Valley Bounty: Turkey

Ben Franklin wanted the turkey to be the national symbol of the United States, writing that it was, “though a little vain & silly, a bird of courage, and would not hesitate to attack a Grenadier of the British Guards who should presume to invade his farm” (unlike the Bald Eagle, which he believed to be “a bird of bad moral character” and “too lazy to fish for himself”). Though talking about birds in those moralistic terms seems pretty weird and silly today, I will grant him that, despite losing the symbol contest, turkeys definitely have a position of prominence in the hearts of many Americans—though more for being delicious than courageous.

If you’re roasting a turkey for the first time this year, I promise it’s not as daunting as it seems. Rub the outside of the turkey with butter, salt, pepper, and herbs (thyme, sage, and rosemary for me), place a couple more herb sprigs inside (for food safety reasons I steer away from stuffing the turkey with anything I’m going to eat later), tie the drumsticks together, cover with tin foil, and roast for 3-5 hours depending on size (remove the foil for the last 45 mins). It’s done when a thermometer reads 165°F in the thickest part of the thigh.

Valley Bounty is written by Brian Snell of CISA (Community Involved in Sustaining Agriculture)