stuffing

Thanksgiving Disasters, Have You Ever Lost a Turkey?

by Anne Maxfield on November 19, 2018

Accidental Locavore Thanksgiving Turkey Carved

A few years ago, we had a most interesting Thanksgiving and it all had to do with my family’s love of dark meat.

While most Americans prefer white meat turkey, the Accidental Locavore’s family is primarily a dark meat gang.

One year at Thanksgiving we had about a dozen people for dinner. When we were done, the back of the turkey looked like it had been dipped in acid with not a morsel left.  However, the breast was almost totally intact.

The following year I thought I was being smart by ordering a turkey and four extra legs–plenty of dark meat for all. Went to the store, and picked up two enormous (and expensive) bags with the turkey in them.

Thanksgiving morning we took the bags out to see how big the bird was.

One giant turkey leg.

Two giant legs.

Three giant legs.

Four giant legs…oops, no turkey.

Even in New York City, have you ever tried buying a turkey on Thanksgiving day?

We finally ended up with a frozen kosher bird. My father and I worked to defrost it, alternating between a hair-dryer, and water bath.

Don’t even start with “you’re never supposed to defrost anything that way” comments.

Desperate times call for desperate measures.

Finally, after a couple of hours we got it defrosted, stuffed and put it and the giant legs in the oven.

If you’re wondering why we felt the need for a whole bird, two word–inside stuffing. It’s just so much better when it’s cooked in the bird (and I know the same people who are against speed defrosting are probably anti-inside stuffing too…tough).

Accidental Locavore Thanksgiving Turkey Leg EatenDinner was only delayed by about four hours, we were getting low on wine, so everyone was pretty wasted, not to mention hungry, by the time we sat down for dinner.

But we knew we had a story for the family history book. Ever since then, we just buy a whole turkey, and if someone wants extra legs, it’s strictly BYO.

What was your most memorable or disaster ridden Thanksgiving?

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Post image for The Accidental Locavore & Hot Italians: Charcutepalooza June Challenge

The Accidental Locavore’s friend Carol commented recently that not everyone knows what chacuterie is. Charcuterie is the art or business of preserving meat. Whether you realize it or not, you’ve been eating it since you were a kid. If you’ve ever had a bologna sandwich, a hot dog, or bacon, you’ve had charcuterie. It evolved from farmers who, when they butchered an animal, needed to use the whole thing and make it last. Hams, sausages, salamis and smoked meats are all examples of charcuterie.

This month’s Charcutepalooza challenge was “stuffing”. The Accidental Locavore stuffed her merguez last month, so with that experience under her belt, it was on to more sausage. When we were in Nice, my husband had a delicious, local, small pork sausage, saucisse Perrugina, and that was what I wanted to make. You would think in this Internet age, finding a recipe for them would be easy. Not true. Google search, not much luck. Every charcuterie cookbook, nope. Every French (and Mediterranean) cookbook, same result. A couple of Twitter requests, nope. Even my heroes at D’Artagnan came up empty-handed (wrong area of France).

While I had the multiple charcuterie books out, I asked my husband (he does have to eat this stuff too), what he wanted. “Hot Italian sausages”. Hot Italian sausages it was. After using the tiny sheep’s casings for my merguez, stuffing into the larger hog casings was so much easier!Accidental Locavore Moe's Pizza

So how were the hot Italians? Delicious, but according to my husband, not hot enough. The Accidental Locavore liked them because they packed a little heat, but didn’t overwhelm the rest of the dish. The grind was good and the addition of basil and oregano from my garden (finally) kept it local and fresh. We put them on a four cheese pizza (more about that later) and they gave it just the kick it needed.

And the saucisse Perrugina? Still would love to find a recipe for them. Anyone out there have one?

 

 

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