Unexpected pleasure

I have lived in several former Soviet Union countries for over 10 years.  I have spent numerous years celebrating Thanksgiving here without turkey.  My first year in Kyiv in 2003, I bought a frozen turkey at Metro (a large Sam’s type store from Germany).

I thawed it and baked it in the oven like usual.  The meat was so tough and unchewable that I wound up throwing the rest of it in the oven.  I was very discouraged.  I figured that I would have to give up eating turkey all together.

In Kazakhstan, I saw turkeys in the villages and thought, surely I could get one from a village.  However, that never happened. Again, in Tbilisi, I found a frozen turkey at our local supermarket (again, a German brand).  It turned out to be ok.

I enjoy eating turkey from time to time, not just at Thanksgiving.  So, I am always on the lookout for turkey.

There is a Metro in Donetsk, but I am not sure I would ever buy one of their frozen turkeys again.  Recently, I was asked by a group here to help them celebrate their Harvest Day with some traditional American Thanksgiving food.  They told me that they would order a fresh turkey from the market.  I was intrigued, so I asked them to order one for me personally.

Yesterday, I went with one of the members of the church to pick up the turkeys.  They were in a bag, already wrapped up, so I was anxious to get home and see what they looked like.

Imagine my surprise when I got home and opened the bag to find this turkey.  It was beautiful in all the ways I love to see a turkey before it is cooked!  It was fresh, not frozen.  It didn’t have any feathers (I kind of expected some…).  I was pleasantly surprised.

Then I did the math and figured out the turkey cost $2.13 a pound.  Not bad at all.  I don’t remember the exact cost for that first frozen disaster in Kyiv in 2003, but I do remember it being extremely expensive.

Also, the first order that the church placed at the market was three times more expensive, but someone knew of a small meat market shop where they purchased these turkeys.  I got their business card and expect to buy more turkeys in the future.  Their meat looked really nice as well, so I may be purchasing other things from them as well.

How did the turkey turn out?  I came home and immediately baked my turkey… here is the finished product.  I had a small bite and it was pretty juicy.  I plan to de-bone it today and have a turkey sandwich for lunch!

3 thoughts on “Unexpected pleasure

  1. the turkey looked good & glad that it tasted good as well; I was expecting that you could go to an open air market & they would take a live turkey & kill it before your eyes & “fresh meat.”
    Remember though, Thanksgiving is about more than just turkey… it’s about dressing & desserts of all kinds!
    Enjoy your vacation time.

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