Local Diestel Ranch birds do have that idyllic image tied in. But being fed a 100% vegetarian diet milled right there at the farm and slowly raised in the Sierra Nevada Foothills does increase the price tag.
Check out this interesting breakdown of what it costs to bring that turkey from farm to feast. A true bargain.
From Modern Farmer complete with four crust variations.
Carmel Apple Pie, from Pioneer Woman on Foodiecrush
As for cooking the symbolic centerpiece of the feast, it can be a challenge to achieve perfection outside to in. So many methods, so many believers, but after some years of trial and error, I’m comfortably confident about the dry brine.
For the award winning recipe inspired by Judy Rodgers, chef and owner of Zuni Cafe in San Francisco and printed originally in the LA Times, see the article and recipe link here. And for the dry brine mixture, click on the image below.
For some useful guidelines to crispy skin all over and an evenly cooked bird, see the manifesto by Amazing Ribs. Don’t be put off by the reference to smoked and barbecued. These tips apply to the good old oven roasted turkey too.
STARTERS and SIDES
The possibilities are endless but here are a few favorites. Nothing too outlandish but tradition does rule the day on Thanksgiving.
A video tutorial with simple instructions from Mario Batali on Food 52.
This new one from Thermoworks gets great reviews and comes in a rainbow of colors.
THE FARM BILL
Curious about the Farm Bill and what it all means?
See this informative summation from The New York Times. Very briefly:
- Historically, food stamp programs and agricultural subsidies have been tied together to address both sides of the economics of food — production and consumption.
- Having a bounteous supply of food within a country does not ensure that the citizens of that country are well fed.
- The radical imbalance between farm subsidies to the wealthy and nutritional assistance to the neediest — an imbalance that the farm bill proposals would directly promote — is a painful testament to this established economic fact.
- Ironically, America’s food policies, while they encourage overproduction, pay little attention to the quality and diversity of foods our farms produce. The heavy subsidization of corn, for instance, means that many unhealthful foods are relatively cheap. So grocery shopping on a tight budget often means choosing foods that are not nutritious. This is part of the reason that Americans face the paradox of hunger out of proportion to their wealth, along with some of the world’s highest obesity rates, and a high incidence of Type 2 diabetes. See my post on this topic and the film A Place at the Table.
Read more about how cutting back on food stamps leads to the inequality of opportunity.
Ever heard of a Hackathon? I hadn’t but attended one over the weekend in San Francisco at which people from various disciplines including chefs, developers, designers and entrepreneurs engaged in collaborating to address challenges and opportunities in our food system. “Food Hackathon was born to provide a place to create, prototype and launch new food related business ideas and products that make the world a happier, healthier and tastier place.” Quite inspiring and with some memorable eating well beyond typical conference fare by Rebecca Jean Catering.