Sunday, January 25, 2015

The Hazards of Raising Your Own Meat

Now, not everyone will tell you about the hazards of homesteading. I have often shared One Girl's Rant on the Hazards of Raising Hens. Here I am going to elaborate on the hazards of raising turkeys.

Case in point, you look forward to a delicious turkey dinner. Yes, I know it's January and most people do this in November but that is the beauty of raising turkeys. They're not just for Thanksgiving anymore. Anyway, you look forward to roasting your bird and then this happens.

It doesn't fit in the roasting pan
But we are undaunted. We made foil ramps to extend beyond the edges of the pan and channel the drippings back into the pan. We've got this. Now lest you think that we chose a small pan, let me put this in perspective for you. Here's the bird with Kent.

Turkey: Dressed weight - 33.4 pounds
So we've established that the pan was of typically sufficient size but the bird was a tad large. We slathered it with mayonnaise and covered it with foil and put it in the oven. Just.

I'm glad it wasn't any larger
On the lowest rack setting the turkey is still kissing the top of the oven. The foil is not tented. It's wrapped right around it. And lest you think that perhaps this is a small oven, let me dispel that idea. This is a three rack 5.6 cubic foot oven. Actually over-sized for the average oven. Do you see the rack sagging a little under the weight? Did I mention that it's 33.4 pounds? So that is hazard #2. #1 - Pan too small. #2 - Oven nearly too small.

And hazard #3...
We put the bird in at noon thinking we'd have it for dinner.

Looking good!

Looking good but still not quite done. Do you see the clock behind that bad boy? Yup 7pm and it's not ready. But the mashed potatoes, corn and cranberry conserve were ready. What to do?

Well, hazard #4 is that you almost always seem to have some turkey on hand. So we popped open some home-canned turkey stock and some jars of home-canned, home-grown turkey and made turkey and gravy to go over those taters. And we'll put that bird outside tonight to chill and have turkey dinner again tomorrow. Hmmm. Would that be hazard #5? Turkey. Again.

I don't mind living this hazardous life.