Canadian Thanksgiving is coming to a close. We spent a couple of days at my parents' farm, where we had a most delicious turkey dinner, mostly made by me.
It was a spur-of-the-moment decision that I bring a local, pastured turkey instead of my mom buying the usual Butterball. And then, of course, I had to learn how to cook it, because pastured birds are a breed apart for cooking, apparently. And then I had to manage the timing of everything. My mom made a few things and my husband made one, but the rest was mostly me.
I brined the turkey at sunrise. My parents' covered porch is a beautiful thing.
Mostly I was worried that it wasn't anywhere near thawed, and I figured the brining would help a lot with that. I added sage and garlic and peppercorns to the brine and it smelled delicious right away.
Then it only took a little over two hours to cook the 15-pound monster. Apparently pastured turkey cooks much faster than stuffed, all grain-fed birds. My husband told me privately that he thinks it might have been the best turkey he's ever had. It was so moist! It wasn't perfect -- the legs weren't quite done when the breast was, so we carved off the breast and put the rest back in, where it got dried out. But it will be fine in soup.
Before we went to my parents' we went to the garden plot to pull a celeriac for coleslaw and to see how everything was doing. And we discovered the most wonderful wee surprise: that stalwart Delicata squash plant that somehow managed to grow three tiny squash after being nearly destroyed by squash bugs had actually managed to grow FOUR squash. One was hiding under the zucchini plant.
I've got it curing in the kitchen window now.
Before we left and after we came home, we put the finishing touches on the chicken coop and the birds arrived tonight. I plan to write a whole post about the coop and the decisions we made, but in the meantime, here is the view from my living room window: