I Can’t Have a Relationship With My Turkey

I live in a suburb that is home to several beautiful farms. Recently, I saw two different signs offering turkeys for sale for Thanksgiving. I pulled over to take photos of both signs so I could call the numbers in the next few weeks to place an order.

I thought it would be neat to tell everyone at Thanksgiving that they were enjoying a healthy, no-hormone-injected, no-inhumane-treatment-turkey from the local farm.

Then, at the second farm, I looked to my right to see the other sign that said “choose your turkey”. There in the cutest little coop were several, beautiful white turkeys clucking around with their fellow feathered friends and family members. The customer could select their turkey, visit it regularly, watching it grow plump over the next few weeks.I stared at them. They were adorable! I suddenly thought about how the kids would name the horses or cows down the street when they were little. I didn’t have the heart to tell them back then that those cows we were visiting would end up in someone’s freezer by fall.

Not to sound like a Tyrannosaurus Rex, but I’m a meat-eater. I love a good roast, pulled pork and definitely a Thanksgiving turkey with plenty of gravy. However, I don’t think my enjoyment would be the same if I visited my selection for a month before picking him up headless.A few years ago, one of our 4H Moms had us over to plan out the year of crafts for our daughters. About an hour into the meeting, her daughter got up and said, “I’ll be right back, I need to go feed him.” I inquired about who she was feeding. Mom explained that every year her daughter independently purchased a small steer. She fed it daily and cared for it, eventually selling it the following year at fair.

When the girl came back into the house, I asked if she ever got attached and felt bad turning it over for slaughter. She shrugged saying, “Nope. I get paid $1300 at fair. I’m saving for college.”

While some may not get attached, I fear I might. Knowing me, I might actually name the bird during a visit. Then, I’m likely to share with the family that our meat was once “Bob” and we are eating him. My kids might get a chuckle, but I may have trouble digesting.

I momentarily felt conflicted about the whole turkey situation, but it does not make me consider being a vegetarian. I’m looking forward to the cherished meal.  I have to go order my turkey now. But, I’ll let the farmer choose one for me.

Frosted Apple Squares

Our family had a great time going for our annual apple picking adventure last weekend! Now, I have a counter full of apples to peel and make into yummy treats!  (And, we still have plenty for the school lunches as well!)

This recipe is very similar to an apple pie recipe, but made into soft bars. They are not firm like a cookie-bar, and best eaten with a fork. While I prefer less icing (a light drizzle), my kids prefer to frost them like cake!

Any square or rectangular pan of your choice (I wouldn’t recommend using a pan larger than a 15×10 or the dough will be too thin.) The measured amount of the ingredients works best in a 10×10. All ingredient amounts can be easily altered to accommodate your desired size pan.

Photo: start cooking.com

Photo: start cooking.com

14 oz. (9” pie size) box of two rolls of refrigerated, ready-made pie crust dough

7 medium-sized apples, peeled and sliced

¾ cup sugar (I’ve used a full cup when making a larger sized pan)

2 teaspoons cinnamon

2 cups confectioners’ sugar (powdered sugar)

3-4 Tablespoons milk

Flour for rolling dough

1 egg

Foil

Mix sugar and cinnamon in a bowl. Beat egg in a small bowl. This will be used to brush along the top of your dough.

Sprinkle flour onto counter. Roll one dough roll out into the shape of a rectangle/square. Be careful not to make the dough too thin. Spread rolled dough into the bottom of the pan and slightly up the sides. Using a fork, poke a few holes into the bottom of the dough.  Lay sliced apples in the pan. Sprinkle cinnamon/sugar mixture evenly over the top.  Roll second dough out and carefully place it on top of the apple mixture. Pinch edges with fingers and trim if necessary. Poke a few holes on the top with a sharp knife.

Brush egg lightly over the top of the dough.  Cover edges with foil (just as you would with a pie) so they don’t burn. Bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes. Remove foil. Bake another 10 minutes, or until light brown. For the 15” pan, you may need to bake a total of 40 minutes, for a 10×10 or even an 8×8, start checking it at 15-20 minutes. Cool completely.

Mix powdered sugar with milk until you have a very thick white frosting. Add more or less milk and sugar until your desired consistency is met. Drizzle or frost when pan is completely cool (I put pan in the refrigerator or freezer for easier cutting). Cut into squares and store in refrigerator.