Turkey for the Lockdown Larder

No, not the wild kind. I’m talking about the kind you find frozen and shrink-wrapped at the grocery store.

I know I should be extolling the virtues of wild game in this space, but sometimes it just makes more sense to go farm-raised. This holiday season it seems that with large family gatherings being all but prohibited by law, the demand for the large turkeys is down.

Stores often do the loss-leader price thing for turkey anyway this time of year to get you into their aisles, but this year the bigger birds are deeply discounted in some areas because of lack of demand. I picked up two 15-pounders last weekend for 59 cents a pound. A friend of mine in a different state bought a couple birds for 39 cents a pound!

Why if I’ll only be feeding one or maybe two people over the holidays am I buying that big? Let me tell you.

-Money is tight for some families this year. Turkey is a great source of lean protein, and at 59 cents a pound, that’s hard to beat. We might as well stock up if we can.

-If you have the freezer space, this is also lockdown grocery insurance. It’s also job loss food insurance. Buy cheap now. Eat later even without a paycheck.

-If you don’t have freezer space, you can pressure can it and make the meat shelf stable for a couple years or more. 

This is what I’ll be doing. I’m using it as an excuse to finally get around to learning to pressure can meat. Stay tuned on that one.

Turkey jerky. I want to try it with my dehydrator not only for snacks, but also because the meat will take up a lot less space in the freezer as jerky.

-Broth, broth and more broth. Why buy cartons of commercial broth at the store, when you can make it yourself from the carcass for virtually no extra cost?  Just dump the bird carcass and bones in a big crockpot or roaster with water and a few onions and such and let it cook slowly for a day or two. (Yes, that long)

The broth  freezes well (or can be pressure canned) for later soups, gravy or rice. I make and freeze a lot of soup for my work lunches, so this is gold. Waste not want not.

So don’t let the Corona Fairy crap on your good mood for the 2020 holidays. Look at it as a low price opportunity to stock your meat supplies for what could turn out to be a long locked down winter. Then pull out your recipe box and get creative!