Try Crazy Hart Ranch’s Brined and Herb Butter-basted Turkey


Because Thanksgiving is here, we wanted to give you a recipe from Field to Feast for Linda Hart’s Herb Butter-Basted Turkey along with a short version of Linda’s personal story about her love for her turkeys.

Linda Hart grew up on a farm near Paris, Texas, where home-cured bacon, fresh eggs, and raw milk were the usual fare on the breakfast table. Her first chickens, a trio of bantams, were acquired when she was six. In 4-H, she showed rabbits and beef cattle. After high school, she pursued a career in surgical nursing and later attended Texas A&M University for preveterinary studies.

Her career brought her to Florida and gave her a chance to return to her farming roots. “Sustainable agriculture is how I wanted to farm but at the time we didn’t even have a name for it.” Today, Linda Hart’s Crazy Hart Ranch in Fellsmere produces pasture-raised poultry, including heritage-breed turkeys, using sustainable farming methods. Animals are raised humanely in a natural environment, and the result is a superior quality and taste.

Southern Living All-time Favorites has a great method of grilling and smoking turkey breast on your backyard grill. You don’t always have to have a smoker to smoke fowl or meat if your grill is long enough to move the meat away from being directly over the hot fire so it can cook slowly.

Creamy Macaroni and Cheese seems to be calling to be prepared for our Thanksgiving feast! This version of one of our favorite dishes is found in Southern Living All-Time Favorites.

Mrs. Katherine Morgan’s Green Bean Casserole from Plains Pot Pourri looks really simple and tasty.

Feeding the Flock comes to us from New Vision Community Church. Packed with lovely dishes to share, one is Cranberry Relish from Bambi Harwood. It looks scrumptious and just perfect to  serve with our turkey.

Louise Ustler contributed a lovely recipe for Double Layer Pumpkin Pie to Northside Baptist Church’s book of recipes. It looks wonderful, and it really won’t take that long to get ready. However, you must be prepared to refrigerate this pie for four hours before serving.


Recipe from Field to Feast

1 (14- to 15-pound) pasture-raised turkey, rinsed (giblets discarded)

1 cup coarse salt

1/2 cup packed light brown sugar

2 tablespoons black peppercorns

3 fresh or 2 dried bay leaves

6 whole sprigs fresh thyme

3 large sprigs fresh rosemary

2 gallons cool water

4 tablespoons unsalted organic butter

2 teaspoons chopped fresh dill

1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme

1 teaspoon chopped fresh sage

1 cup homemade or good-quality organic chicken stock

Place turkey in a large, deep stockpot or another large, lidded vessel that will hold it snugly. Set aside.

In a large saucepan, combine salt, brown sugar, peppercorns, and bay leaves. Lightly crush thyme and rosemary sprigs with your fingers, then add them to the mixture. Add water and stir until salt and sugar are dissolved.

Pour brine over turkey. If needed, add additional brine until turkey is completely covered. Refrigerate overnight.

The next morning, combine butter, dill, thyme, sage, and stock in a small saucepan over low heat. Cook, stirring, until butter is melted. Remove from heat and set aside.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Remove turkey from brine and rinse inside and out with cold water. Dry well with paper towels and place in a lightly oiled roasting pan.

Roast uncovered, for 30 minutes. Lower oven temperature to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and continue roasting turkey for 2-1/2 hours or until an instant-read thermometer registers 161 degrees Fahrenheit when inserted into the thickest part of the thigh.

During the last hour of roasting, baste turkey with butter-broth mixture every 15 minutes.

Let turkey rest for 15 minutes before carving. Drizzle remaining butter-broth mixture over turkey before serving, if desired.

NOTE: Brining is one of the oldest methods of flavoring foods. The brine seasons meat and poultry right down to the bone and keeps it moist when cooking. If you find you need more brine, use 1/2 cup coarse salt and 1/4 cup brown sugar for every gallon of water.


Recipe from Southern Living

All-Time Favorites

1 (5 to 6-pound) bone in turkey breast

1 teaspoon seasoned salt

1 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper

1 tablespoon seasoned salt

1-1/2 teaspoons dried basil

1 teaspoon paprika

Vegetable cooking spray

Hickory chips

Split turkey breastbone so it will lie flat on grill. Combine 1 teaspoon seasoned salt and crushed red pepper. Sprinkle mixture over underside of turkey breast. Combine 1 tablespoon seasoned salt, basil, and paprika. Sprinkle mixture over top of turkey breast. Coat both sides of turkey breast with cooking spray.

Prepare charcoal fire in one end of grill; let it burn 15 to 20 minutes. Soak hickory chips in water at least 15 minutes; place chips on coals. Place turkey breast on end of grill opposite hot coals; close grill lid. Cook 2-1/2 to 3 hours or until a meat thermometer inserted in thickest part of breast registers 170 degrees. Let stand 10 minutes before carving. Makes 12 servings.


Recipe from Southern Living

All-Time Favorites

1 (8-ounce) package elbow macaroni

1/4 cup butter

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper

1/8 teaspoon granulated garlic

1 cup half-and-half

1 cup milk

1/2 (10-ounce) block extra-sharp Cheddar cheese, shredded

1 (10-ounce) block sharp Cheddar cheese, shredded and divided

Prepare pasta according to package directions. Drain and set aside.

Melt butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Gradually whisk in flour until smooth. Cook, whisking constantly, two minutes. Stir in salt and next three ingredients. Gradually whisk in half-and-half and milk. Cook, whisking constantly, eight to 10 minutes or until thickened.

Stir in extra-sharp cheese and half of sharp cheese until smooth. Remove from heat.

Combine pasta and cheese mixture, and pour into six lightly greased (6-ounce) ramekins or 1 (8-inch square) baking dish. Sprinkle evenly with remaining sharp Cheddar cheese.

Bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes. (Bake 15 minutes longer for a crusty top.) Makes six servings.

Note: For testing purposes only, we used Kraft Cracker Barrel cheese.



Recipe from Food Favorites

of Plains, Georgia

Plains Pot Pourri

2 packages frozen French green beans

2 tablespoons butter

1 tablespoon minced onion

2 tablespoons flour

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1 carton sour cream

1/2 cup grated cheese

Cook French green beans according to directions on package. Drain well and set aside. Saute onion in melted butter. Add flour, salt and pepper, and mix well. Add sour cream and heat thoroughly. Mix cooked green beans with the hot sour cream mixture and pour into a shallow baking dish. Top with grated cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes and serve.



Recipe from New Vision Community Church’s Feeding the Flock

2 bags of fresh cranberries

1 whole orange

2 cups sugar

2 cups chopped walnuts or pecans

2 boxes of Jello (any flavor)

Stir 2 cups boiling water into gelatin in medium bowl until completely dissolved. Set aside to cool. Peel orange and remove sections. In food processor or blender, chop cranberries, orange sections, and nuts, one ingredient at a time. Mix all together in a large bowl. Add sugar and Jello. Mix well. Chill in refrigerator several hours before serving.



Recipe from Northside Baptist Church cookbook

4 ounces cream cheese, softened (Philadelphia brand)

1 tablespoon milk

1 tablespoon sugar

1-1/2 cups Cool Whip

1 6-ounce Keebler Ready Crust graham cracker pie crust

Mix cream cheese, 1 tablespoon milk and sugar in large bowl with wire whisk until smooth. Gently stir in Cool Whip. Spread on crust.

1 cup cold milk (or half-and-half)

1 16-ounce can pumpkin

2 packages (4 serving size) Jello instant pudding, vanilla flavor

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves (I use 1/2 teaspoon)

Pour milk into bowl. Add pumpkin, pudding and spices. Beat with wire whisk until well mixed. Mixture will be thick.

Spread over cream cheese layer. Refrigerate for four hours or until set. Serve with additional Cool Whip.

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Refrigeration time: 4 hours