Happy Turkey Day, with or without feathers

Turkeys are wildlife, too. These didn't get eaten- they were honored guests at the backyard feeders of my friend, Cindy.
Turkeys in the raw: wild turkeys at the New Hampshire backyard feeder of a friend and fellow bird artist. Thanks for the turkeys, Cindy.

Ant Man is lamenting the unusual size of our turkey. When agri-giant Butterball declared 2013 a bad year for turkeys to explain their smaller-than-usual production of (presumably) wizened, skinny little poults, I ordered a fresh, organic, free-range bird from our local natural foods store, just large enough for dinner for four. Delivered was a behemoth of almost 18 pounds, with an apology for the unexpected near-emu. It was certainly a fabulous year for organic turkeys, which gained more weight than usual. I guess we will, too.

These didn't get eaten, either. Lovely bronze beauties, perfectly at home eating bird seed, but wild and wily. Benjamin Franklin's favorite bird- he lobbied for it to be the national bird of the USA, but the bald eagle prevailed.
Lovely bronze undomesticated beauties, wild and wily, cagy and uncaged, right at home on a lawn, free and uneaten. The wild turkey was Benjamin Franklin’s favorite bird- he admired its intelligence- and lobbied to have it designated our national bird. The bald eagle won instead. Which is just as well, since you shouldn’t consume your national symbol.

The size expansion kind of derailed Ant Man’s original plan- he was going to roast the turkey flat, butterflied a la Mark Bittman. But this big bird, laid out flat, would flop over the side of every pan we own. Therefore it is being roasted in the traditional Thanksgiving turkey fashion: on its back, tanning like a sunbather on a nude beach.

Wild turkey hen on nest, Petersham, MA. She was surrounded by raspberries, not cranberries as is traditional. Watercolor over pencil, 8 1/2" x 11".
Turkey hen on nest, Petersham, MA. She was surrounded by raspberries, not traditional cranberries, and eventually hatched out a dozen fluffy chicks and walked them down to the woods pronto. Watercolor over pencil, 8 1/2″ x 11″.

Our little feast will be celebrated in the delightful company of a student from Croatia, experiencing her first Thanksgiving, and our beloved niece from Boston, who gamely decided the perfect place to spend the holiday is out on the prairie with her aunt and uncle. Ant Man is going with the flow, roasting up the biggest turkey he’s ever tackled. All is harmony. We’ll eat like kings. For days and days.

And speaking of giving thanks, I’m thankful, as always, to have you here. Wherever you are, wherever you live, whether you eat turkey or not, have a fine, peaceful, and harmonious day, too.

6 thoughts on “Happy Turkey Day, with or without feathers

  1. Corienne says:

    Only 18 lbs? Oh my, I’m seeing lots of turkey leftover dishes, soup, and sandwiches. Making a little 12 pounder here. Was that your pecan pie I saw? We’ll be thinking of you’all.

  2. adroe says:

    Happy Thanksgiving! Good luck with your tasty bird. One more thing to be thankful for – it isn’t as big as the 40lb-er my parents wrestled with for their Thanksgiving. Them organic ones can get huge!!!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s