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.


Apple Maple Turkey Burgers with Maple Dijon Sauce

Sandra Lee BurgerMy husband came home from work the other day with all the ingredients for these burgers!  We have made these so often that we know the recipe by heart.

While we are moving away from summer, burgers still work for a busy weeknight, and yet the “apple” gently moves us into fall!

This easy, delicious recipe, Apple Maple Turkey Burgers with Dijon Sauce is courtesy of Sandra Lee, Food Network.com.


For Maple-Dijon Sauce: (we always double the sauce)

1/4 cup mayonnaise

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

2 tablespoons real maple syrup

For Burgers:

1 1/4 pounds ground turkey breast

1/4 cup real bacon bits (we use real bacon, torn into small pieces)

1/2 cup chunky applesauce

1 teaspoon poultry seasoning (if I don’t have it, I don’t use it and they are still yummy)

2 tablespoons real maple syrup

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper


Set up grill for direct cooking over medium heat. Oil grate when ready to start cooking.

For Maple-Dijon Sauce: In a small bowl, stir to combine mayonnaise, Dijon mustard, and 2 tablespoons maple syrup; set aside.

For Turkey Burgers: In a medium bowl, mix together all ingredients for burgers. Wet hands to prevent sticking and shape into 4 patties.

Place burgers on hot oiled grill for 5 to 6 minutes per side or until done.

Serve on buns with traditional burger condiments and a dollop of maple-Dijon sauce.

Personal Notes:  While I prefer grilling these, I have often broiled the burgers in the oven when I can’t use the outside grill, and they still cook up nicely.  I have used smooth applesauce, which doesn’t change the texture of the burgers very much. Finally, cooking bacon is so time consuming when I’m trying to make a fast dinner, I open a package of precooked bacon, tear into pieces and add to the turkey mixture.SONY DSC