We ate turkey the other night. One of our turkeys. Specifically, the overbred broad-breasted white who was so very broad-breasted she could barely hobble, wheezing, from feeder to watering dish. She couldn't roost either -- too bulbous to hop onto the perch where all the other birds, including the other turkey -- spent the night. So we created a little "perch" for her on a small step stool in the corner. Alas, she preferred to sleep as close as possible to the others and would huddle directly underneath them on the floor. You can imagine. Or, if you can't: We had to hose her off when she emerged from the coop every morning. Turkeys like this should not exist. Humankind should be ashamed.
In December, we killed the turkeys. Plucked and cleaned, the heritage tom weighed five pounds; the hen, twelve pounds. I put them in trash bags in the freezer for six months so we could forget where our food comes from. We hadn't quite, but the hen took up so much space that the freezer door kept getting jammed. So I brined, roasted, and served her to my in-laws the other night. That sounds kind of hostile doesn't it. Hmm. Wasn't! We just needed a crowd. In any case, she tasted absolutely okay -- dry, bland -- exactly like a supermarket turkey. I will never raise or kill another turkey. I would rather do without.
On to more appetizing subjects, like chocolate chip cookies.
Since I last posted on the subject, Isabel has baked chocolate chip cookies from David Lebovitz and The Silver Palate. Both were delicious, but neither are contenders for the top slot. She also baked the famous, fussy New York Times cookies, though she did not use the specified chocolate, which was was prohibitively expensive. Personally, I do not agree with this new ranking -- I would put All Recipes above the NYT -- but Isabel's the boss.
1. Cakewalk by Kate Moses (Robust cookies flavored with espresso powder, irresistible and possibly unbeatable.)
2. Baking by Dorie Greenspan (The classic -- but better.)
4. New York Times (fussy to make; thick; salted on top)
5. All Recipes (Stout, chewy, more-ish)
6. Silver Palate (Chewy, butterscotchy)
7. Ready to Bake by David Lebovitz. (Very good -- plus, they contain nuts, which we like.)
8. Toll House (The classic.)
9. Ad Hoc at Home (Too much severe chocolate, too little cookie)
10. Joy of Cooking, 1975 (Thin, pale, unimpressive.)