Thanksgiving with Lisa Starnes

Thursday, November 23, 1995

Central California

Delectable; original; nonpareil! That's how I'd describe I mean this year'sThanksgiving dinner.

For the past week I was a guest at the Richard Starnes family ranch in Central California California. I've known Lisa and her family for almost twenty years beginning with mother Jean and daughter walking into my studio ready to turn their little princess into a star. We've been the best of friends ever since.

Dinner: Among the guests were Lincoln Jones and his wife Nile who just bought an adjoining showpiece property next door. They rolled up with several mares in tow behind their long, long trailer. They are working on their new abode and decided to contribute "Cajun Fried Turkey" to our feast. Ever had fried turkey? Me neither.

Lincoln injected a mixture of liquified Creole spices into the bird and then lowered the pungent fowl into a deep thin vat of boiling oil which he placed outdoors. An hour later the turk was a deep rich brown. Turned out to be the tastiest turkey I ever had.

As if this wasn't novel enough Jean's neighbor, former Highway Patrolman Dean Usserry had convinced her to do a Deep Pit Bar-B-Que with a second bird.

Just how does one "Deep Pit" a turkey? Well first you dig a hole. Then you add wood and char it until its hot enough to cook. Then you take your turkey, wrap it in butcher paper and cloak that in foil and drape that in burlap. Place your mummy into the pit and cover with dirt and let it sit overnight.

You will discover what tender is really all about. Finger lickin' good.

Oh yeah, we got some great riding in too.

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