Ahhh…a new day. So far, so good.
Don’t get me wrong. Yesterday was a good day, too. It just did not go as planned. Let me give you a re-cap.
My son and I had just come back from Kentucky, where we’d visited one of my dearest friends and her family. We had a wonderful time catching up, and we got home Tuesday evening, thankful to be back with Dave and the girls.
I got up yesterday morning, took the puppy out and had my time with Jesus. I made a list of things I needed to do to catch up from my time away, the first being a quick run to a bulk foods store to pick up a meat order a friend and I were splitting. Easy enough.
Before I got out the door, I went to check on a young turkey which had apparently sustained an injury while I was gone. Bad news. Its leg was broken and it was not in good shape. (For its own protection, it had been placed in our “clinic” for assessment and recovery. When this happens, animals tend to thrive…or dive. This one had clearly done the latter.) Blah. I really, really, really dislike dying things. I don’t especially despise them once they’re fully dead, but animals that are in the process of dying are tough for me. I now had one of those on my hands.
I made the poor guy as comfortable as possible, informed the kids and headed to pick up my bulk order in order to meet my time deadline. I would take care of the turkey when I got home.
On the way home, I saw that it looked like we might get rain. Hallelujah! We had gotten so dry in the past couple of weeks that we really needed some water. So thankful for what looked like an answer to prayer on the way.
I got home and began to clean and bag the meat for the freezer. It was in a huge box, and I didn’t have enough space in the fridge to stash it while I dealt with the turkey, so I was trying to work as quickly as possible. My son had put the turkey out of its misery, so I felt no major rush to get it dressed out.
Then I heard thunder. Change of plans.
I passed off the meat preparation to my oldest daughter, whom had been patiently waiting for me to give her a test. With a small sigh, she graciously took over. I grabbed my knives and a hatchet and headed outside.
Let me just say that I don’t love butchering things. I have done it, and I can do it, but I don’t love it. I truly have to mind-over-matter my way through the processing, thanking God for this sacrifice of life and for the opportunity to grow and eat much of our own food. I understand that all meat packaged and sold at grocery stores came from living, breathing creatures that had to go through the butchering process before winding up in sanitary-looking, plastic-wrapped packages in supermarket coolers. I truly do get it. I actually find great peace in the fact that our animals lived happy, healthy lives up until the point of processing. But. I still don’t love butchering things. To complicate matters, though I had processed many chickens, I had never dressed out a turkey…and I had conveniently avoided dressing out anything for the better part of two years.
I confess that I had toyed with the idea of taking the carcass back into the woods and leaving it for the coyotes. This would not only get me out of an undesirable task, but it would get me back to what I really needed to be doing–catching up from my trip. Unfortunately for me, I had recently spent a few hours talking with and listening to the world-renowned Joel Salatin, Farmer Extraordinaire, and had committed to being more responsible with the resources God has given me. Here I had a young turkey with healthy meat and bones (well, aside from that broken leg) and the knowledge and ability to turn him into food for me family. It totally seemed like the responsible thing to do.
Bummer for me.
Interestingly, I had just had this conversation with my Kentucky friend: I like having my hand held when I do something for the first time. Unlike my remarkably independent and fiercely fearless friend, I like to have someone right beside me to provide guidance, moral support and courage (should courage fail). This is why I have asked another one of my remarkably independent and fiercely fearless friends to help me butcher a full-grown tom turkey next week. The bottom line is that I’m a bit of a chicken when it comes to this things, and I greatly value the cheerleaders in my life. Yesterday, however, I was on my own.
So, with tools and turkey in hand, I headed to the woodpile to get ‘er done.
That’s when it started to rain.
Thank You, Lord, for this rain. (I said over and over and over in my head as it soaked me from head to toe.)
Longer story short, I guessed and fumbled and “oopsed” my way through preparing this young turkey to feed my family. It wasn’t really pleasant, but it wasn’t really horrible, either. And, to be honest, I’m pleased and somewhat proud of that 4.24-lb. young turkey resting in our basement fridge.
After the turkey tangent was resolved, I redirected my attention to the day’s activities and got almost everything done. I even worked in a bit of an afternoon nap, thanks to my kids pitching in to help and being patient with their own to do lists. The day didn’t look like I thought it would, and it was not as comfortable as I’d hoped, but I did what needed to be done.
The rain moved back in this morning, and (so far) all of the animals seem happy and healthy. The kids have all taken their tests, and one has even finished her school for the week. While catching up on laundry and housework, I may even be able to squeeze in a batch of noodles to go with that turkey.