The blog of Hope Grows

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Tuesday, December 1, 2009


Sorry about the month long blog hiatus.

For Thanksgiving we went all out and bought a heritage turkey - one of a number of older style breeds that have been made obsolete by the modern super turkey - the Broad Breasted White. Heritage birds take 6 months to reach maturity whereas Broad Breasted Whites take only 4 and half.

WHY BUY A HERITAGE TURKEY??? I thought you would ask. Buying a heritage turkey preserves older breeds that will go extinct if people don't keep raising and eating them. Their longer life and the fact that they live on pasture eating grass, bugs, etc. - makes their meat much tastier and healthier. Modern mass produced turkeys live indoors their whole lives eating grain and breathing poop dust in overcrowded conditions.

Here is my pappy with a Bourbon Red (not the one we bought, this one moved out and has a place of his own now).

The turkey we purchased, Tom, was a Narragansett. Here is a video of us processing poor ol' Tom - *viewer discretion advised! Spurting turkey blood ahead!*

Before Tom went in the oven - we rubbed him inside and out with maple butter and rosemary and cooked him over white wine reduction, Tom's neck, and veggies. I cooked him at 400 degrees for 1 hour, then dropped it down to 350 for 1 hour. The thermometer said he was done so I panicked and pulled him out. In retrospect he could have used another half hour.

After Tom came out, we used the pan drippings to make gravy. I wish he could have been here to enjoy this.

And here is our Thanksgiving spread!


  1. very educational. but where did you learn to do this? Someone else's youtube video? :)

  2. Carly! Well we have processed a bunch of chickens and a turkey is pretty much a big chicken. We also confirmed with another local farmer that raises/processes turkeys. This is an extremely pared down backyard method--for those who want to process birds a few times a year. You'd need a more streamlined operation to process several at a time.


  3. Friends-

    Beautiful. You both should be proud of yourselves. I hope that Tom nourished your spirits so you can continue down the long road ahead. Wish I could've been there.


  4. I just noticed this post. Good job cleaning out that bird. I bet he tasted delicious. We did about 90 of those the week before Thanksgiving which made for some very long days, but very worth the effort

    Are ya'll thinking about raising turkeys for next year?

    I am glad that ya'll are continuing to learn more about your food and where it comes from. Hopefully we can share farm stories and know-how sometime soon.

  5. Please raise some T-Giving turkeys in 2010! And put my name down for one!