Thursday, November 19, 2009

Local Thanksgiving

A few months ago, some talented, young cool women from Lake Oconee Living magazine came to the farm to interview Gillen about his turkeys. In their article about his heritage bird business they also interviewed us about what our family eats for Thanksgiving. Here are some of the recipes we use since becoming more aware of eating locally, all glossy and beautifully dressed up by the magazine:

The noble birds who starred on the magazine's cover, here more humbly photographed by me:

These are a few of those who were experiencing the inside of a coop for the first time the other day. It was their last stage of life before becoming next week's meal. Their end was very quick and Gillen and Nicolas did all that they could to make it pain free. I'm glad that there are still several gobbling and free and that the very first bird, Cody, will die of old age.


Anonymous said...
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El said...

Hi Madeline,

I suppose this is a question for Gillen, but do you actually have breeding pairs, or do you just raise poults? The reason I ask is we have a breeding pair of Bourbon reds and they're great parents. We had a raccoon get in and eat all Ruby's eggs so I resorted to putting chicken, goose and one refrigerated turkey egg under her and she hatched out Thanksgiving Dinner (a magnificent tom) and a gosling! Anyway, even if she had hatched all 9 of her original eggs she'd still have made a great mom. Just curious; hand-raising poults is not terribly fun and believe me Thanksgiving Dinner is a ton smarter than his parents for being bird- and not human-raised.

How fun to have magazine exposure! Wow: you're living a "lifestyle"!

have a great feast next week

Madeline Rains said...

He started with poults and lost all but one - Cody - who will now never be killed. He did buy two - a breeding pair, who then, with Cody, hatched 18 birds. He learned that he had to take the poults from the mother after they were born or they were taken by predators. After raising them himself, for about a month and a half, he returned them to the older turkeys' pen. That is amazing that your Tom lived after being refrigerated as an egg! Gillen was surprised. How cool that the bird sat on three different species.

Clem said...

It's so cool!!:D I saw the book with Gillen on it, that Mimine brought when she came over to New York to see Benjamin, and it was a very interesting!! :P

We miss you all,

Bhu said...

Wow, how great that Gillen's turkeys were a magazine feature!! Go, G!

mamak said...

Actually I have hatched chicken eggs that were friged for about 10 days. i have even heard of people going to Trader joes or a health food store and buying fertile eggs and hatching them out. We are going to test that urban legend this spring! I think his Turkeys are stunning.

mamak said...
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kelli said...

His enthusiasm for farming is wonderful, love seeing kids talking about their passions! :) The picture of the turkeys on the fence is great!

Persephone said...

we will miss you guys immensely this year!! can't believe it has only been a year, feels like an eternity. Wanted to call you for the sweet potato souffle recipe, but you've posted it here. you really sold chop on the marshmallows. i also had an idea for gillens centerpiece too, so maybe i will call or at the very least email. xoxo

Madeline Rains said...

Persephone, did you get my email before thanksgiving? Am I using the wrong email again?

Rachel said...

Beautiful article! I love that picture of Gillen on the front. But I have to say, your photo of the birds on the fence is professional quality too. ;) You take the most gorgeous photos, and I always love to come here and get a glimpse of your farm life, which I often long to have. We just visited my parents over Thanksgiving, and they are raising chickens now. Max and Otto absolutely loved being with those chickens, and we are thinking about how getting them here, to at least bring a bit of country to our city life. ;)

krg said...

We miss pecan pie and I'm gonna make that recipe ASAP. Congratulations to Gillen on the awesome magazine spread and happy birthday, Madeline! Hope you guys have a merry Christmas and a happy new year!

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