The People Who Choose To Love Me

The People Who Choose To Love Me
This is my family. Watermark and all.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Murder, Soup Stock, And Cream Cheese Penguins

Last year, around this time, I was murdering turkeys. It wasn't a very pleasant task and the smell still haunts me. It's different killing something yourself and trying to eat it, than it is to go to the store and pick out an already dead thing to put in your mouth. The smell of blood and rapidly dying meat is sickeningly sweet and extremely pungent.

Anyway, our daughter wanted to try her hand at 4-H. We bought little turkey chicks (don't know the correct term for them and this is probably why we all failed at 4-H) and we raised them under heat lamps in a gigantic box until they were too big to house in our home. We took them to the 4-H farm and had to go water and feed them every day. Now, if you've never seen a real, live turkey before, don't waste your damn time. They are possibly the dumbest creatures on the face of the planet. Some days I would sit and watch them after feeding them and just wonder, "WHAT IS THE POINT OF YOU????" And, the answer is, none. No point except delicious meat.

Now, we couldn't afford to dump any more money into those stupid, fat, delicious birds, so we had to murder them ourselves. And, when I say my daughter wanted to try 4-H, I mean she wanted to see four little baby turkeys and then ignore the crap out of them for the following three months. So, my husband and I raised turkeys and had the pleasure of killing them one by one. We didn't have a garage to do this in, and obviously killing them in the house wouldn't have been pretty, so we dug a fire pit out in the front yard (on a street where kids walk and play), boiled hot water in a huge pot over the pit, and set up a noose in our mulberry tree. We hung them by their feet, slit their dumb little throats, and then dunked them into the boiling hot water to loosen the feathers. Our neighbors weren't impressed. But, they did stop talking to us.

Then came the fun part. And, by fun, I mean completely disgusting and life altering. I was in charge of defeathering and gutting. If you've never tried this, you just must. And, by must, I mean just go buy a turkey from the damn store. They're like $60 to raise and $17 at Safeway on sale.


So, I gutted four turkeys and then prepped them for eating. We sold one, gave one away, one was sliced into lunch meat, and the last one we saved for a Thanksgiving meal. Not worth it. But, after all of the slaughtering was done, I had the bright idea to utilize every part of the birds and make soup stock. Do you know how soup stock is made? Like this...








 You boil the feet and legs to get the gelatin stuff out of them. The feet area is apparently where all the flavor is.  I made gallons of soup stock, pulled out the old canner, and canned about thirty jars of soup stock. 


Cut to a few months later when I actually needed soup stock.


I opened the lid of one of the jars of soup stock, popped off the seal, and the stench of death and rot was overwhelming. I am not a professional canner of soup stock. So, the entire venture was a bust. But, I did learn that if I want to get fancy and make things bird-related I can just skip past the feet boiling and make these little guys out of black olives and cream cheese.


 The best kind of bird to eat is one you don't have to hang by a tree, murder, and disembowel.






8 comments:

  1. Since every few weeks I grind up eighty or so pounds of chicken necks for dog food I think I can skip murdering my own turkey. (We feed our dogs what's known as the BARF diet, which supposedly stands for "Bones And Raw Food" but I think making it an acronym was an afterthought.)
    And there was the time on a camping trip I roasted a whole chicken on a spit. I'd never even cooked a whole chicken but I thought, hey, how hard can it be? I sharpened a green stick and rammed it into the chicken as hard as I could. It didn't go through. I did this about three times and then...something fell out.
    Nobody told me they leave the giblets inside in a little plastic bag. I swear I thought the chicken was about to go John Hurt in Alien on me.

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    1. BWAAAAAHAHAHAHA!!!! You have the best stories!!! :D

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  2. Omg hahaha that's why I'm not full bore country I'll stick with butterballs lol

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    1. That is a very wise choice, new reader! :D

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  3. My husband's parents are poultry farmers, and he never tires of telling me how turkeys are the dumbest little shits there are. Cute as a button when they're chicks, but stupid, so very stupid.

    He particularly enjoys recounting the tale of the year one of their birds pecked the heat lamp until it broke, and then ate the broken glass.

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    1. Sounds like something a turkey would do. Dummies.

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  4. I read this days ago and I'm still psychologically disturbed by the turkey feet in the pot and the fact that the stock ending up smelling like death. It's like a Thanksgiving horror story. Still, the feet photo would make for a good Thanksgiving card. A funny one of course. You should submit the photo to a card maker for consideration for next year. Maybe not Hallmark-- you know, maybe one of those places that has funny cards that you see at the liquor store.

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    1. All they'd have to do is outline the feet in glitter and BAM, best selling card of all time!!

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