Hello, Friends! Did you know whole turkeys aren’t sold in France until December 15th? If you go to the supermarket or the butcher, you can buy turkey parts, but not whole turkeys. Because whole turkeys are only cooked up at Christmas time. Period.
But. We didn’t realize this until Monday of last week. And we needed to cook a turkey on Thursday morning. And the butchers aren’t open on Mondays. So. On Tuesday we visited every butcher in town, crossing our fingers one might have access to a whole turkey. Nope, nope and nope. At the 4th place, the butcher was in a really helpful mood. When Ben Blair explained about American Thanksgiving, he nodded and said he’d call a farmer and then let us know. We went on with our errands and the butcher called a few minutes later.
“Yes,” he said.” The farmer has a turkey. You can pick it up on Thursday morning at 10:30.” So we did. At the pick up, Mr. Turkey was waiting with his head and claws still intact. That’s how whole birds are sold here. There was no pop-up thermometer, no plastic cords holding the feet together and no innards wrapped up in paper waiting in the body cavity. It had never been frozen, and in fact, had been alive the day before.
I’m still not sure why we were so struck by this but we were. The turkey had been killed and prepared specifically for our family. If we hadn’t requested it, Mr. Turkey would still be alive. I’m not sure if I’ve ever felt so connected with a meal before. How about you? What’s the closest connection you’ve had to meat you’ve eaten? Any farmers or hunters in your family?
Our neighbor, Madame Lucienne keeps chickens on her little farm. A few weeks ago she added several turkeys to the mix (I shot these photos through our back window). Now that I think about it, I suppose we could have just bought a turkey from Madame Lucienne. Maybe for Christmas…
So that’s our turkey adventure. I hope you enjoyed it! And now, I need you to prepare yourselves, because the 2011 Design Mom Holiday Giveaway Week starts TODAY!
Watch for it.
P.S. — Mr. Turkey was small (about 6 lbs) and delicious. We ate every bit of meat and made stock from the bones. I hope we were properly thankful for our feast.