From the Perfect Turkey to Thanksgiving Leftovers, Share Your Holiday Recipes
John and Kiersten Schoen received a few inquiries for smaller turkeys this year. Still, they just about sold out of the 80 or so they will send to a local processor and remain confident customers will find multiple uses if they end up with turkey leftovers.
“I don’t know how to go out there and talk to the birds and say, ‘Hey, you guys are going to have to join Jenny Craig or Weight Watchers or do something here because if we harvest you in another month, we want you to be 15 pounds,’” says John Schoen from the family’s farm near Highland.
The Schoen’s farm and also operates Red Barn Farm Meats, providing customers with locally raised poultry, pork and beef. Sharing recipes and information about the turkeys, chickens, pigs and cattle they raise with customers represents an important part of their business.
“I just bought an Instant Pot,” says Kiersten Schoen from the family’s Madison County farm where the couple is raising three children. “So, I’m trying new recipes and trying new ways to make my life easier as a mother and a busy wife. To pass those new tricks and tips on to my customers is always important.”
Despite some interruption in the supply of meat at grocery stores earlier this year due to COVID-19 outbreaks at meatpacking plants, the supply of turkey remains strong. A 50-state survey conducted by the American Farm Bureau Federation finds the overall cost of a traditional Thanksgiving meal averages $46.90, the lowest in 10 years.
“Given people going out, buying more stuff in anticipation of lockdowns, you may see some shortages of particular products regionally, but I think it’s temporary in nature,” says John Newton, chief economist with the American Farm Bureau Federation, the nation’s largest organization of farmers. “We’re well-stocked.”
The Schoens have seen growth in their on-farm meat business this year. They raise animals on their farm and book dates with three local processors for their products.
“At Red Barn Farm Meats, here’s how we do it – we hope to expand, we hope to have more turkeys available next year if people are interested,” says John Schoen about responding to customer questions if and when they run out.
With members and others remaining home for Thanksgiving and Christmas this year, Illinois Farm Bureau has launched an opportunity to share favorite family holiday recipes and your stories behind each one. Do you have a favorite recipe for turkey and other Thanksgiving meal leftovers? The organization wants to hear from you and will share them on social media. To learn more about how to submit holiday recipes, photos and stories, go to https://bit.ly/IFBHomeForTheHolidays.
Learn more: Hear more from the Schoen family and learn how they deal with predators, what their farm and meat store has taught their children, and why they love what they do in the latest edition of the Partners podcast: https://bit.ly/TalkTurkeyIL