Tomorrow is pre-order day for Pat’s Pastured turkeys. You would think that my life revolved entirely around food given how excited I am (I do have some interests besides eating well). This will be the third year we’ve gotten a turkey from Pat, and they are especially good—although I have to be careful because I am lucky enough to attend two delicious Thanksgiving dinners, one my aunt prepares on Thursday, and one my sister makes on Saturday (“second Thanksgiving”).
Pat raises his turkeys on pasture, which means that unlike the majority of turkeys grown in this country, they can actually walk around and forage for food. Most turkeys are a single breed designed to produce massive breast meat as rapidly as possible. Much has been written describing just how cruel this process is. Here is one piece that ran in the OpEd section of the New York Times several years ago—written by Patrick Martins of Slow Food U.S.A.
As the article mentions, a movement against this factory farming has led some farmers to raise heritage turkeys, trying to preserve breeds that were all but extinct. One of the two turkeys Pat raises is the Broad-Breasted Bronze, which as his website says, is slower growing, tends to have more dark meat, and from our own experience, is incredibly flavorful. This is in part due to the turkeys’ varied diet because of the foraging, which effects their meat. And they are fresh. We stood on a long line last year on the day designated for turkey pick-up and got so caught up in the moment we went home and popped it in the oven—no stuffing (we were mindful of the feasts soon to come), just delicious turkey (and there might have been some gravy). We had a fantastic dinner, and several other meals that week and then cooked up various dishes to freeze: turkey tetrazzini, turkey pie and turkey soup.
The day may come when Cherisse and I give up eating meat, but for now I am eagerly anticipating another feast.