Let’s Talk Turkey from the Garden

I’m ready to talk turkey butt … and all the goodies that get stuffed in and around this locally raised bird I roast up each year.  I wasn’t always so confident about preparing the bird for all the guest who stop by each year for our Thanksgiving celebration.  Luckily, the first time I cooked up a turkey my only critic was my hubby #handyandy in our first home.  Before we had our own children we would spend most of our holidays traveling to our parents  for dinner which meant we didn’t have left overs of our own because by the time we left for home we were so stuffed it was hard to walk let alone think bringing leftovers home.  Today I want to share with you some simple turkey tips from my garden.


My ‘handy-dandy notebook’ filled with my favorite recipes and cheat notes

Over the years I have collected many note cards from family and friends along with favorite magazine clippings and printed PDF’s from favorite cooking websites.  I remember taking notes from my Dads cookbooks and my mother in law’s advice each year when it would come time to prepare the turkey once we had children and it was time to start our own family Thanksgiving traditions.  I keep all my recipes and notes that are special in my ‘handy-dandy’ notebook that sits on the shelf with all my cookbooks.

Turkey Butt … filled with garden goodness


The Year I Used a Foil Pan – Taking a Short Cut on Dishes to Wash Made Extra Time in the Oven

The image above is when I used a foil pan  to cook up a 22 pound turkey.  I will never do this again because it did not provided accurate heat for the turkey to cook in the time suggested.  Our dinner ended up being a few hours later then expected. For the past 2 years I’ve been using an electric roaster and have loved the finished recipe.  Using an electric roaster makes it super easy to cook my bird that will feed over 15 people and I have plenty of room in my stove for the side dishes.

Herbs From The Greenhouse

Here are herbs I love to cut from my greenhouse or use from my drying rack each year in and around my turkey in the roasting pan:

  • sprigs thyme
    4 sprigs rosemary
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Sage – at least 3 cups worth of fresh
  • 4 springs of parsley

Veggies :

  • 1 large yellow onion, cut into 1/8ths
  • 6 stalks celery
  • 8 large carrot

Try rubbing down that big ol’ bird with your favorite olive oil and sprinkle generously the following seasons mixed together :

  • 3/4 cup paprika
  • 1/4 cup black pepper, freshly ground
  • 1/4 cup celery salt
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons onion powder
  • 3 tablespoons dry mustard
  • 3 teaspoons cayenne

My ratios are based on a 22-24 pound turkey.  Please keep in mind that you should follow the Food Safety cooking temperature guildlines that are listed on their site.

Tip : Be sure to leave the roasting pan lid closed as long as possible to hold in all that moisture!  Each year my guest always share with me how moist my bird is and I always say it is from my garden goodies I’ve added to the roasting pan!

What are your favorite garden treasures you add to your turkey each Thanksgiving?