Here are links to the Thanksgiving tips that I gave in blog posts last year. (Each post below has links to the next tip and/or the last tip at the bottom.) Happy Thanksgiving!
Thanksgiving gets a great deal of attention every year. For many, it is a time for families to see each other over a large traditional meal. Thanksgiving is the American feast. I like the idea of being thankful for the good things in my life. I happen to love the tradition, and to love eating the old favorites, prepared from real food. Yet I must confess something. I also love to cook the Thanksgiving feast.
Yes, it is a lot of work. Especially when you add the trimmings, such as homemade stuffing and real gravy, made with fresh broth and the magnificent turkey drippings. But to see the joy it brings to those who eat it-that is truly fulfilling. And chances are that your work will be very much appreciated.
And I want to confess something else. It is not that complicated. If you get real ingredients, even average cooking skills will result in a wonderful meal. I make a turkey, a stuffing, roast some vegetables in the pan with the turkey, roast some sweet potatoes on the side, make some simple boiled vegetables, and a wonderful gravy from the drippings. None of these items are difficult to prepare. It is just that there are a lot of them, and some are time consuming. The solution is planning and organization.
I plan the cooking of each dish, organize the ingredients, start early in the morning, and it always goes well. And the smell of the roasting turkey, lovingly basted with butter, is just magnificent.
Often, you can also get family members and friends to help with some of the tasks, and it can become a fun project, with a result that everyone will enjoy.
It has become common for supermarkets to offer people a full Thanksgiving meal, which just needs to be reheated, for a large amount of money. I am certain that no reheated meal from a store can possibly compete with a home cooked meal of real food. Food prepared for people you love or like, with love, has a special quality all its own.
After the feast, turkey leftovers are considered a problem by many people. Not me. Here is a link to a recipe for the turkey broth I make after every Thanksgiving, which uses those leftovers to create a wonderful traditional broth:
Happy Thanksgiving! May you and yours eat well!
This post is part of Real Food Wednesday blog carnival.
One of the almost inevitable issues created by the Thanksgiving feast is what to do with the leftovers. One of the recipes in Tender Grassfed Meat is the best solution I have come up with. Not only does it solve the problem, it gives you a delicious, flavorful broth full of nutrients.
This is a traditional broth, using only real food. Even the salt is unrefined. In fact, this recipe works great for those on Paleo or Primal diets. The only exception would be those whose version of a Paleo or Primal diet excludes salt. I am convinced that the cave people ate salt. First, if you do not get enough salt, you die. They survived and thrived. Second, every hunter-gatherer group ever studied added salt to their food, at least some of the time. They got their salt from the same source the cave people probably did—salt licks. They found the salt licks the same way—by tracking animals, because they knew the animals would know where to find salt. Yes, even wild animals eat salt, and they know where to find it.
I have gotten very positive feedback on this recipe. If you do not have giblets, the soup will still be great. Here it is:
This broth is THE solution for leftover turkey, for all of it. The leftover turkey bones become a valued asset, contributing minerals, natural gelatin, and many nutrients. I always save the turkey drumsticks for this broth, as the drumstick’s meat and many tendons transform into a wonderful gelatin in the broth. You can also use turkey wings, which are often sold separately. Turkey wings are wonderful for broth due to their high natural gelatin content. Turkey broth, much like chicken broth, is delicious and nourishing.
You will need a large stockpot for this one. Make sure that it is stainless steel, not aluminum. The long cooking time is necessary to combine the flavors, and to get the nutrients out of the bones.
Makes 6 to 8 quarts
Leftover bones and carcass from a roasted turkey, or 4 to 6 pounds turkey wings
Turkey neck, (if available)
Enough filtered water to cover the bones by 2 to 3 inches
½ cup raw organic apple cider vinegar
ASSORTED ROOT VEGETABLES
1 large organic onion, peeled and coarsely chopped
4 stalks of organic celery, coarsely chopped
4 large organic carrots, peeled and coarsely chopped
4 cloves of organic garlic, peeled and coarsely chopped
Several chicken giblets (if available)
Turkey giblets, (if available)
1 bunch of organic Italian parsley, each stalk cut into 2 or 3 pieces
2 tablespoons coarse unrefined sea salt
- Put the turkey into the pot, except for the giblets. Add the water and the vinegar. Let sit at room temperature for 1 hour.
- Add all the vegetables, except the parsley. Heat the pot until the water begins a strong simmer. This will take a while due to the large volume of ingredients and water.
- When the water is close to boiling, remove all the scum that rises to the top with a skimming spoon. This can also take a while, but is necessary.
- Once the scum is gone, add the giblets, parsley, and the salt.
- Cover and simmer gently for 12 to 14 hours.
Using a ladle, strain into jars, cover, and refrigerate once the bottles have cooled down. The fat will rise to the top, and will solidify in the refrigerator. This fat cap will help preserve the broth. The fat should be removed before the broth is reheated.
This recipe was inspired by the broth-making techniques demonstrated in Sally Fallon Morell’s wonderful book on traditional cooking, Nourishing Traditions.
Tender Grassfed Meat contains many traditional recipes for broth, as well as grassfed meat.
By Stanley Fishman, Author of Tender Grassfed Meat
Thanksgiving is about more than eating, traveling, and watching football games. The very name of the holiday describes its purpose—it is about giving thanks. It is about paying attention to the blessings in our lives, and being grateful for them.
The settlers who created Thanksgiving left their homes to seek freedom. In England, they could not practice their faith. The food they could eat was heavily restricted. They could not hunt. They had no say in the laws that governed every aspect of their lives. They were willing to leave everything they knew—the very world that was known to them—to seek freedom. They moved to a strange land. They suffered terribly. Many of them starved to death. Yet when times became better, they gave thanks for what they had.
Our freedom is at risk—the freedom enjoyed by every previous generation of Americans—the basic human freedom to choose what we eat is in danger.
S510 could give total control over agriculture to the FDA. S510 calls for the imposition of “best agricultural practices,” which is another of way of saying that the government will dictate every step of how every crop is grown. Since the FDA favors factory food, chemicals, GMOs, and radiation, they would have the power to impose these methods on all farmers. The FDA could destroy real food, and we would lose our freedom to choose our food. The FDA has stated in court documents that we do not have a right to choose our food.
As Thanksgiving approaches, I think over what happened during the year, and remember the good things I have been blessed with.
I am thankful for real food, the food that saved my life and restored my health.
I am thankful to every farmer who produces real food.
I am thankful to everyone who has fought for the very existence of real food, by raising their voice against S510.
The First Thanksgiving
The settlers, who sailed on the Mayflower and founded the Plymouth colony, left England so they could practice their religion without persecution. When they landed, they knew very little about raising and gathering food in the new land. Their first winter was very hard. They did not have enough to eat. 102 of them had landed at Plymouth. 45 of them died during the winter. Only four adult women survived the winter. Most of the women who died were mothers, who gave their food to their children. The children lived, the mothers starved.
The Native Americans taught the settlers how to gather food, real food, and they learned. Only 53 of them were alive to celebrate the first Thanksgiving. Instead of being crushed by the horror of the first winter, they were thankful for the good food they now had, and they gave thanks.
I Am Thankful for Real Food
Real food saved my life and restored my health. What more can I say? Real food, the food our ancestors ate for uncounted generations, gives our bodies exactly what we need to function. Every process and function of our bodies depends on real food. Factory food puts substances in our bodies that they do not know how to process or digest. Factory food lacks vital nutrient combinations our bodies need to function properly.
A balanced diet of real food gives our bodies everything we need to function superbly.
We thrive on real food. I am so blessed to be able to get it. Yet S510 threatens to take real food away from me, and every one of us.
I Am Thankful to Farmers Who Raise Real Food
There would be no real food without real farmers. These farmers do the most important job on Earth, using their skill and knowledge to raise the wonderful real food we need. It takes much more skill and effort to raise real food. These farmers do not take the easy way of using pesticides and artificial fertilizers. They do not take the easy way of sending their livestock to a feedlot to be stuffed full of GMO grains and other unnatural feeds. They do not implant artificial hormones or give antibiotics to cause their animals to grow at twice the natural rate.
They use the wisdom of the soil, the nature of their crops and animals, and their own hard-won experience, to raise nourishing food that is a blessing to all who eat it. They work with the laws of nature, rather than violating them.
They do not exhaust the soil, but replenish it. They renew and revitalize the land.
I am thankful to each and every one of these noble farmers.
They deserve to be protected from S510, which could enable the FDA to destroy their farms, and make sustainable farming methods a crime.
I Am Thankful to Everyone Who Fights S510
Freedom to choose what we eat is so basic that almost everybody takes it for granted. Americans have enjoyed this freedom for almost all of our history. Yet S510 threatens this freedom, by threatening the very existence of real food.
If we cannot get real food, we cannot choose to eat it.
I am thankful to all who have fought this bill. If not for them, it would have become law long ago. Now there is hope that it will not pass. Even if it does pass, the Tester amendment will give some protection to small farmers. However, the big agricultural industry is trying to get the Tester amendment removed, because they want their competition eliminated.
It is very frustrating to call your representatives, and to write them. Most of the time, you end up speaking to people who do not seem interested in what you are saying, and are being polite without listening. Or you get canned responses to your emails and letters. Or you have a lot of trouble getting through on the phone. Sometimes, you get a condescending letter or a lecture. If you try to meet with your representatives, they are always busy. In the meantime, lobbyists for Big Ag get all the time and personal responses they could want.
Yet, hundreds of thousands, if not millions of us have continued to call, and write, and email, and we continue. Because our freedom and our very ability to stay healthy is at stake.
I am thankful to everybody who has spoken against this evil bill.
I am thankful to everyone who has emailed their representatives.
I am thankful to everyone who has called their representatives.
I am thankful to everyone who has blogged and written to oppose S510
Here is a link to an easy way to contact all your representatives:
Please contact your representatives, and ask them to oppose S510, or at least make sure the Tester amendment is not removed.
And I am thankful to you too.
This post is part of Real Food Wednesday Blog Carnival.