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Gene Turner Seasoning

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  • RAmorris
    Charter Member
    • Dec 2014
    • 440
    • Winter Haven, Florida
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    Gene Turner Seasoning

    When I was responsible for fruit procurement and sales for Cutrale Citrus Juices USA, Gene Turner was one of our largest citrus growers, and was and is a good friend of mine. In December of 1997, Gene invited me to go quail hunting. This would be a different and much better type of quail hunting than the type offered on most quail hunting plantations. Modern agricultural practices and the use of herbicides have, over the past 30 years, destroyed much of the natural habitat that quail need to survive. The result has been a drastic decline in wild quail populations. Consequently most paid plantation hunts use pen raised birds that are released only a few hours to a day before they are hunted. These birds don’t flush as quickly or fly as fast as wild birds, and the hunting is not nearly as challenging. But nowadays, pen raised quail is pretty much all there is to hunt.

    Gene has a 10,000 acre cattle ranch near Arcadia that he maintained a very large wild quail population on. The wild birds thrived because Gene planted ample food crops for them, maintained adequate habitat and didn’t hunt them but a few times a year. The result was some of the best wild quail hunting in the south. I knew how privileged I was to get such an invitation, and I was even more excited when Gene agreed to extend the invitation to my two sons, Stephen and Michael.

    We met Gene at his house where he loaded four fine looking pointers into his hunting buggy. The hunting buggy was a jeep CJ with a seat mounted on the back and a dog box under the mounted seat. Stephen and Michael sat on the mounted seat and Gene and I sat inside the jeep. By 8 AM we were on his ranch and releasing two of the dogs. Once the boys got used to the sudden eruption of flushing birds, they began to hit birds, even occasionally getting a double. By noon, we had flushed about six large coveys and also hunted numerous singles and doubles after the coveys had flushed, and we had our combined limit of 48 quail.

    Gene said there would be no quick lunch in town or cold sandwiches today. We were going to fix our lunch the real way. We gathered some wood and drove to an oak hammock where Gene built two fires. Then he got a fire grate and cooler out of his jeep. Once the smaller fire had burned to coals, he put the grate over it, took four thick rib eye steaks from the cooler, and put them on the grate over the coals. The steaks were from one of Gene’s steers that he pen fattened. Looking at them with their marbling, they were definitely prime grade.

    Gene put a special seasoning on the steaks that he said was his favorite and which we agreed to try. He opened four cans of pork and beans and set them next to the fire so they would get hot, then broke out potato chips, and ice cold beer and soft drinks. The grate was tall so the steaks would cook slowly, and Gene fed hot coals from the larger fire that he kept putting wood on to the bed of coals that was cooking the steaks. We relaxed, sipping cold drinks while Gene grilled the steaks and talked about the days when he’d earned a living as a cowboy back in the late 1940’s after he’d returned from WWII. Sitting around the fire, the aroma of steaks cooking and taking in the scenic beauty of the surrounding woods and fields, I wondered if anything could be any better. And I wondered how there could be anyone who didn’t cherish experiences like this.

    The steaks were some of the best we’d ever had and Gene’s seasoning added a spicy zest that all of us loved. Gene gave us some of the seasoning to take home and told us where we could buy more. We called this “Gene Turner seasoning” and enjoyed it on steaks for a number of years. But when I was battling cancer in 2001, a lot of things changed, and I stopped using this seasoning, and forgot what it was called. Now that I have begun to barbecue and grill much more, and have been reading blogs and articles on this site, remembering how good this seasoning was I decided to find out what it is called. Gene is 92 and in poor health, so I called his son, Gene Jr. The seasoning is called Leggs Old Plantation Sausage Seasoning. They also make other seasoning and rubs. I ordered some and should receive it this Friday, October 30. I can’t wait to try it again. I think I will also try it on brisket.
  • Jerod Broussard
    Moderator
    • Jun 2014
    • 9898
    • East Texas
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    #2
    Nice write up.

    Quail need food, cover, and water, all pretty close to each other. Just tearing down a fence line in some areas did a whole lot. Throw in some fire ants, Yikes.

    Comment

    • _John_
      Former Member
      • Jul 2014
      • 2394

      #3
      Let us know how it is.

      Comment

      • David Parrish
        Founding Member - Pit Boss Emeritus
        • May 2014
        • 4903
        • Charlotte, NC

        #4
        Great story Sir. I really enjoyed it. Let us know what you think of that seasoning.

        Comment

        • Danjohnston949
          Former Member
          • Dec 2014
          • 4398
          • 1410 9th. St. N, Fargo ND

          #5
          For some reason your story reminded me of days gone by and things that will never be again! I bought my Model T Ford at a moving sale the spring of 1988 it was in pieces and boxes! With advice and help of some good friends I was able to put it together good enough to drive it in the Rolla Centennial Parade in home town Rolla ND a month Later. My Dad took one look at and asked what the H--l are you going to do with it! So I asked him if when he was a kid he hadn't watched some Old Guy with his piece of Junk in a Parade? He agreed that he had. I had to ask him who was going to be the Old Guy? Me! The pic is me going Down the Main St., Rolla ND July 3, 2013! Dads gone now. I just loved your sharing your Quail Hunt story, better that Your Son's Shared It With You! 👍👍👍👍👍. Dan

          Comment


          • ribeyeguy
            ribeyeguy commented
            Editing a comment
            That might be one of the coolest pictures I've ever seen. Your enjoyment of the moment really comes through. Kudos to you Dan!

          • David Parrish
            David Parrish commented
            Editing a comment
            Ditto ribeyeguy. That's a very cool ride you got there!

          • Danjohnston949
            Danjohnston949 commented
            Editing a comment
            ribeyeguy & Pit Boss, Thanks Fellas, I appreciate your comments! 👍👍🍻👍👍. Dan
        • RAmorris
          Charter Member
          • Dec 2014
          • 440
          • Winter Haven, Florida
          • Equipment:
            Thermoworks Chef Alarm Food and Smoker Thermometer
            2 Landmann 2 Drawer Vertical Water Smokers
            Backwoods G 2 Party Insulated Vertical Water Smoker
            Brinkmann Trailmaster Limited Edition Offser Smoker
            Weber Spirit E-310 t Three Burner Gas Grill
            Char-broil Classic 4 Burner Gas Grill

          #6
          I put the Gene Turner seasoning on my rib steak tonight before grilling it, and it was fantastic. Every bit as good as I remember. I will not grill any steaks for myself unless I put this seasoning on them, and I will take it to restaurants where I eat and have them put it on my steak before grilling it. Here are pictures of the Genet Turner seasoning (pork sausage seasoning) and another of their seasonings for BBQ.

          Comment

          • BigBear
            Former Member
            • Sep 2015
            • 657
            • Dallas-Ft. Worth

            #7
            Great story RAmorris . It brought me back to some of the best childhood memories I have of hunting with my father in Texas. Thank you for sharing it with us!

            Comment

            • Huskee
              Administrator
              • May 2014
              • 15384
              • central MI, USA
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              #8
              Cool story! Glad you beat cancer. My mom beat it when I was a teenager. She's not her youthful self nowadays, but she's as active as she can be and she's alive. #cancersucks.

              Your 'Gene Turner seasoning' package ingredients remind me a little of Morton's Nature's Seasons blend. I'm sure they're in different proportions, and minus the MSG. I used to use it on everything- broccoli & asparagus, fries, steaks, chicken, you name it. Lately I've been experimenting more with wet brining and using herbs, Southern Flavor, BBBR and so on so I've eased up on my MNS use.

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