Here at AWA, we’ve been thinking a lot about this special holiday and how we may have more in common with our ancestors than we think. Upon arriving in America, the early pilgrims ate what was locally available (granted, they didn’t have an alternative!). This happened to be animals that ranged and foraged in the woods and pastures, eating a diet specific to their natural needs and free from non-therapeutic antibiotics or added hormones. Sounds like a Certified AWA farm, doesn’t it? Meat, dairy, and eggs from animals raised outdoors on pasture or range is better for you, better for farmers, and better for the planet all great reasons to give thanks.
We arrived at the Food Bank for NYC at 6 a.m. to resume our root vegetable preparation. By lunchtime, the parsnips and sweet potatoes had been fully prepped and the turkey was already cooking. Zak Pellacio and Jori of Fatty Crab, Cabrito (and other noted New York City restaurant ventures) began to demonstrate the techniques used in preparing heritage turkey and stayed cooly on-task amidst a flurry of New York Giants (yes, the football team). Zak made stock from the necks and backs, and drumsticks roasted continuously in anticipation of tomorrow’s meal. Chef Nate Gross of the Food Bank for NYC kitchen hosted a crew of guest chefs, volunteers and football stars in a 13-hour marathon of chopping and cleaning–all of which has hopefully made our task tomorrow (serving Thanksgiving dinner for seven hundred) somewhat more manageable. The video crew thepeoplewhofeedus.com arrived today, and began to film what will become an educational video about using all parts of the animal–not just the most heavily marketed. We have two virtual trophies for two of our volunteers from today. In Brigid”s tireless organization of this event, she managed to recruit an outstanding volunteer: her mother Mary Sweeney. Liz Hohn wins the other trophy, and can claim it tomorrow at 4 a.m. when we all arrive to finish turkey prep. Thanks again everyone and we’ll see you through coffee steam in a few hours.