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Thanks 07 Report #1: Sunday, Bloody Sunday
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
This is a duplicate post for Sunday, 11/18/07, from my Starry Saltwater blog, detailing the journey to Thanksgiving Day 2007:

Thanksgiving Tasks Completed

Yesterday (11/17)
  • Went to Farmers Market for eggs, milk, cream, eggnog, cheese, sausage, bread
  • Emailed Woodbridge Farm about the meager chance of turkey availability and got completely lucky that a turkey buyer had changed plans and one had become up for grabs; made arrangements for pick up on Sunday
Today (11/18)
  • Made toilet presentable for guests (and nearly gagged in the process, having found hidden disgustingness--and I thought I was so clean!)
  • Cleaned oven to the best of my ability
  • Moved my kitchen around a little to accommodate new furniture
  • Lenny went to IKEA and bought the Bjursta table
  • Swept the house (my cat lets loose so much hair!)
  • Mopped downstairs (the Pine-Sol smell made me a little tipsy)
  • Scrubbed up the kitchen for efficient cooking
  • Drove to Salem, CT to pick up turkey (a Heritage Bronze with a rich looking dark meat, almost like duck), pork shoulder and 2 lbs of bacon (and dropped an amazing amount of money); added bonus: Evelyn and I got to see Kim (more below)

The Turkey Adventure
Honestly, I usually plan everything, but I was pretty discouraged about finding a turkey that was local, organic, small farm raised--I didn't do the research and work. On a lark I thought I'd give it a shot--so I did a little online searching and the only place that turned up not sold out was Woodbridge Farm, the biodynamic farm that my friend Kim moved away to apprentice at. I figured it was still a long shot--but I emailed anyway and managed to snag a bird that someone else didn't want anymore.

So I made plans to pick it up, bringing Evelyn with me, both because I needed a navigator and she wanted to see Kim, too. I waited for Ev to get out of work and we set out just as the sun started going down--around 4:30pm now in these Daylights Savings weeks (augh--let me just say that we should just get rid of it). The drive up the 95 was fine, but once we left the highway for back roads, the darkness was definitely a little overwhelming, then normalized, as I realized it wasn't all that different from home.

We pulled in and wandered into a garage where we heard voices and there was Kim, talking to Priyanka and Kathy who had also come for a visit. David (I assume) was parceling out proteins. I was lustful at this point, because not only did I snag one of the only heritage turkeys left in the state, I was also picking up bacon and Winter Solstice's pork shoulder.

I was not disappointed. I promise to post a pic of the turkey, because it was beautiful. I only got an 11 pound bird, mostly because I'm only feeding 7-8 people and the sucker was $5 a pound. Yes, let's not discuss the pricing please. Because the earth put this turkey in my path and I am grateful for both being able to serve and eat a bird that I know was well taken care of, even if it was going to be eaten. It's especially special that it comes from the farm that Kim lives and works on. The dark meat on the drumsticks is a color I just find incredibly rich. I was really excited.

The pork shoulder has that layer of skin and fat that makes it a perfect pernil (pork shoulder roasted Puerto Rican style). It's only six pounds, but I'll live with it.

Ah, and two pounds of bacon, some of which will be Lenny's dinner tomorrow night, some of which will be Thanksgiving breakfast (served by French Toast made with Cityseed pecan raisin bread, soaked in Trinity Farms eggnog) and some which will hide out in the freezer until a right time comes along.

My freezer is now stocked with Cedar Meadow Farm chicken, Sankow's Beaver Brook Farm lamb, Four Mile River Farm steaks and sausage and Woodbridge Farm pork (or at least via that farm). I imagine we'll get through the winter.

Kim gave us a tour of the farm, at least what we could see at night. We saw cows (Devon Reds, I believe) that the farm has been raising since the 1700s (the farmhouse dates from back then, too). They had lovely auburn cots. We saw horses, a Peruvian breed. One was named Estrella and she was the mare "who keeps everyone in line," Kim explained.

The chicken coop was the best. A red light illuminated it and we peeked in. There was a whole social thing that Kim explained and they were lovely looking hens and roosters.

We went to Kim's house for tea and then had to head out, unfortunately, back into the gloom, then orangey streetlights of the city. It seemed impossible that we had been at Kim's, out in the country, examining cows, Peeping Tom the chickens, squishing through bloody grass near the day's poultry slaughtering site, seeing the best sky I've seen in a long time.

I may have come a bit late to understanding the whole small farm, local eating, seasonal creativity thing, but I'm glad I came. It connects me to the earth, the Goddess, and makes me a better Pagan, I think. I more spiritual one, anyway, conscious of how my beliefs have a practical application in the world, how I can connect magic to myself.

I leave you with my favorite bit of Woodbridge Farm lore, via Kim:
We take the horn [of the cows] and stuff it with cow manure and bury it for a year. Then we dig it up and make a tea out of it. It takes an hour. You stir it, create a vortex and then break it, then do it the other way. Then we spray it all over the fields, to enrich them.

Sounds like magic, wonderful magic, to me.
posted by Rose @ 8:20 PM  
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Name: Starry Rose
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