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Every Thanksgiving I think of the first holiday turkey I prepared. My husband Jerry and I had only been married three years and had two babies. We lived in a tiny unfinished cabin way out in the Ozark hills of southwest Missouri. We raised chickens for market — a couple of huge two-story houses with 8,000 clucking birds. Every night, after Jerry arrived home from delivering Purina feed to other growers, we’d start the task of caring for our chickens. We had automatic water troughs but had to handfeed 50-pound sacks of mixed chicken feed. It took all evening. In the fall we tried our hand at raising turkeys instead of chickens. When they were big enough, we let them roam outside their houses. Every time I’d step out the door, those pesky birds would run up to me and begin pecking my legs. I relished the thought of cooking one for our Thanksgiving meal, but I’d never cooked a turkey before. We’d lived with my in-laws for most of our married life and I’d watched my mother pluck hens. It couldn’t be that hard. Th

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Community, Pages 6 on 11/24/2010

Print Headline: Thinking back on preparing my first turkey

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