Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving Turkey!!

I truly have a lot to be thankful for today.  I have an adoring husband who takes very good care of me and a big family full of moms and dads and in-laws and brothers and sisters and nieces and nephews that I get to see on a regular basis.  Plus I have several very close friends who are like family to me that I can trust and that trust me. They are all a huge part of my life and they are people I know I can rely on and I know they love me too.  I am very thankful for all of that because I know there are not a lot of people in this world that can say that. But thats the power of Jesus in our lives.
Two of my nieces and my nephew

I am also very thankful for the abundance of food we had on our table this evening as I know there are many people in this world who don't have that either.  And all the food we had was so yummy too!! I felt very honored to be able to make the turkey this year for my family. I've only made a turkey maybe once or twice before in my life. This time however, we wanted to do something a little different...a little more conscientious.  We decided to get a fresh turkey from a local farm.
My family pigging out

This local farm is called Haskins Family Farm, located in Middletown, VA.  They frequent our local farmers markets here in Loudoun County so they were easily accessible and they were very helpful as we had many questions, never having gotten a fresh turkey before and not really knowing what to expect. We ordered the turkey about a month ago and then Wednesday met them at the farmers market location to pick it up, freshly processed and packaged.
turkey still in the package

This morning I opened the package and pulled out the turkey.  If you've never gotten a fresh turkey, be prepared to still see a little blood here and there and of course you may have to pull out the giblets and the neck yourself.  Thankfully these folks did remove the giblets for us and put it in a nice little bag but the neck I did have to remove myself.  It was pretty gross I have to admit.  I don't have the strongest stomach for that kind of stuff but I just kept telling myself..."don't think about it, you have a job to do!"  And I kept trudging forward.
neck (left) giblets in bag (right)

But I then gave the turkey a nice cool bath in the sink and gently dried her off with paper towels.
just got a turkey bath

Then it was time for the actual cooking preparation.  I set the turkey, breast side up, on a rack in the roasting pan.  I then tied her legs together with twine to keep them in place and massaged her all over with extra virgin olive oil, inside and out.  It does make a difference having extra virgin olive oil.  It doesn't have to be an expensive kind but the "extra virgin" part means its already a better quality olive oil.
getting a massage

Once she got a nice oily massage, into the oven she went at 325 for about 4 hours.  I basted her with fresh olive oil about every half hour to 45 minutes or so throughout the cooking time.  When the last hour arrived, she received a foil tent to make sure her skin didn't brown too much.  The recipe and preparation was simple.  The flavor was savory and juicy.  The texture was moist and practically falling off the bone when we carved it.  Everyone was raving about it! I was so proud!  :)

Oh yeah...don't forget to support your local farms!!! Its good for them and you!

P.S This is my sister-in-law's (Heather) cherry white chocolate cheesecake pie.  It also was very yummy and looked so pretty I just had to take a picture to share with you!

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