Time for turkey talk
This column isn’t about turkey hunting. That season has already come and gone, and we Southern Marylanders must drive quite a distance to the northwestern end of the state to take part anyway. Turkey season is more of a spring thing around here.
The kind of turkey I want to talk about is the one that will grace your table in just a few short weeks this Thanksgiving.
These days, people are getting more interested in where their food comes from and we’ve got lots of options for turkeys.
Of course, first you must decide fresh or frozen, and nowadays you can choose a bird that’s free range, organic, heritage, or even the true wild turkey if you opted to head north last week and bagged one of those gobblers.
I’ve never actually bought one of those fancy heritage turkeys myself, but I’ve had the pleasure of enjoying a very delicious Bourbon Red a few years ago at
my parents’ house.
My mom’s cooking is very good. She’s had decades of experience brining and roasting turkeys every Thanksgiving since 1969, so any kind of turkey she prepares is going to taste great. Besides, I’m a dark meat fan, which should clue you in that my palette isn’t the most discerning. In a blind taste test, I probably wouldn’t be able to tell the difference between a fancy $150 turkey and the under $20 special at Safeway.
My husband suggested this year that we do something different for Thanksgiving. He’s got one of those Big Green Eggs and has made some incredible grilled concoctions on it, from mouthwatering beef brisket to impressive pizza
from scratch and of course the best burgers I’ve ever had the pleasure of eating. Between the two of us, he might be the better cook.
He thought it might be a fun change of pace to serve prime rib for Thanksgiving this year. At first I was taken in by his suggestion because it would free up about eight hours of my time on Nov. 22 and 23. But then, two days later, I stopped by the farm in Loveville where we get our fresh eggs.
It just happened to be the first cold, dreary weather day in Southern Maryland, and as rain poured down, I quickly ran to the porch where the eggs are kept on a table.
I didn’t get but halfway to the porch when I naturally slowed
down to savor the most delicious aroma emanating from inside the farmhouse. The wife was cooking one of her turkeys. She and her husband raise them in a pen right in their backyard and have them available for pick-up at Thanksgiving and Christmas every year.
Only one whiff. That’s all it took. I’ve ordered our last three Thanksgiving turkeys from her, and this year is no different. I’ll be picking up a 20-pounder soon.
As I pulled out of the driveway with a couple dozen eggs, my mind immediately started envisioning a banquet of mashed potatoes with gravy, cranberry sauce, and the inevitable turkey sandwiches on white bread made with the leftovers.