Archive for November, 2010

Turkey Gravy

November 22nd, 2010

Picture 1

Making turkey gravy is one of the most gratifying experiences one can have in the kitchen.  Of course one has to take into consideration that the gravy is a mere component in the turkey dinner, which begins with breaking down the turkey into the necessary components.  A thorough rinse of the bird and  then off with the breasts  with a meat knife.  The rest of the turkey gets thrown into the roasting oven, roasted, and then brought out to cool.

The white, breast meat is tenderly wrapped for later  use and the dark meat is cooked to the appropriate temperature.  The meat picked off from the legs, back and wings can be bagged and refridgerated.  The small portions and the minced gizzard go into the turkey gravy.  The carcass  becomes turkey stock through water, heat and time.  The bones get tossed and the turkey mise en place is ready.

The turkey grave slowly takes shape, the reduction of the cream and turkey essence…the stuffing takes a little time, but with the turkey all fabricated out and processed, dinner can commence.  Potatoes don’t take too long to become smashed up and creamy; broccoli mere minutes; and the cranberry, either already preserved, or else scooped from the tin can is already on the table.

The turkey gravy gets ladled over the roasted turkey breasts before presentation, and some poured into a gravy boat, but the remainder, about half, can be bagged and stored for later use.   An entire turkey can therefore, with a few additions of food stuffs, feed a family of four for a few days.  Biscuits and turkey gravy in the morning, turkey soup for lunch, turkey enchiladas for dinner #2, etc…

So, by the time the turkey gravy is reducing on the kitchen stove, the scents of roasting turkey,  maybe even greens gently braising on the back burner with garlic and onions fill the house and dinner is fast approaching.  Think about turkeys outside of the Autumn box.  Think about the inexpensive nature of feeding a family for a few days on a bird.  Think about visiting and check out how we make turkey gravy!


Is it still meat?

November 20th, 2010

winter pig

The evolution of agricultural science which lifted off in the 1960’s (well, the process may have started in the forties, but didn’t actually receive the sobriquet “Green Revolution” until sometime in the 1960’s) worked increasingly well:  grain production increased signifcantly, yet  “global increase in crop yields per” hectare “across 1961 – 1999 were accompanied by a 97% increase in irrigated acreage and 638 %, 203 %, and 854 % increases in use of nitrogen fertilizer, phosphorus fertilizer, and production of pesticides, respectively.”(B. TRENDS IN ACREAGE AND YIELDS,  Patricia Muir.  Oregon
State 1998) A huge increase in food was not only offset with a growth in population, but also with an historic use of chemicals used to produce that food.

And?  You ask…and I tell you  that the short cuts that science allows, unchecked by humble goals and a careful agenda, will cost more in the long run.  So our land is riddled with dying soil and small farmers are  losing their farms, and, although smaller farms tend to be more efficient per acre, industrial production of food is now the norm due to government intervention. The capitalist virus has its all powerful grip on our food production, and, although capitalism can indeed be contained, we are not supplying the information in terms that the market understands without help.

Along comes Genetically Modified (GM) food crops.  Conservative sources expound the great benefits of GM food.  Yet GM food, even though donated in the beginning, is patented, licensed and owned.  Small farmers are being successfully sued because GM seeds have blown onto their property and they have been accused of theft.  Growing your own food is becoming a less likely phenomenon  in our new world.

What about the Hog! You ask.

Well.  The hog has gone the way of the eggplant, of corn, of wheat: pork will soon be produced in petri dishes.  Dutch scientists are taking stem cells from a hog and making pork.  This meat posesses the consistency of a scallop and is deficient in protein, yet  could be used as “processed meat in sausages and hamburgers”  (Maria Cheng, The Associated Press, January 15, 2010.)

Potentially we could feed protein to millions of the hungry.  Yet…should we? Indeed, hunger  is surpassed by obesity in our new age.   More hungry people exist today as a percentage of the population than before the Green Revolution.

What do you think of ultimate processed meat?  Do you think it safe without testing it?  Should we feed the hungry with this untested meat.  Is it still meat?