Since FB is unimpressed by my blogging abilities lately, she has decided to take over for a day or two.....
Okay, in anticipation of Thanksgiving, I am offering a special guest-blog appearance with a blog posting on recycling! Of course, in return for writing this, Kris has PROMISED to attach some great Bess pictures to this post!
I have started doing something new for my dogs, which I think might interest some of you. Here is how to prepare a great, nutritious addition for your dog’s dry food meal (or four meals a day, if you happen to be puppy Bess).
Now you know what happens every Thanksgiving….You make a beautiful 38-pound turkey, everyone eats a bunch of it day after day, and then you are left with that huge carcass that no one knows what to do about. This is what I do. Of course, I am not eating turkey, because I raised turkeys last year, and that wasn’t the most successful project in the world, so I am using my home-raised, Freedom Ranger chickens, which are totally delicious. Hopefully you are using either a home-raised or local organic bird, whether it is a turkey or a chicken.
First of all, I roast my bird in a Dutch oven that has a bunch of potatoes, carrots, or both on the bottom of the pot. This prevents the bird from sticking to the bottom of the pan, and it makes good stuff for the dogs. After the bird is done, and all the humans have eaten their fill, I remove the majority of the remaining meat and put it in a glass dish with some of the juice from the bird spooned on top. This is for me to eat later. However, I am not greedy, as I love my dogs, so I do not pick these bones clean!
Next, I take the carcass in my bare hands (yes, I am a hands-on person) and crush it as best as I can. I then put it back in the Dutch oven on top of the potatoes and carrots, which I had discouraged my guests from eating (don’t worry, I made them roasted potatoes and Delicata squash from my garden). Now, I add some hot water and a generous dollop of apple-cider vinegar, preferably with the MOTHER in it!!
There should be enough hot water to cover up the carcass and vegetables. Now I just put this on the woodstove and let it boil, or you could put it on a regular stove and simmer it for a long time. All the while, I am using this stuff to feed my dogs (the border collies twice a day, and Miss Maremma four times a day). As the level of liquid goes down or is given to the dogs, more water and vinegar can be added. After a couple of days, (you don’t have to be simmering it that long – I put it on the stove for a couple of hours each day), let it cool and then stick your hand in there and crush those bones! It is good exercise!
Amazingly, the vinegar turns those bones to powder for the most part. I squash as much as I can, and then pick out the remaining bones. I put the remaining bones, which is usually just a very small handful, in the woodstove, where they really will turn to dust and become an asset for my hayfield. When I feed the dogs the squashed bones, which is chuck full of all kinds of nutritious things, I mix their dry food with this stuff with my hands to make sure I have not left any solid small bones in their food that could possibly harm them.
I do this with beef bones too, so if I make a chuck roast, I do the same thing. It just makes a good foundation for nutritious stuff to add to your dog’s dry food. Plus, no bones or carcasses end up in the landfill. I do not like the idea of bones from animals I have raised ending up in a landfill. I DO like the idea of these bones, one way or another, ending up on my land contributing nutrients to the soil.