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Where are you getting your turkey from this year?

lisavf Nov 1, 2009 04:18 PM

For as long as I can remember, for Thanksgiving I've either been a guest at my MIL's home (Butterball, usually way overcooked) or cooked the meal at my great-aunt's home, where I've had no choice about the bird (no turkey, only capon). This year I'm cooking at my home for the in-laws. I've only ever actually bought a turkey probably twice, many years ago. I'm fine with the cooking part of it. So tell me, where are you getting your turkey this year? Are you returning to a trusted source or trying something new? Are you getting a Butterball or the free turkey you can get when you accumulate grocery store "points"? Does your grocery store sell special turkeys? Or are you ordering from an online source? If you're going out and hunting your own bird, that won't help me any (unless you will ship one to me;). Tell me your turkey-buying secrets, please!

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  1. care11 Nov 1, 2009 04:52 PM

    I get so excited for Thanksgiving and the act of buying the turkey is a huge part of it! When we used to live in NYC we would order a fresh one from Eli's on 90th and York. Now we live in NJ and we order from a local farm, Lee's Turkey Farm. My adrenalin rushes as I pull into the farm's parking area and I see the line forming out the door. The whole time I am fretting, might someone get my turkey by mistake? Did I order the correct size? I see the people walking out with beautifully packaged cardboard boxes and I can hardly contain my excitement. As I approach the line and the guy in charge asks me if ... (A) I preordered my bird ...OR... (B) was a "walk in"...I look at him as if what a SILLY question, "Oh, I preordered..." as the mere thought they might not have one there with my name on it puts me over the edge. Then I anxiously and proudly stand in the "preordered line" glaring around at all the other fresh items I might need for the perfect feast... Then I think to myself, "Hmmm...I hope they take VISA."

    1. corneygirl Nov 1, 2009 05:01 PM

      I ordered one from a local farm that is connected with my CSA. It's the first time I've ever bought and cooked a turkey. I hosted Thanksgiving one other time, but my Mom cooked the turkey and drove 300 miles with it, and most of the other food. This time I'm cooking the turkey. I pick it up on the Tuesday before, so I think I will dunk it in a vat of brine until the big day. Mom cooks hers all night, but I hope that isn't necessary.

      1. BarmyFotheringayPhipps Nov 1, 2009 05:51 PM

        The daughter and son-in-law of the family that runs our CSA have struck out on their own and have a farm that raises turkeys and other kinds of meat. We've been getting our turkeys from them the last few years, and they've been the best turkeys I've ever had. I assume it's far too late to procure a turkey like that, though: we placed our order back in, like, late August.

        1. chicgail Nov 2, 2009 04:13 AM

          I ordered a heritage turkey for the first time this year. I'll pick it up at the local farmers' market the Saturday before.

          1. Popkin Nov 2, 2009 06:49 AM

            As long as I can remember, my family has used diestel turkeys, which are raised in my home town of sonora. We are down in the valley now, but the grocer next to my place of employment carries them (not that it would be terrible to make the trip up there to get it.... probably heading up there anyway to get a sour cream apple pie from cover's [formerly sonka's]). Not only is there the nostalgia, but they raise their birds well IMO, so it's nice to know my food had a good life before it came to my oven.

            We usually though also pick up the turkeys that are sold on clearance or "buy X amount of groceries, get a free turkey!" as well, to cook, shred, and freeze to use throughout the year. But the diestel turkey is the thanksgiving turkey :)

            1. Vetter Nov 2, 2009 07:24 AM

              We were just thrilled to find that one of our farmer's market vendors was raising heritage-breed turkeys this year. We put in an order for a Narragansett hen! It cost about $50, but I will treat that bird with such respect. I didn't like turkey until I starting having good ones.

              1. l
                LauraGrace Nov 2, 2009 07:27 AM

                My butcher sells Amish-raised turkeys this time of year, and I'm ordering one of those bad boys for T-day. Or maybe two. All their poultry comes from small Amish family farms. That guy is legit. First time I got a chicken, he asked if I wanted it cut up or whole. Imagine a butcher TALKING to you and asking you what you want done with your meat? I was giddy! ;)

                My tip? Let your fingers do the walking. Call around to local butcher shops, focusing on more rural areas if you're in a city. Ask if they can get turkeys locally, if you can pre-order one now, and when they're available for pickup. My butcher starts getting them in the Monday before T-day.

                I got my bird from Whole Paycheck last year and it was good, but it wasn't GREAT. This year, I'm hoping for GREAT.

                1. c
                  chaddick Nov 2, 2009 10:44 AM

                  We've been getting our turkeys at Whole Foods for the past few years and probably will this year again. They've always turned out delicious and taste really fresh.

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