My Thanksgiving prep has started. The mental prep, anyway. I’ve made a list and ordered my extras from the farm share network. I’ll pick it all up on Saturday, and that includes my pasture-raised turkey. My bird is coming from one of New York’s oldest organic farms, where they even mill their own mix of grain to feed the turkeys on-site. Once she’s defrosted, I’ll salt her for a 24-hour dry brine, and then, 12 hours before heading into the oven, my turkey will have a compound butter of thyme, garlic, honey and paprika stuffed under her skin. A little lacquer of some more honey and oil will get brushed on towards the end of her roast.
But there’s so much more to the meal. Potatoes, brussel sprouts, a good salad with pomegranates and fennel. We have also taken on the tradition of making a Three Sisters hash, as a tribute to the Indigenous foodways that so much of sustainable farming is based on today, yet often without enough recognition. As a new member of Rancho Gordo’s bean club, I’m particularly stoked to decide which variety will join our corn and squash this year. Of course, I have been overthinking the timing of what dish goes in the oven when. I have a hard time with cold food! Yet I can only be so detail-oriented, and a lot of the pressure is in my own head. On Thanksgiving Day, my down-to-the-minute schedule is bound to fall apart, as I catch up over cider with cousins, aunts and uncles, gossiping and debating the latest news.
Like, did you hear this may be the last year before lab-grown turkey is on some tables? That may be a stretch, but Berkeley, California-based Upside Foods, which makes chicken grown from cells in a lab, received a “no questions” letter back from the Food and Drug Administration this week. It’s not full-on regulatory approval, but it’s the first major step the U.S. government has taken to get no-kill meat closer to restaurants and grocery store shelves. That one is sure to get your Thanksgiving table lively.
Wishing you and your loved ones a restful break, and a warming holiday meal!
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I sometimes liken myself to Garfield, and last Sunday, I really needed lasagna to get me through. I got myself some fresh pasta sheets and mozzarella, and then mixed ricotta with an egg, garlic powder and chili flakes, and layered it all together with some leftover sausage from the fridge and tomato sauce. Don’t ask me how much I ate.
A Garfield-approved lasagna.
Chloe Sorvino leads coverage of food and agriculture as a staff writer on the enterprise team at Forbes. Her book, Raw Deal: Hidden Corruption, Corporate Greed and the Fight for the Future of Meat, will publish on December 6, 2022, with Simon & Schuster’s Atria Books. Her nearly nine years of reporting at Forbes has brought her to In-N-Out Burger’s secret test kitchen, drought-ridden farms in California’s Central Valley, burnt-out national forests logged by a timber billionaire, a century-old slaughterhouse in Omaha and even a chocolate croissant factory designed like a medieval castle in northern France.
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