure a juicy product. While it seems corney, I use the Reynolds baking bag for my turkey. Once cleaned, I simply squeezed oranges, drizzled olive oil, and salted and peppered the bird. I then followed the directions with the baking bag. The bird was delicious, one of our 12 year old guests even remarked on how great it tasted! For me, the best compliment came from my 83 year old aunt who is too sick to come to the feast, had one of those frozen turkeys, and then tried the leftovers Friday. While she usually says she doesn't have a very strong sense of taste (or smell), she remarked she could really tell the difference!
The hand-written label on the jumbo zip-lock back where the turkey was stored read: "Slaughtered with love and reverence". In Barbara Kingsolver's Animal, Vegetable, Miracle book, she describes how turkeys major purpose is for food. How we should respect our animals and enjoy and raise them for food. Also, I've read animals under stress release stress hormones especially while being butchered. Eating an animal that has been raised humanely and loved through the very end really does make a difference! Thank you Mr. Leizerman for making our meal respectable.
Other dishes served:
Corn casserole using corn sliced off the cob in the Summer frozen,
Green bean casserole using onions that had been sliced from onions obtained at the Toledo Farmers' Market in October and frozen,
Cranberries (fresh chopped cranberries with chopped dates, chopped walnuts, chopped apples and apple jelly)
Dressing made with three kinds of bread (sourdough, whole wheat challah, and rye), almonds, apples, mushrooms, onions, yellow pepper, sausage, and chicken stock.
Sweet potatoes with carrots, orange juice, brown sugar, butter and Craisins
Mashed potatoes with Manchego cheese
Mock liver - vegetable walnut pate (recipe from Molly Katzen's Moosewood cookbook)
and pumpkin and pecan pies brought by the neighbors.
Hope your day was just as memorable.