Thursday, November 19, 2009

Plucking Simon

If your husband brings home a Turkey from the shoot, or if you are raising them yourself, here is how to get it ready for your Thanksgiving table.

First, don't be overwhelmed. It really is quite simple. Many people try to dry pluck (like a duck), however you will want to water process like you would for a chicken as plucking out the larger feathers are easier on a warm bird. The only difference between plucking a turkey and a chicken is that a turkey is bigger. I also wear rubber gloves and a full apron when doing this process. Many people don't have a pot large enough for a turkey, but what I use is a big wash tub that I keep out in the back shed. Oh my... I'm starting to get ahead of myself. Okay, here is how to pluck your turkey for your table:

1) fill a large tub or pot with boiling hot water...

2) with gloves on, grab the dead turkey by the ankles and dunk into the tub of scalding hot water.

3) use a big wooden spoon (Jacob actually made me my own wooden paddle for this process) to help saturate all the feathers and keep the bird under water for about 10-15 seconds.

4) Lay the bird on some plastic or a towel and begin plucking by the small handful, being sure to pull WITH the direction they lay on the bird. Be careful not to overdo it, as you don't want to rip the skin.

5) Any "peach fuzz" or tiny pin hairs can just be wiped off after all of the feathers are plucked.

6) Dunk the turkey in cold water to help the bird cool down faster, allowing you to work with it more.

Tips: Sometimes the dye of the larger feathers will remain on the bird after the feathers are gone. This is ok, as you can rinse most of this off with the cold bath anyway. Also, if you are raising turkeys on a farm, etc., whatever you do, do NOT name the turkey(s) first. Sarah Jo has been calling this turkey Simon for quite some time now and heart broken when she saw me give "Simon" a "bath!"

Oh, and if this post made you squeamish, I reckon you daren't ask what I do with the feet or the carunkles! Aye-oh!
God Bless,

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Myth: Amish Kids Don't Do Halloween

Most Amish kids probably don't trick-or-treat for Halloween, let alone dress up in a costume. However, I have always let my kids participate. In case I hadn't mentioned it before, my scholars attend public school and not Amish School. Most of the classrooms always have parties. We also have a few English neighbors, such as Bunny that always invite the kids to come and trick-or-treat at their place.

I don't buy costumes or even sew them, but I tell the children each year if they want to come up with a costume, that is just fine by Jacob and me. Mostly, they dress like hobos, or old people, or fat people. They might put a little mud on their face, or some talcum powder in their hair, or stuff a pillow under their shirts. A few times the boys have borrowed a nightdress of mine and usually the girls will dress old, like Mommie. It doesn't really matter, because mostly, they just have fun.

Bunny says living out in the countryside, they don't see too many trick-or-treaters so when my children show up at their door with their empty pillowcases, she usually fills them right up with candy bars, popcorn balls and whatnot.

This year Bunny had on a long red dress and a red cape and some devil ears. It was a good thing she wore the same amount of make up she normally does or else she might have scare't the younger ones.

God Bless,