Period How To Have Leftovers, Turkey On The Boil 1863

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JPK Huson 1863

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
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Feb 14, 2012
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Central Pennsylvania
kitchen illustration loc.JPG
Love these old kitchen images, dead animals draped over tables or hanging from ceilings. This one ( Library of Congress, public access ) features what seem to be turkeys ready for the oven- or pot?

Every year as the holidays loom we begin to see the BEST, you-have-to-try-this recipes. Remember deep-frying turkeys and basting them with beer? That.

In 1860's cook books ( this one is 1863 ) there are recipes boiled turkeys. As in boil in a big pot of water. It's a whole, different take. Maybe it's good prepared like this but somehow lacks the golden brown, crisp skinned, stuffed and trussed bird we associate with Thanksgiving. Sounds pale and soggy? If anyone has a shot at it, please come back here and let us know how it went?

BOILED TURKEY.

Draw your turkey, wash it clean, season it with salt, but no pepper. Make a force-meat of some cold veal finely minced, a little grated ham, pepper and salt to the taste ; add also a little grated nut- meg and powdered mace. Fill the crop of the turkey with this force-meat, tie or skewer it well. Dredge flour over it, and wrap it in a napkin. Put it in a large pot with plenty of water which has been salted. Let it boil for about two hours, which will cook it sufficiently, unless it be a very large one.

Take it out of the napkin, place it on a large dish, garnish the edges of the dish with double parsley, and serve with a rich oyster sauce in a tureen.


https://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=uc2.ark:/13960/t3mw29g4v&view=plaintext&seq=75
 
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EJ Zander

First Sergeant
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Aug 23, 2011
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Gettysburg, PA
Salting the bird and salting the water sounds like a brine boil. Filling just the crop with the meat/ nut seasoning not the body cavity for the hint of flavor. Sounds interesting. Used to process thanksgiving turkeys by hand for a friend at his farm. Made me want ham.
 

lupaglupa

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Apr 18, 2019
This sounds like a recipe for a stew. The flour on the bird would act as a thickener. Then you put it in a tureen with a sauce over it?
 
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Mrs. V

Sergeant Major
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May 5, 2017
I would guess it‘d yield a very moist turkey. And we are not talking the domestic ones we have today. These would have been wild harvested by and large.

My Father in Law, who was a Merchant Marine during the war, had turkey for the first time at Kingspoint..(his family was very poor...he never experienced seconds on food until the military!) any way, he said the meat tasted terrible. It was gamey. It wasn’t until later that he grew to appreciate turkey, done correctly, and not from wild!
 
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JPK Huson 1863

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
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Central Pennsylvania
Remove the ladies and the cat and child, replace them with some scruffy men, a couple black labs, then put fine whiskey in the cabinets there, and you’ve got the spitting image of what our deer camp looks like. Very neat picture!

I'm not sure I want to see my husband's deer camp during the season. Well, or sniff it from closer than 20 yards. Boys, alcohol and way too much spare time at the end of the day. Guessing the stories are similar no matter which camp. :angel:
 

JPChurch

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Manassas VA
I've done chickens before, from chopping block to the pot. They don't run around once the head's lopped off, but the bodies sure do flop around quite a bit for a little while. Plucking/gutting them out and all of that follow up prep for the big pot is, well, lets just say that buying a whole chicken at Food Lion is a better alternative. I can't imagine doing a turkey. And yes wild turkeys taste a lot different from the farm raised ones. Same with ducks and geese. I'd rather butcher up a deer hanging in my garage as opposed to cleaning up and dressing any type of fowl. I really like the picture shown, it looks like there's some type of ham hanging from the underneath stove's top vent hood, alongside some other unidentifiable select cut of what ever it could be. Of course the kitty's looking for morsels that may have been spilled or dropped during the day's culinary endeavors.
 

Steph-GB

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Mar 26, 2018
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Land of the tractors
Love those type of pictures .. it’s a kitchen I would have loved to off had !!
Not sure what leftover food is though haha!! 8 of us in this house .. certainly never any left over ms :bounce:
 
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EJ Zander

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I've done chickens before, from chopping block to the pot. They don't run around once the head's lopped off, but the bodies sure do flop around quite a bit for a little while. Plucking/gutting them out and all of that follow up prep for the big pot is, well, lets just say that buying a whole chicken at Food Lion is a better alternative. I can't imagine doing a turkey. And yes wild turkeys taste a lot different from the farm raised ones. Same with ducks and geese. I'd rather butcher up a deer hanging in my garage as opposed to cleaning up and dressing any type of fowl. I really like the picture shown, it looks like there's some type of ham hanging from the underneath stove's top vent hood, alongside some other unidentifiable select cut of what ever it could be. Of course the kitty's looking for morsels that may have been spilled or dropped during the day's culinary endeavors.
Totally agree just go to the store. For turkeys we place them in a restraining cone head first. For chickens a traffic cone works good.
 
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Belle Montgomery

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I've done chickens before, from chopping block to the pot. They don't run around once the head's lopped off, but the bodies sure do flop around quite a bit for a little while. Plucking/gutting them out and all of that follow up prep for the big pot is, well, lets just say that buying a whole chicken at Food Lion is a better alternative. I can't imagine doing a turkey. And yes wild turkeys taste a lot different from the farm raised ones. Same with ducks and geese. I'd rather butcher up a deer hanging in my garage as opposed to cleaning up and dressing any type of fowl. I really like the picture shown, it looks like there's some type of ham hanging from the underneath stove's top vent hood, alongside some other unidentifiable select cut of what ever it could be. Of course the kitty's looking for morsels that may have been spilled or dropped during the day's culinary endeavors.
One of my childhood "fresh food" memories is accidentally seeing my grandma rip down the furry flesh from a rabbit my grandpa hunted (poor cute bunny!) with her right hand while holding it in her left hand over the kitchen sink. My ex and I had chickens and I could never eat them because I used to feed them daily and in my mind "knowing" them as pets made me feel ill. I LOVED the fresh eggs though! I don't care to know or see faces and I wish I had the strength to resist and live without the delicious flavors to be a vegetarian but I'm too weak. :furious:
 

JPChurch

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Manassas VA
My pap told me a story about the piglet his grandparents kept for a while back in the early 30's. They raised it in a pen at their bay house they owned south of Annapolis MD. One night the table fare was a large pork roast. My dad asked what happened to "whatever it got named by him" when visiting the bay house one particular weekend. He had become very fond of it, feeding it etc on numerous visits prior. The grandparents replied with "you're looking at him....." Dad told me he got sick to his stomach and couldn't eat dinner that night.
 
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