A young Ann Bergstrom with Pecky and Perchy.

Turkey Tales: The life and times of Pecky and Perchy

Editor’s note: This Thanksgiving, My Buckhannon contributor Ann Bergstrom is bringing readers a series of her favorite recipes leading up to Turkey Day itself. This is part three.

Some say that you never forget your first romantic love. I say the same goes for your first beloved pets.

In my case they were named Pecky and Perchy, and they were turkeys. Pecky because they pecked, and Perchy because they perch. That’s what turkeys do.

These beloved animals entered my life the summer before my ninth grade year, and yes, my friends thought my choice of pets a little strange.

But I have so many wonderful stories about these birds. We had an in-ground pool and one day a turkey accidentally fell in, probably trying to drink the water. All my friends and I rushed over to the pool ready to jump in and save him, but lo and behold, did you know turkeys can swim just like ducks? Well, they can. He swam back to the edge of the pool and we helped him out and he waddled away and was fine.

Pecky and Perchy by the pool. Turkeys are quite good swimmers, you know.

Another summer evening, because our house on Boggess Street was adjacent to a creek, we experienced a terrible flash flood, all the water draining the hills beyond the valley rushing into our yards and streets. The turkeys lived in an open play house that my dad had built for his young daughters which was covered now with chicken wire.

That evening they were in their house perching on a broomstick handle that I had placed across the pen about two feet off the ground. Suddenly as the water rose around our home almost to the top of the back porch I remembered Pecky and Perchy. Frantically I waded out to the pen and found them on the perch with the water OVER their toes. They were so scared. I scooped them up and got them into the safety of the garage until the flash flood receded.

Now on to today’s recipe:

Turkey giblets minus liver
Chopped onion, garlic, carrots, celery
Bay leaf
Salt, pepper
Optional herbs

Make-ahead turkey broth is so easy and so much better than canned. Take that fresh or thawed birdy beast and search around inside until you locate a bag of giblets (turkey innards). Plop the giblets (minus the liver if you plan to roast it with the turkey) into a pot of boiling water, add chopped onions, garlic, carrots, celery, salt, pepper, bay leaf, optional herbs and simmer covered for at least an hour, longer for more flavor. Taste if it’s salty enough. Before you store in the fridge, strain it through a wire sieve. Voila – fabulous broth for the stuffing and gravy!

The Life and Times of Pecky and Perchy, Part II is now posted. Read it here.

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