tofu turkey legs (thanksgiving part I)

November 27, 2009

This isn’t really my favorite Thanksgiving food item, but there is something so magical or whimsical about it that I have to say it is my favorite Thanksgiving idea. Being vegetarian, I have never had the fun of eating turkey. I don’t really have a problem with that, and don’t really feel like I am missing some huge taste or anything. Maybe I just haven’t had any really good turkey yet…some day I will probably get around to trying it, but for now I will be happy with enjoying the company of the wild turkeys that strut down my lane, and be satisfied with tofu turkey legs.

I don’t know who came up with this recipe. But I do have a clear memory of my siblings and I wandering through the woods in search of the perfect “bones” (actually twigs). And then I have an image of tofu turkey legs roasting in the little toaster oven on the counter, probably because there wasn’t any room left in the oven. I can imagine my mom, busy all morning with baking, getting ready for guests, polishing silver, etc, etc, enjoying a quick break when we all trooped outside in search of twigs.

I went over to my mom’s house this morning and borrowed her hand written recipe card for tofu turkey legs. The general recipe is vague. I ended up adding a lot of sage to make the tofu taste good. And quite a bit of pickle juice from some bread and butter pickles that I made in the summer. Salt and pepper, mustard powder, and more sage. And some fresh parsley from the garden (still going!!!). And cornmeal for texture.

I sent Skye out to forage for the bird legs in the yard. He came back in, and we broke off a good bunch for our legs.

Break the branches into as manageable sizes as you want. I think that they end up being easier to handle if they are about 6″ or so long. Generally I would suggest to wash them, but we didn’t and the toasty oak bark definitely gave the legs a nice flavor! It ends up being a bit more rustic that way.

Mix up the tofu, and whatever you add to make it taste good and stick together,  and press it onto the sticks. This step needs to be done carefully. The tofu really needs to be pressed onto to the sticks well, or it might fall off during cooking or transferring…

The finished turkey leg looks lovely on a plate full of thanksgiving sides. We opted for kale over green beans as the kale was fresh and green and in our garden!

I just love the finished dinner plate. Fancy china, freshly polished silver, pressed linen tablecloth, and a lichen covered dirty twig. hehehe

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