Thursday, November 26, 2009


Okay, despite what I said in my last post, I didn’t get back to normal life as quickly as I had hoped. Thanksgiving really snuck up on me this year, which is too bad because I love the fall, this holiday, and the food that goes along with it. Now that I’m happily ensconced in my new place and over the cold that ensued after running myself ragged trying to get settled, I'm looking forward to enjoying what remains of the season.

As I write, the smell of turkey is wafting through the house. I’m thankful for many things, most of all my family with whom I’ll be sharing this delicious-smelling bird as well as other autumnal treats like brussel sprouts, cauliflower, sweet potatoes, homemade applesauce and cranberry relish.

I’m also thankful for the food that will grace our table, grown by small-scale farmers who put their heart and soul into raising food that is tasty and treads lightly on the environment. It was a tough spring, summer, and fall for the farmers here in the Northeast and yet the ones I talk to all remain optimistic. Thank goodness for their desire for something more in life than purely profit!

No farmer is more central to Thanksgiving than one who raises turkeys. Whether it is a heritage breed turkey or a pasture-raised bird like the ones pictured above from Ben Shaw’s Greenwich, NY farm The Garden of Spices, these are the turkeys we should all be eating. Yes, they are more expensive and not as easy to find as a Perdue. But if you are like me, you probably cook turkey once a year which makes the effort and splurge a little easier to take. And while your wallet may be a little lighter, so will your conscious, knowing you’re eating a bird that was humanly raised and as a result, more flavorful and nutritious.

I didn’t get around to writing about heritage turkeys like I had hoped so I’m going to cheat and direct you to a good piece in today’s New York Times. I think the author makes a great case for choosing a heritage bird. Read it, see if you agree, and if so, keep them in mind for next year. In the meantime, h
ave a very happy Thanksgiving!