Nice Snood, Dude

I seapouse yur full of tirkey to might I only had chicken but that was good & had a fime time a hunting

Admittedly when I first saw this postcard I thought “What is that disgusting thing hanging down over his nose?!” Not that it wasn’t rather fascinating-looking. It was.

There’s no address on this card, just a short note – and it looks to me as if the sender might have had a bit of whiskey along with his chicken that night. Maybe the card got tossed into a drawer and never sent out. Personally I’d be a bit wary of sending a note to someone with that thing sticking out on the front of the card.

What it actually is, is called a snood. Only male turkeys have this thing, and I searched to find something out about it. I’ve found out that

The snood is most likely used to attract a female because it looks like a long worm when fully grown.

Huh.  And

It only takes seconds for the snood to grow from an inch to almost a foot long.

Well, okay then. I’d like to see that.

It can be assumed that the snood is actually edible, in the same sense that poultry cockscombs are edible. We don’t package them up and sell them here in the United States in general but if you search long enough you may be able to find some if the urge strikes. There are a few recipes for traditional preparations in Larousse Gastronomique.

The ear of corn in his mouth is a nice touch. A gift perhaps, for his sweetheart. With snood drooping in such a charming fashion over the top of it.

Recipe, tomorrow. (And recipe yesterday, but just like jam no recipe today!)

(For more on wild turkey’s snoods with some lovely photos, see this site)

(And for some vintage dinner  plates which would be perfect to serve a lovely turkey on, look at Suzanne’s post.)


Twilight Zone and the Turkey Farm

There’s something really spooky about this ‘keepsake’ postcard of a turkey farm. Even the name of the place seems to have subtle overtones of the otherworldly. I mean really – “Fry Brothers”? And then the idea of a turkey ‘ranch’ (?) (what happened to farms for birds?) with the ‘dining rooms’ right next to it?

I’m no scaredy-cat or prissy missy when it comes to the fact that yes, we do have to kill our food before we eat it (unless we decide to eat it raw and wriggling) but really. There’s something either tactless or insinuatingly Twilight Zone-ish about this whole thing.

The photo itself looks as if aliens have come to take over the planet, and the fact that the back of the card bought as momento (momento? why?) of this place is blank, totally blank, seems to smack of some strange occurrence happening here. As a matter of fact, the back wouldn’t even take a clear photo. All fuzzy and strangely lit, every single time I tried.

I have to wonder if they made it out alive.

Nevertheless, Fry Bros. Turkey Ranch and Dining Rooms is in fact a real place still in operation, and it gets surprisingly good reviews. Just look at this one

I would highly recommend this restaurant to anyone I also stayed for a few nights at the turkey ranch. The whole atmosphere is out of this world and would come back again

“Out of this world???” (What did I tell you . . .!)

And then there is this one

If you go, get something that is turkey. Why go to a place called the Turkey Ranch and order anything else. We were just passing thru on the way to New York, but they were a great place to stop. If I take that route again, I would go here again.

What is this, code? “Get something that is turkey,” (?) But there is much philosophy in the end of the note. “If I take that route again . . .”

I have to ask myself – “What Would Robert Frost Do?”

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that, the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
two roads diverged in a wood, and I —
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

Thanksgiving Dogs and Turkeys

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DSC00479 fon

You will have to whip this dog as he has run away with my turkey so I can not have any thanks-giving dinner. if he should bring it to you eat a lot for me with love. From Aunt Grace

Poor Harvard Starkweather. Not only did he have quite a name to carry through life but also an interesting hungry Aunt named Grace (of all things!) writing him notes telling him to whip a dog!

I once had a dog who carried me a turkey from the field to the back door. He was a stray dog, a happy one we’d named Tramp. Tramp was a large bloodhound mixed-breed mutt of a dark black color, with a lighter golden mask like a raccoon. The turkey dangled from his mouth as he stood at the glass door and smiled at me, wagging his tail in the late afternoon autumn sunlight. The turkey looked horrible, really. But Tramp was very proud.

Did he hunt and kill it himself for our Thanksgiving table? I don’t know. He may have stolen it from a hunter before it was collected. I told Tramp he should enjoy the turkey himself, and so he must have, for I never saw it again.

I have an idea that Tramp may have shared his wild turkey dinner, though – for there was a little girl dog who lived across the street over the hill a piece at the bedraggled farm of a horse-trader. Benny was, in the true sense of the word  (the old-fashioned sense of the word) a horse-trader – and often enough both his dogs and horses would run free to care for themselves if they weren’t bringing him in any money that day (and horses and dogs so often don’t!).

I’d knocked on Bennie’s door to find out if the little girl dog was his, and he did claim her, but said she wandered around a lot and he couldn’t keep track of her. Her name was Bluegirl, and she was the darlingest little blue-heeler you can imagine. Her ancestors were herding dogs, and she had the impetus within her to be the same . . . dashing round your feet she would leap and cuddle and feint trying in all her ten inches of tallness to take charge in a very foolish-looking way. When you’d lean down towards her though, her bossiness dropped like a fat apple from an old tired tree and in a sudden instant she’d flop sideways, then over, and back and forth squiggling looking for a tummy rub – and when she’d get it she  became a gleeful squiggling machine making little squeaky doggy noises with tiny slurpy pants in-between it all.

Bluegirl loved Tramp, and he tolerated her. He’d lay on his side on the back deck to relax and she’d slide herself right in next to his tummy, and if she were a cat her purr would have deafened the world she was so happy!

One day there were loud barks in the front yard near the pond and over the wide green stretch of grass I saw her surrounded by three huge dogs, all running and barking as if it were . . well, the closest thing that comes to mind at the moment is a football game, but the dogs hadn’t painted their faces bright colors in this case.

It turned out that Bluegirl had not been ‘fixed’. That was apparently something Horse-Trader Bennie hadn’t done. I got her into the house (in the vernacular this is called ‘putting her up’) I put her up and called Bennie on the phone and talked to him for a while. At the end of the conversation he said he wouldn’t mind if I took her to the vet to have this taken care of – and so it was.

She lived with us for about a year, then disappeared one day. I called Bennie to see if she’d been over at his place. He told me she’d been by and that he’d sold her to his mother-in-law (who lived in Florida) who wanted a little dog who wouldn’t be much trouble.

So, to Bluegirl and Tramp – Happy Thanksgiving! You were dear parts of our lives, and I send you both big tummy-rubs.

Little “Buddy’ in this video looks quite a bit like Bluegirl.