Saturday, November 20, 2010

"Don't let school get in the way of your education"
From Farm to Table

Last week we let the kids miss school to see how a pet becomes protein. I wasn't sure if that was a good "mother" call, but then I figured Caroline Ingall's most certainly let her kids watch Pa take dinner down, and she's an exemplary Ma.

When we got there, Stevo was just loosening the feathers from the first batch. It was sobering, I admit. I've never seen an animal killed or prepared, and it's a little unsettling. And "sad" like Mitchell said.

Since these are our turkeys, we decided we ought to see the experience through to the finish and cook our own this year--something I've never done. I'm a little ashamed to admit that.

But how do you decide who dies?

The first one you can grab, apparently.

Finny split it's neck and Nicholas held his legs while he died. I've heard this is more humane than chopping off the head and letting it run all over bruising itself. Though once you've lost your head, seems a banged up body would be child's play? Anyway, however you do it, it's not pretty, and it makes you think long and hard about whether or not eating meat is the right thing to do. I think it is. But for years I have been very sensitive to only buying humanely treated animals and after this, I'm even more convinced.

They were big, fat, happy "chickens" (Camille's tag) 28-32 lbs-- all of them. I'm glad they had a healthy, humane life, though short it may have been.

Pretty amazing that once they are plucked, they almost immediately start feeling like recognizable food and it no longer seems sad or wrong. I guess I'm just so used to the sight of a plucked bird, that it's hard to remember it had been a live animal just 30 minutes before. Really strange...hard to explain

Thank you, Mister Turkey.
I sincerely mean it this year.

P.S. Someone needs to shoot my laugh.


Anonymous said...

You truly have Thanksgivings like no other group on earth. It is fun to watch. Aunt Nancy

Mrs. Organic said...

Go, John. Go, John.

Your Thanksgivings are incredible.

Jek said...

So, john was the one who decided that poor turks fate. how sad, but hopefully delish!

partii said...

Seriously Johnny, GLOVES!

VEGAS VIC said...

Not sure I could have stood it.
But interesting for sure.

Ann Marie said...

I admit.. I am a virgin in this area as well. I am POSITIVE that if we lived back in the pioneer days when the women did a lot of this.. I would FOR SURE be a vegetarian... but then I think about a medium -well steak.. and ya.. it would be REALLY hard to give up meat completely.

Like everyone else has said.. you guys always have so many cool things going on. One day.. *sigh* I hope to be there joining in some kind of fun.

Loved chatting the other day much.

Jayne Layne said...

don't like... sad. I wonder the turkey's mom was thinking as she watched Johnny pluck her from the den.

Up in Bubbles said...

the poor turkey i picked probably thought to himself as I grabbed his 2nd leg...where the hell am I going and why am i going upside down? Little did he know he would never make it right side up again in his short little life. It was pretty sad to watch and it does give you a real appreciation for the food you eat, either from an assembly line of blades to Finnie's farmer way.

Talk about being a turkey in the wrong place at the wrong time! RIP Foghorn!

Suzanne said...

I admire you for your strength. I would have been doing either 2 things. 1. Bawling myself in the corner while in the fetal position or 2. Releasing the others and running from the farmers who were ready to kill me. When I actually see where my meat comes from, I do consider becoming a vegetarian. That is one LARGE turkey! Best of luck cooking it. Happy Thanksgiving! -Suzanne