The story of this year's heritage Thanksgiving turkey began many months ago when, Genevieve, our raw milk source, informed me that they would be raising free range fowl on their farm... I placed my order right there on the spot, and over the course of the spring and summer, I returned and found the little ones growing into mighty fine birds. (Benjamin Franklin would have been proud.)
When this afternoon's table was set and the turkey served up alongside the traditional holiday fare, my thankfulness extended toward our friendly farmers who raised the bird, the sun and rain that grew the grass, the soil that (temporarily) hosted the grubs before they became a turkey snack...and ultimately, the One who first placed us in a garden and called all things good...
Visiting the little guys early on...
A genuine "Spring Chicken"
And oh, the funny sight of adolescent geese.
They reminded me of me at thirteen.
But there must be hope:
A return in the late summer revealed elegant, graceful birds in place of the original gangly, awkward flock...
Thank you to my father in law, Dave, for his delicious brining and masterful grilling on the Traeger , and thanks to my husband, Ted, for the carving skills... I can't wait to report back on the turkey stock magic I plan to work tomorrow...
Cranberry Apple Chutney
(From the Williamsburg Manor Bed and Breakfast)
1 C. sugar
1/4 C. red wine vinegar
1/3 C. sugar
1//2 t. cloves
1/2 C. chopped walnuts
1 C. water
2 green apples
2 T. lemon juice
1 T. cinnamon
1 T. grated ginger
In a saucepan, combine the cranberries and one cup of the sugar. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes.
Peel, core, and cube the apples and place them in another saucepan along with the vinegar, lemon juice, 1/3 C. sugar, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, and walnuts. Lightly cook the mixture until the apples are soft.
Combine the apple and cranberry mixtures and allow to cool. Refrigerate.
My leftover food for thought: I love using the extras on turkey sandwiches...but best of all is this: spread heaping spoonfuls over a wedge of brie, crumble brown sugar around the sides, and broil until it's just the right texture for spreading on apple slices or bread... Mmm. Heaven!