Thursday, November 22, 2012

Farm to Table

So last Saturday, we went and did this.

And had she been alive to see it, my mother likely would say this:

“Your grandmother didn’t haul her ass from the mountains above Krakow, land at Ellis Island and go to work in a Chicago slaughterhouse so her college-educated granddaughter could kill her own food. Get your head out of your [expletive] and go to the grocery store like a normal human being.” And then she would utter a few curses in Polish while shaking her head in disgust.

It was a breathtakingly expensive turkey. We named him Carl, in honor of the irritating kid on The Walking Dead. (He has has his own twitter hashtag— #killcarlalready.) Here's what he looked life before:

And here's what he looked like after 12 hours in brine and nine hours of smoking on the Weber:

No, Carl isn't burned. That's just what the skin looks like after nine hours of smoking. The tradeoff for not having the crisp golden skin is probably the juiciest bird we've ever had. Seriously good turkey.

I came home from work last night to find Chuck in the kitchen, scalding and peeling Carl's feet. The feet went into a stockpot with celery, carrot, onion and some herbs; Carl's neck went into the oven to roast. I chopped up the neck meat and used the drippings and foot stock to make gravy. Seriously good gravy too.

And then we ate. The complete menu: cold cracked crab, crab cakes with homemade remoulade, the world's most expensive turkey, mashed potatoes, roasted potatoes (because as much as my friend Carmela says she doesn't like children, she knows my youngest loves her roasted potatoes more than anything), my mother's bread dressing, cornbread dressing (because Chuck doesn't like fruit in his dressing and you can't make my mother's recipe without the dried fruit) and green bean casserole. Dessert: caramel apple cake, cheesecake with pineapple compote and vegan pumpkin pie (don't ask). The guest list: fun people we love.

Apropos of nothing, here's my friend Koly with a crab claw shoved up her nose.

And just in case you were wondering, it's been 10 days since Nigel's last escape.


  1. Nigel is a random dog who showed up in our yard about four months ago, just a broke single white dog trying to make his way in the world, a hard-luck case extraordinaire. His people lost their home and Nigel was staying with a friend of theirs, but Nigel ran off and they didn't bother to call his people to let them know. Flash forward to the SPCA, the Animal Shelter and a tear-worthy reunion in which his people asked if we could just keep him.

    So, yeah. Nigel.


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