Saturday, November 29, 2008

Turkey Irony

Saturday, November 29, 2008

For some reason, sleep left me an hour ago and I am wide awake and ready for a new day even though the balance of the house is deep in slumber. Aging has a way of changing clocks and mine feels like its still flickering after a brief power outage. Maybe one more cup of coffee will reset things and prepare me for the day's events.

It's still clean up time here on the mountain. Austin is home from the University of Vermont for the weekend and he came up yesterday to help with some clean up. Gail is immensely relieved because he has committed to working for us again this summer which means she has her same crew back again. For Gail, that's monumental relief. It is for me too as people who can show up for work on time, handle customers and wear a smile are invaluable. They give me the opportunity to move along with my projects and come closer to the goals I have set for the new nursery.

Michelle will be back with us too. In the other work world, she is a super teacher and directs some education programs for some very special people in this county. She is one of those people you can trust with everything you own and not have to give a thought about the outcome. It's always timely and correct. I'm foggy this morning but I think this is year five that she will be working with us.

Besides these two, we have dependable part time, fill-in, come-when-we-call, spring planters--that kind of mix of interested gardeners who have been with us for years. Managing a business with a good crew makes tiring days shorter and smiles frequent! Austin will be back this morning and we'll try to get a few more things ticked off the list before the sun sets.

Thanksgiving is now two days past and the turkey in the fridge has almost been reduced to bones and pieces for soup. Yesterday morning as I was sitting here, Gail advised me to look out the window under the bird feeder. I was engrossed in Dreamweaver and a new website I am working on but under the feeder were five wild turkeys pecking corn the ungrateful blue jays had scattered about. There was an old hen and four kids from this spring. It certainly was ironic that they had absented themselves from the fields for a week and now that Thanksgiving is over, they're back.

The big hen reminded me of a show on public radio on Wednesday. Every year they have a call-in show where people with less than a clue about certain culinary processes call and ask things like "Why can't I get the stuffing in?" "What's that package I found in the bird?" "Why is my mother's gravy good and mine would be better to hang wall paper with?" "How can I cook everything in an oven that's too small?"

Wednesday I was impressed with the lady who called to report a neighbor had given her family a 42 pound turkey he had raised. It was so big she didn't have a pan or an oven to cook it in and her husband was on the verge of breaking out the chain saw to cut it down to size. The turkey pro said she was on the right path and since turkey parts---legs, breast, stuffing-- all cook at different times, it would be best to break the bird down into pieces and go from there. One suggestion I am quite uncertain about was his recommendation to try cooking it outside on the BBQ. I guess there are those people in the world that like to give and accept challenges and perhaps someone will give that a shot although my BBQ wouldn't hold that big a bird either. Our turkey was 17 pounds and just the right size.

I just heard Karl the Wonder Dog hit the hardwood floor. That means that in a minute he'll be bringing in a wagging tail and a plea for a morning walk. It's 28 degrees this morning and overcast as we have a big storm coming in for tomorrow. I always enjoy morning walks with Karl but have to say I miss the enjoyment of July wildflowers such as the Lilium canadense (top) or seeing ducks and geese raising new families on nearby Marshfield Pond. Those things are on hold until spring but the memories always stay here. Try to get out for a walk today and enjoy the balance of the fall season.

Writing from the mountain above Peacham Pond where I do hope your amaryllis bulbs are doing better than mine. For me, no more of those prepotted or kit affairs. I'm going back to the wholesalers who sell big bulbs that only cost a couple bucks more and bloom strong and big!

George Africa
The Vermont Gardener
Vermont Gardens
Vermont Flower Farm


lynn'sgarden said...

Your funny story of turkey woes reminded me of a one...a neighbor once had a wild turkey fly into his window right in time for Thanksgiving. He actually cleaned and cooked it...needless to say it was tough as nails!
As always, enjoying your stories and photos,

George Africa said...

Hi Lynn;

There are so many wild turkeys in Vermont now that sometimes it's dangerous just to be driving the car. I've had them come gliding down in front of me out of nowhere and they seem so big in the air that you're reaction is to dodge them. That's not too handy when you're in a line of fast moving traffic. They remind me of those guys on speeder bikes in Star Wars Return of the Jedi where they're shooting through the woods, full throttle at dizzying speeds.

Turkeys are also a nuisance in the garden as they eat young plants, eat newly seeded rows or areas, and scratch out little potholes near your favorite plants where they sit and fluff their feathers as a kind of dust bowl insecticidal.

George Africa

andrea said...

That is really quite amazing timing on the turkeys part

I love to watch a flock of wild turkeys in the meadows...