Friday, October 8, 2010

Turkey anyone?

Warning: graphic photos!

I like to cook with ground turkey. I got a few really good recipes from a show I used to watch on TLC called Fixing Dinner. In particular we like the Turkey Manicotti and the Turkey Meatloaf with Goat Cheese (well my kids are so-so on that one). Anyway, for some reason I can't always seem to find ground turkey at the supermarket and while I want to purchase organic and local and "where I know where it comes from" meat, practically speaking, I'm not quite there yet. Enter our Thanksgiving turkey. Every thanksgiving and Christmas and Easter we have a friend who grows organic turkeys. We like to support him and the birds are amazing. So this year I thought I'll get one and do the work myself since I knew that my mom had a meat grinder. Well here is how it went:

We (or rather Drew) went out and picked up the fresh turkey (we usually get it already frozen so he had to go when it was fresh). It is 20.5 lbs and cost $60.

My mom arrived at 9pm with her grinder, we cleaned it, got the supplies ready and started peeling the bird. Slippery stuff and it was stuck on there well!

Next we started cutting away at the bird. My knives weren't quite up to my mom's standards but after some sampling and then some sharpening we got on our way. Well she seemed to do most of it (thank you!)

Then I got to the grinding. A lot harder then it looks. For one thing, the meat just kept coming back up the holder. And then it got stuck. I had to hold it down with my hand and my fingers kept locking! Then the white "skin-type stuff" kept clogging up the holes so I would have to take it apart and pull out the piece and start over. Mom was getting way more work done then me.

Sooo, fast forward a few hours later (including 1/2 hour where I left to nurse Mitchell) and I can't say that I was getting very far. So we both agreed that perhaps just having some cut turkey meat would be just as good. Oh and mom will have all the bones for some broth! Mom ground the last of the smaller peices (much faster then me) and we bagged and put away the rest for the freezer.

End result? I got about 4 lbs of ground meat and then the rest is cut up for later meals. Cost effective? I'm not sure. It may be more expensive then the average grocery store but I think it was less expensive then the organic farm that I know of. And I know where it cam efrom and how teh birds were treated. Was it worth it? Ummm, I think that I am willing to pay a butcher for their time and effort. But as my mom said, (after admitting she didn't think I would like the process) that sometimes you just have to find out for yourself. And she is right. I'm glad I did it but I'm in no hurry to try it again. Thanks for the experience.

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