2TurkeysWe finally ate the two surviving turkeys out of the three we bought last June. They definitely hadn’t reached eating size by Thanksgiving, and were still a little small around Christmas. And nobody wants to eat turkey at Christmas anyway, since it’s only a month after eating turkey at Thanksgiving! We were busy, so I let them grow a little longer.

The Bourbon Red was looking pretty good, I was just waiting for a non-busy weekend to do some butchering. So imagine my irritation to find him dead in the pasture in January! He had strangled in the hotwire. But in typical turkey style, his head was barely caught, I literally just lifted him free, only much too late for salvation. A smarter bird could have struggled and backed out of the wire. But not a turkey! I found him in the afternoon, and was pretty sure it happened during the day. He was cold and a little bedraggled from rain. Noooooo way, I thought, there is probably fifty bucks of food into that thing! So I did what any hillbilly farmer would do: I butchered it out for us to eat! Open-mouthed smile We have a joke around here, of declaring, it’s still perfectly good about many things which are, in fact, probably less than perfectly good. But I wasn’t raised by parents who were raised by parents who grew up in The Depression Era for nothing: I don’t like to waste.

Now mind you, I’d never sell a questionable something to someone else. Not only is it illegal to process and sell “4D” meat, but I wouldn’t want to ruin someone’s taste buds for food from our farm. But for us, we can venture to eat things that may or may not end up tasting ok. If they don’t, we can just feed them to the dogs, who have zero sense of what tastes good. Besides, some Europeans like to eat their poultry aged first with the entrails intact, citing more robust flavor. Winking smile

I think it weighed 21 lbs “live” weight (“live,” in this case, meaning in the sense of not having been butchered-out yet…) So still pretty modestly sized for a 6 month old bird. Without having been bled, I knew it wouldn’t be good for roasting. So I skinned it(which is less work than plucking) and cooked it in the pressure cooker for soup. And it was good! Really good!

Here is a picture of the meat: you can see how a non-bled bird has some discoloration that just doesn’t make for good presentation as a roast (and this is pretty unflattering lighting as well). As far as I can tell, it doesn’t affect the taste, and I’m not sure if it affects the texture or tenderness. But it’s fine for chopping up in soup and such. Blood is perfectly ok to eat, and many cultures make a rich soup out of it. But it’s just not so nice looking when it’s left behind in the muscle! Smile with tongue out


We got a lot of meals out of the first batch of soup, and I froze two more packages of meat and one batch of broth. And all the rest of the tidbits went into several dog food meals.TurkeySoup

I always label the packages appropriately so I can remember which animal we are eating, in case I want to make note of how it turned out. There is just no glamor in farming, so you might as well be honest with yourself in your own labeling. Winking smile


The Royal Palm we ate this last week, I’ll tell about him next.