Commentary: The bird didn't sing, but it was the best ever

A bit of extra, she stated.

The farm on the finish of a muddy street was an attractive place: rolling, nonetheless-inexperienced pastures bordered by hardwood and evergreen forest, fats angus cattle grazing within the November daylight, nicely-stored barns, pens and fences. The younger farmer did a double-take when he noticed my North Dakota license plates, which was a gap for a dialogue about variations between agriculture in Vermont and North Dakota, that are profound. Our speak revealed mutual bias and misunderstanding relating to these variations, however we did not get into it too deeply. Then it was turkey time.

His stroll-in cooler was stacked with wrapped, oven-prepared birds. He lifted ours into the best way-again of the SUV. We talked a bit extra about farming and climate, after which he stated: “Let’s examine, that’ll be $103.”

Holding quick my North Dakota-good poker face, I felt the wave of sticker shock rattle the disks in my backbone, wobble my getting older knees and (I feared) jar unfastened newly positioned stents in my coronary arteries. I handed him $one hundred and five, was tempted to say, “maintain the change,” thought higher of it, and shortly pocketed the $2 return. “Lovely fowl,” I stated, as we shook palms. “Hope you take pleasure in it,” he stated with a smile. Positive, he smiled. He nonetheless had no less than $2,000 value of prepared-to-go turkeys within the cooler.

Driving down the street, I calculated the “lovely chook” value barely greater than $5 a pound. What the hell? I mused aloud. Did he feed it gold mud? For that sort of cash the rattling factor should fly out of the oven onto the desk and do a music-and-dance rendition of “Over the River and By way of the Woods.” It higher be the perfect turkey ever, I grumbled.

It was. It actually was.

Crammed with savory sausage and bread stuffing, the chook emerged after 5 hours within the oven, completely browned and fragrant with its dressing of herbs and spices. I carved slices of white and darkish that have been as moist, tender and flavorful as any vacation turkey we have ever had—far superior to discount birds from the freezer bin.

The outcomes satisfied me. Raised within the open, fed organically, and freshly ready for roasting, turkey needn’t be the tasteless fare typical of mass business manufacturing.

Nonetheless, after dinner, whereas considering the skeletal shell of the meal’s centerpiece, I could not shake the sense I used to be listening to an occasional snide and ghostly gobble-gobble. And I questioned, having paid $5 a pound: Who was the actual turkey right here …?

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