Savoring the Seasons: Turkey and turmeric

For The Recorder
Published: 11/15/2016 12:26:35 PM

I love words, rhymes and alliteration (when words used together start with the same sound).

When pondering how to write about my new local food discoveries, I grinned when I realized they all start with “Tur.” Turmeric may not have much to do with turkey jerky and turkey bacon, but they all start with “tur.”

I mentioned last week that I’d share Maria’s ( from Lyonsville Farm) recipe for golden milk, as well as other fresh turmeric tips in time for you to get some at the next Greenfield Winter Farmers Market this Saturday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Four Corners School off of Ferrante Avenue in Greenfield (near Federal Street and Route 2).

Visit: greenfieldfarmersmarket.com

When my friend, Grace Edwards, and I talked about turmeric root, she said, “My father is in his mid-90s and he tells everyone he meets to eat turmeric because he does and he has no aches and pains.” Turmeric is known for its many health benefits.

What about the flavor?

Grace said, “Turmeric root in my morning smoothie has been fabulous! I will try the golden milk and use it to enhance my chai spice mix. It’s more mellow than ginger — yummy in a subtle way.”

I looked up other ways to use fresh turmeric root and found this advice from www.chowhound.com: “Peeled and grated, I liked it as part of the mix in meat dishes extended with egg and breadcrumbs, like chicken burgers, meatballs, salmon patties, meatloaf. For a healthy snack, grate it into plain yogurt, with vanilla and a little honey and some grated carrot.”

How do you use fresh turmeric root? Please let me know.

Now, the other “tur” foods.

I was thrilled to hear that Diemand Farm’s store in Wendell (www.thediemandfarm.com) is selling their own turkey jerky and turkey bacon. I asked Brian Bailey (Diemand), who makes the jerky and bacon, to tell me more.

He said, “Both are hand-prepared and all-natural with no artificial preservatives. Both are also gluten-free and nitrate-free.

The turkey jerky is offered in two main styles — teriyaki (sweetened soy sauce with garlic and ginger), as well as barbecue (spicy smoky sweet herbed jerky with a very balanced flavor profile).

They are marinated for three days in the respective brines, then smoked or dried as needed — bacon is smoked, jerky is dehydrated. The meat comes directly from farm pasture-raised turkeys, and offers both depth of flavor and support of a local farm. The turkey bacon is brined Canadian style — it contains fresh thyme, sage, oregano and local maple syrup. It’s not super salty.

The jerky, depending on style, is marinated in a blend of spices, herbs and sauces, including gluten-free soy sauce and sea salt. The jerky has a shelf life of six months minimum, the turkey bacon is good for weeks in the refrigerator.

Is your mouth watering while reading those descriptions? Mine sure is! I laughed when I saw the “good for weeks in the refrigerator” note. For turkey bacon to last for weeks in my fridge, I’d really need to hide it from myself. And, turkey jerky is one of my favorite trail snacks. Thank you, Diemand Farm!

This week we’re eating ...

Golden milk

By Maria Topitzer, Lyonsville Farm in Colrain

4 black peppercorns

Seeds of 2 cardamom pods

2 cloves

1 C. milk

½-inch piece of fresh turmeric root

¼-inch piece of fresh ginger root

honey, to taste

Crush peppercorns, cardamom seeds, and cloves with a mortar and pestle. Chop the turmeric root and ginger (no need to peel fresh roots). In small pan, heat milk along with spices for 2-3 minutes. Let mixture cool until it’s warm, then drain into a cup. Add honey to taste. Drink immediately. Makes 1 serving.

The sign on Maria’s turmeric root basket says: “Health benefits include: anti-microbial, anti-inflammatory, colds and coughs, arthritis aches and pains, antioxidant.”

Local food advocate and community organizer Mary McClintock lives in Conway and works as a freelance writer, brand promoter and editor. Send column suggestions and recipes to: mmcclinto@yahoo.com


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