April 4, 2011

My Turkeys - The Next Chapter

As you may know, I have a penchant for backyard animal husbandry, the agricultural practice of breeding and raising livestock.  Since I have a farm, I believe in raising one’s food and being as humane as possible in the treatment of that food.  I also have a great appreciation of good food and prefer eating better tasting and better for you heritage breeds of livestock.  You may recall that last August, I acquired beautiful heritage breed turkeys, including Bourbon Red, Royal Palm, and Black Spanish.  I found out, however, that the timing was all wrong.  The turkeys were too small to butcher last Thanksgiving and they would be too tough to eat if we waited until next Thanksgiving.  Turkeys also have difficulty walking when they get too large.  To make room for a new brood of turkeys better suited for Thanksgiving, I asked my friend Chef Pierre Schaedelin to help.

Pierre is from Alsace, France near the German border.  He recalls that when he was a child, most families in his surrounding area, grew their own fruits and vegetables, and raised and butchered their own livestock.  The social life in Alsace revolved around food and respect for it, and neighbors shared wonderful meals with one another.  I know many of you may find this blog especially graphic, but it’s all part of the circle of life and knowing and understanding what you eat.