Yesterday afternoon I was sitting on my back deck and saw something strange way off in the distance. I called for my son and told him to take a ride down past the pond to see if he could find out what I was seeing in the distance. He sent the above picture in a text to me. Is this truly strange? It is strange in my opinion because it is a cluster of 30+ balloons tied together in a bundle in a place that I would figure almost impossible to get into. But, as we can see, the balloon cluster has found it’s way into the swamp I have fenced off in the northwest corner of my property. They are on my property but in an area that is fenced off to keep the small kids out. So, we have a mystery to try to figure out how they got where they are. If they “dropped” in then they had to drop missing thorn covered trees plus they landed in thorny brush. I can’t see how they would have blown in horizontally either because I would think it would be even more treacherous than falling in. Anyway, I thought this was puzzling and a strange phenomena so I decided to share simply because it shouldn’t be. In almost 8 years this will be the first bit of trash ever to make it into the swamp through all the gnarly undergrowth. Any ideas or thoughts y’all would have to offer are readily welcome.
Y’all can consider this to be part two to Our Family Thanksgiving Tradition which was published on 25 November 2013. I provide the link only if y’all need to catch up, refresh, or both. Whichever y’all decide to do, just hurry up, we have allot to discuss. When I left off last time I mentioned that we dressed out our wild turkey and set it to soak in a magic recipe. But, before I give y’all those details so y’all might try it out some day for yourselves, y’all must make sure you have one very specific item, and that is a 5 gallon bucket with a tight sealing lid. I prefer to get mine from Home Depot because, to date, they have yet to ever, and I mean ever, fail me for having a leak proof tight lid. But, y’all make that call when I’m not looking. Also, for the meat haters who love to hate it when I write about meat I just want you to know, specifically you, yes, a wild turkey was harmed (killed) to complete this recipe. There, I said it, now get over yourselves and either turn tail and leave or read on. Now, wash the 5 gallon bucket and lid real well, scrub it good. When it is clean and dry place it on a chair and make sure it isn’t going to fall off of it. Place one dressed wild turkey in the bucket, neck up and tail down. Pour two 750ml bottles of Wild Turkey into the bucket with the turkey. Y’all can use the basic run of the mill Wild Turkey if you please, I had a case of Rare Breed leftover from a party when I worked at the club, so I used it, well, two bottles of it anyway.
Open two large cans of whole berry cranberry sauce and pour those in as well. Wash 4 good sized oranges and slice them into 1/4″ thick slices leaving the peels on. Take all of the slices and slice them in half then put them in the bucket. Wash and cut 1 each red, yellow, and green bell pepper. Put those in the bucket now. Wash and cut 4 jalapeno peppers and place those in the bucket. I also added 1/4 cub Tabasco Sauce, 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce, 1 cup (packed) brown sugar, and 1/2 cup (finely chopped) mint leaves. Whatever space remains in the bucked fill with cool water until the liquid level is about 1 1/2″ from the top. Securely put the lid on and I mean make sure it’s on tight or you will have a mess to clean up. Carefully remove the handle from the bucket and set it aside for now. Lay the bucket on the floor on it’s side and roll it back and forth until you think everything has blended well. As tempting as it may be do not, under any circumstances, take that lid off until you are ready to smoke it. Now, I happen to have a refrigerator that I have taken the bottom shelf out of so my bucket fits just fine, you’ll have to see what works for you as it needs to sit this way for a few days. Mine sat like this for 96 hours (4 days).
After you get your smoker up to temperature it will be time for the turkey. I began my fire with red oak until the smoker would maintain about 500F, then I added some hickory and mesquite which had been soaking in a bigger bucket for a few days that was filled with water. When you are ready for the turkey just pry the lid off the bucket, reach in there barehanded, grab the turkey, and slap it on the smoker. Do not discard the remaining contents in the bucket, some of it will get smoked and some of it will be used in a bit. The remaining contents need to be strained so all of the liquid is removed. One can also “dip” everything out as well. Split the solids in to equal portions. Take one portion and put it in a blender or food processor and puree the snot out it. If it is really thick, add a little Coke. It should come out the consistency of ketchup. Set that mixture back in the fridge. The remaining portion can be placed on a cookie sheet, covered with something, and placed into the fridge. Those will be put on the smoker when there is only about 2 hours remaining. Now, do not open your smoker to look at the turkey because it is doing just fine without you looking at letting the heat and smoke out. Mine cooked for 12 hours. At the 6 hour mark I took the puree mixture and slathered it all over the turkey. Close the smoker. Discard all remaining puree.
Now that you have around 2 hours remaining of cook time, put that cookie sheet of peppers and orange slices on the smoker uncovered. They will be removed when you remove the turkey from the smoker. When the time is up, carefully remove your smoked turkey. Use “hot gloves” so you can grab the whole turkey and keep it together. Place the turkey on your selected platter, leave uncovered, and let it “rest” for around 1 hour. The peppers and oranges can be used as garnish, ground up and put into something, or just eaten, the choice is yours. We cut ours up and make a salsa concoction out of it. Your turkey will slice very easily and should have a deep smoke ring as well as a nice crust on the outside. Now has come the time to enjoy the fruits of your labor. Making a turkey this way is time consuming and requires quite a bit of patience. Unfortunately there are no short cuts if you want it to come out right. I hope everyone enjoyed this information provided here today. Feel free to share it with family and friends. The more people smoking means the more opportunities there are to explore the best ways to come up with great creations.
Now, I feel inclined to add some things for the meat haters and the anti-alcohol people. First, this isn’t the only way to make a turkey, it is however, my personal way, one that works for me. First, a note about alcohol content in the meat. Since the meat is smoked at a temperature well over 172F (the boiling point of alcohol) for pretty close to 12 hours the remaining alcohol contained in the meat is way less than 5% if any at all. You will be, however, left with all the flavor that the Wild Turkey provides when used in smoking. Don’t believe me, just look it up and the answer will be revealed to you. As mentioned, yes, a turkey was killed, in fact it was killed by my 12 y/o son using a compound bow. You may not think so, but bow hunting has become a lost art with very few in the next generation being taught the skills and techniques. It’s a way of life in my family, we are not city folks, we live in the outskirts of society where being able to provide meat for the table is a gift not a curse. I’m sorry that so many people are against killing animals to eat because it makes it hard for people like myself and my family to enjoy a passion which we have all grown up loving. Unfortunately, you bastards attacked me when I published a post about the hunt, and unfortunately some of y’all will feel inclined to bitch at me and lecture me once again. Well, make sure what you say is worth a shit so I have something worthy of writing about, because if it’s not than you’ve just wasted both of our time. I’m not writing here to offend anybody, I’m just writing about a big aspect of my life, hunting and smoking meats. I hope everyone who celebrated Thanksgiving had a safe holiday and had an enjoyable time, I know we did. Until Next time, remember to eat it every day.