"... stand up against turkey tyranny, folks."
- PJ SNS Nov 24, 2009 11:36 AM
Sam Allis wrote a funny piece in today's Boston Globe disparaging the holiday bird in a mockingly playful way. The white meat of the turkey gets hit the hardest in his lampooning of the traditional feast.
A few vignettes:
"Today, I rise to address a subject that has tortured me for years: the tyranny of the turkey. Turkey has held us hostage on holidays for long enough..."
"For the record, turkey is dry, insufferably boring stuff."
"... at the end of the day, turkey still remains a dreary eating experience."
"My challenge today is for you to walk on the wild side for once in your pathetic holiday eating life." (My favorite line.)
He suggests some tremendous alternatives, including rib of beef with all the trimmings, a crown roast of pork , lobster and Italian.
Even funnier than Sam's 'turkey tyranny' piece, are the comments that follow calling him clueless, jaded, uneducated, curmudgen and the grinch.
Here's the full article:
As Garrison Keillor wrote, it's a peasant holiday where all you have to do is sit down and eat.
What are you having on Thursday? Enjoy the holiday.
I, for one, agree with the author of the article. I can think of nothing so boring as roasted turkey. Not to mention the stress that goes along with preparing such a large piece of protein. The disparate cooking times for the dark meat and the white meat lead to arguments amongst attendees as to when it should be considered cooked. In my extended family, we have already done away with turkey at Christmas, replaced by a true prime rib of beef and all that goes with it. I have heard no complaints about that decision at all. Start a movement to replace TURKEY with something more edible and enjoyable.
While reading this article, all I could think was, "I can't wait to have me some roasted turkey on Thursday." and "Dry? What the heck is he doing to that bird?"
Thanksgiving = Roast Turkey.
Christmas = Standing Rib Roast
Any deviation is just an indication that Nostradamus, the Mayan calendar ending and the Book of Revelations is just true and the End is near.
I think that I'm a pretty good cook and can roast a good bird, but I also think that some "traditions" are a little too dogmatic. Why can't we have something other than turkey? We are still thankful for all that the Creator and our fore-bearers have given us. If we are to examine the "tradition" closely, it would be clear that we have been victimized by the marketers, again and brainwashed to believe that "it's what the Pilgrims ate", when we know very well that they did not.
I think most adults realize that the "victimization of marketers" isn't correct in this situation either - the marketers came second to the history books. And even they're wrong - the Pilgrims didn't step out onto Plymouth Rock when they "first landed" in the New World - they landed in what is now Provincetown, but they *settled* in what is now Plymouth. And there's no proof that they even stepped on a rock in Plymouth, either...and yet it's what is taught. So blame the history books - the marketers just enhanced it.
So the fact that tradition for Thanksgiving means turkey doesn't bother me. It just is. You can have something other than turkey - have sushi, macaroni & cheese, a crown roast of pork, a tofu-loaf. I choose turkey.
Some of that is pretty funny and some of it I agree with. If you'd asked me 10 years ago about turkey I'd have said it was a useless food source."Boring" indeed a good word. "Dry" as well. However, as I've learned to cook and the through the influence of my southern wife I've found that turkey is all in how you do it. Personally, I like it smoked. I've yet to have it deep fried but plan on it some day. Bacon wrapped, Cajun injected, herb stuffed, the list goes on. It needn't be boring. Besides, without turkey how can you have turkey gravy??
>Besides, without turkey how can you have turkey gravy??
To expand on this - without turkey, how can you have leftover turkey sandwiches the next day?
To me Thanksgiving is all about the memories of Thanksgivings past and simple comfort food, family, friends, and of course, drinking beer and watching football games on tv . I prefer to eat the same exact "boring" things my mom made - which includes stuffing from a box and cranberries from a can. There are 364 other days throughout the year in which to persue my chowhoundish desires.
One of our best T'givings ever was the year my husband was traveling overseas. I invited a bunch of folks stuck in town who weren't able to go "home" for the holiday, and since it ended up being a lot of guys, I scratched the sit-down.
I told them they could come in jeans or sweats if they wanted because we were having fix-your-own turkey sandwiches with football on TV. I got about 6 kinds of bread (including Wonder) and all the fixings. Threw a big jar of Hellman's on the table and let them go! We fixed a few nostalgic sides like green bean casserole which they snarfed down with beer. And pie - lots of pie.
We've had fried and smoked turkeys, and fancy sit-downs, but that straight-to-sandwiches is still my favorite.
Turkey sandwiches the next day? More like 8 or 9 pm for us.
My family was a Thanksgiving Dinner at dinner time type of family.
My wife's family is a 2 pm T-day dinner type of family... since we're in her part of the state we eat at 2 pm... so by 8 pm it's already time for sandwiches.
Thanksgiving dinner at 2 pm is something I'm still not used to. On the upside, everyone is gone by 4 or 5pm.