The Sous Chef and I “went hunting” for our turkey at Eichner’s Family Farm. They were sold out of holiday turkeys, so we had to order elsewhere. But we had fun checking out the birds in their pens while we were there. White feathery fluffs bunched together, sticking out their pink, bumpy heads to have a better look at us. When we make gobble-gobble sounds ourselves, it’s kind of a hard gob-bull, but coming from the turkeys altogether it seemed soft and melodious. One pen of fat ones was ready for Thanksgiving, a pen of smaller birds had more growing to do for Christmas. There was a time when seeing someone's future dinner still walking around would've turned my stomach. Now with a decade of sticking my hand in the cavities of turkeys and chickens to cook for my family, pulling out guts for gravy, and realizing how much we get from that animal in a meal, leftovers, soup stock and sandwiches, I felt appreciative, respectful even.
The smell was “yucky” to Sous Chef, but I told him that’s just because we aren’t used to it. Not sure I would ever get used to turkey poop. But we could take it for a little while, to pay our respects.
(The photo is of a turkey from the Knob Farm, owned by our relatives, which we visited last summer. I imagine that turkey is not having a good week.)
For a cute read about the fate of a turkey, check out "Run, Turkey, Run!" By Diane Mayr.