The Boring Word About Let’s Talk Turkey

November 26, 1986

I think decision making must have been easier for pilgrim women when it came to fixing Thanksgiving dinner. Someone went out and killed the turkey, it was cooked over the fire and eaten.

Today we have to decide whether to get one with a pop-up timer, which brand, fresh or frozen, and how big. Do you think the pilgrims looked at the bird and distinguished whether it was 10 or 12 pounds before shooting? And just think no comparison shopping for the best price per pound.

How many available recipes do you suppose there were back then for preparing what has become this traditional main course. Today there is article after article devoted to how to thaw, how to stuff, how to cover, how to take the temperature and how to carve.

Wouldn’t it be nice to have been a pilgrim woman and not have to live up to all those TV pictures of perfectly browned and intact turkeys gracing the table of a beautiful setting with enough matching china and silverware for 25 guests.

And then there is the discussion in commercials about the texture of the bird, especially that often broadcast one where the relatives are talking on the way to dinner about whether the meat will be juicy or not since it is the cook’s first turkey. Juicy, dry, stringy, tough or tender, do you think the Indians and Pilgrims were that particular? I’m sure the first feast was enjoyed when the food was ready. Today football games, visiting relatives, traveling schedules and everyone’s social obligations have to be considered before setting a time for dinner. And pity the poor chef if everything isn’t ready to be eaten during halftime.

Then there is the whole other question about leftovers. What did the pilgrims do with no refrigerators, microwaves, tupperware dishes, zip lock storage bags and aluminum foil? Do you suppose they had turkey day after day after day after day……