“Ewwwwww! I just hate touching its cold, loose, rubbery skin, much less stuffing it.”
“I’ve never done a turkey yet, not in all my married years. Thank goodness for my mom.”
“I’ll second that. And friends … I’ll bring a side dish to any friend who’ll invite me.”
This morning at the gym four of us were lined up on stationery bikes, and the three women on my left were discussing the merits, or lack thereof, of turkey prep. I don’t know what it is about food talk, but no matter how hard I tried to follow Sunday football highlights or Sidney Crosby’s possible return to the Penguins tonight (not that I was trying very hard), the culinary chat drew me in.
My husband and I had an early Thanksgiving last month in Florida. There were about fourteen of us, and I fixed a twenty-four pound turkey, homemade stuffing, and homemade cranberry sauce, while others fixed veggies and snacks. It was a wonderful and loving family time. The problem is, it feels like it happened a year ago.
So, what to do? Do I roast another bird, even though it’s just the two of us? Well, three, counting Carson. I checked with friends and everyone is either out of town or has a plan. Nothing would go to waste, since I make turkey soup, turkey chili, and give our commercial freezer a workout, laying up mini-meals in plastic bags for months to come.
Another option is roasting just a turkey breast, but then I still have to do all the rest of it, anyway, to make a complete dinner. Of course, I could check out what Whole Foods is offering to take out and take home, but it seems a lot from their prepared food section isn’t organic.
That brings me to a whole other issue. I just saw a news segment about PETA, discussing the deplorable conditions in which turkeys are raised, and there was something about a billboard comparing eating a turkey to noshing on your pet dog. While that might be a bit of a stretch, or a huge one, it still got me thinking. I was a vegetarian for four years at another time of my life, and every once in a while the thought resurfaces, especially with talk like that.
My husband and I could check out the Park Record, and see which restaurants are offering reasonably-priced holiday dinners, but that probably wouldn’t solve the organic problem, and certainly not the humane one.
On the Food Network a little while ago Rachel Ray and a few other interviewees were asked about their biggest holiday dinner bloopers, and then about favorite side dishes. One person said, “Mac and cheese with garlic croutons.” Whoa! Now there’s a thought I can get my mind and mouth around.
Whatever you are doing, I send warmest holiday wishes to you. I am grateful for many, many things this–and every–year, and I trust you are, too.