Originally Published: November 20, 2017 5:59 a.m.
Having turkey? Well I think the big beast of a bird that is the Thanksgiving tradition in America might be staying in the chicken coop this year.
I refuse to brine (newest trend that seems way too difficult), will not be using one of those burn-down-the-house hot oil cookers and dread having the oven on for six hours (and drying up the meat).
I am turning over a new Thanksgiving leaf. Time for change in the kitchen!
Did you know that 1 million people will call the Butterball Turkey Talk-Line around the holidays? From anxious first-time cooks to experienced chefs, it seems every now and then, it helps to “talk turkey” with an expert. There are 50 “turkey experts” standing by to advise people on how to safely thaw out a bird (no, do NOT put it in the bathtub with your children) or to how to speed up the cooking process when you forget to turn the oven on (impossible to do).
Gee, if a million people a year have been calling in to hotlines about cooking turkeys for the past 35 years, it tells me that something is way too complicated! And maybe the only reason we eat a turkey is because it is big enough to feed a crowd, even if we don’t necessarily like it.
Uh oh, now the emails will be flying my way. But honestly, how many times a year do people actually make turkey dinners? Ha! Once. That says it all.
Probably the Pilgrims didn’t worry much about cooking turkeys. They got on a ship, off to a place unknown, unsettled, with only hopes of a better life. One hundred men, women and children spent 66 days crossing the Atlantic to come to a “New World,” overcoming harsh circumstances, sickness and fear. Native peoples, different foods, no way back home, and bad weather were but a few of the challenges that faced these folks. They must have been very grateful that they made it through a year in the wilderness called America. So in 1621, one group of weary and thankful Pilgrims joined in to feast with the Wampanoag tribe.
Fast forward to 2017. Now, the stores are open and people will shop. Hmm ... maybe Thanksgiving will become the “Early Bird Special.” That would be a shame, since it is the one day that symbolizes the pure spirit of giving thanks. In some ways, it is the best of all holidays — no gifts to commercialize it, no religion to limit it, no elf to trivialize it.
How might your Thanksgiving Day dinner compare to those early settlers who gathered around a long table, grateful for life, holding on to hope and dreaming of a bright future? Some things never change. Enjoy this Great Day of Thanks.