Patricia Johns: Utility Turkeys--a weird but wonderful Canadian thing

Hello, Patricia Johns here! 
I learned a couple of years ago that the United States doesn’t have utility turkeys. This is purely a Canadian thing, but it’s a really wonderful Canadian thing!
When turkeys get damaged in processing (the skin gets nicked, a wing gets lopped off), then those turkeys are sold cheaper than the perfect turkeys, and they are sold under the term “utility grade turkey.” Basically, it’s not going to be picture perfect, but you’ve got yourself an entire turkey for cheap! (This year, they were .97/lb.) So each of those turkeys were about $13 each.
Perfect turkeys are called Grade A turkeys, and they sell for considerably more.
I LOVE the utility turkey time of the year that comes just before Canadian Thanksgiving, which was this month. It only happens once, so if you want to stock up, this is your time.

This is my current freezer situation. Yes, those are four turkeys. I always get the smallest ones because our family is only three, so even with guests, we’ll never eat a whole turkey! But four turkeys will last us a whole winter. There is the Thanksgiving turkey, the Christmas turkey, and then two more for afterwards, when you’re cold and hungry, and hankering for another turkey dinner.
But slightly imperfect or not, the utility turkey makes for a delicious family dinner. 🙂 This particular turkey only had a knick in the skin, and it was delicious! 

The holiday are wonderful, aren't they? They bring us all together and make us hope for more.

***
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Comments

  1. I wished I liked turkey meat...I know, heresy this time of the year. Can't wait to read Her Triplets' Mistletoe Dad!

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  2. I love that idea. I couldn't care less about perfection. We always eat pre-Thanksgiving turkeys--I guess to see if I can get them right.

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  3. Imperfect turkeys, or apples or peaches, often taste the best. Turkey is one of my hubby's favorites, so I often grab an extra or at least a breast for the freezer while they're on special. Happy Thanksgiving, Patricia.

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  4. Who cares if it's imperfect. You're going to slice it anyway. What we have is a free turkey program at most of our grocery stores. Spend a certain amount between now and Thanksgiving and get a free turkey. The amount is $300-$400 which is easy to do with the price of food. And it's cumulative, not all at once. I have a turkey in my freezer now and I'll probably get another one before the season ends. Since there are only two of us, I usually donate one to a homeless shelter or soup kitchen.

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  5. I don't care if a turkey is imperfect; we're going to hack it up as soon as it's out of the oven. And my mouth and stomach definitely doesn't care what it looked like as long as it tastes good. It's possible those turkeys get processed into other things in the U.S. These days it can be a challenge to even get separate turkey legs, which I stew and use in favor or giblets (I'm just not interested in the heart, gizzard and liver. Sometimes I cook them and give them to the animals, who will appreciate them).

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  6. Mmmm...I love turkey dinner. I stock up on turkeys this time of year too, but I've never heard of utility turkeys. What a great idea! My husband slices up the Thanksgiving turkey before guests arrive anyway (I like all the cooking done so I can talk, lol) so they would never know the difference!

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