Saturday, November 8, 2008

The One Where She Resists the Urge


I am trying so hard right now not to just skip over Thanksgiving and go straight to Christmas. It doesn't help that Skippy keeps asking when we are putting up Christmas decorations. Besides, I have some really great Christmas songs that I am just waiting to post for you to listen to. But I am resisting the urge.

I  hate to give short shrift to a holiday that celebrates gratitude, but is gratitude really what Thanksgiving is about? Let's talk turkey. Last Thanksgiving Day fifteen houses burned to the ground. How did this happen? They burned as a result of deep-fried turkeys gone wrong. Let me put that in context for you. Imagine...only the month before, over 1,500 homes burned in Southern California as a result of wildfires. So let me  get this straight...your house escaped that epic blaze...only to go up in flames over a deep-fried turkey. Tragic? Yes. Embarrassing? Definitely.

Here in Southern California, we hunt our turkeys in Costco. If you wait until the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, fresh birds may be scarce, and you might risk life and limb to wrest a 20-pounder from the hands of some very determined home chef. But in other parts of the country, they actually have turkey season, during which hunters go out with their shotguns to bag a bird. Quaint and picturesque, right? Consider the father who shot his nine-year-old son this year, because he mistook him for a turkey. Or how about Dan and his sister from Wisconsin, who crashed their car after a wild turkey went through their windshield.

Undercooked turkey was to blame for a salmonella outbreak in South Carolina that affected some 300 customers of a popular restaurant. Be sure to take your turkey's temperature with an accurate thermometer... he (or she) should be about 170 degrees in the thigh to be safe. Wondering if you may have salmonella poisoning? The major symptoms are diarrhea, abdominal cramps, fever, nausea, vomiting, chills and headache. Oh yeah, and occasional death.

So am I going to prepare a turkey on Thanksgiving? Certainly. I am going to cook that thing until it is on the safe side of completely dried out. I just won't be eating any. It really doesn't have to do with any safety, either. I mean, if I actually cared about that, would I ever eat at Jack in the Box? I have just realized over the years that I don't really like turkey, and if I leave it off the plate, there is room for orange rolls, homemade cranberry sauce, and all the side dishes that are really so much tastier than the turkey. It is my understanding that the pilgrims had venison at that first Thanksgiving anyway. I'm not going to go shooting any deer, but if our new tradition were, say,  prime rib of beef, I would probably make a little room on my plate...

5 comments:

Lisa said...

Do you have room for one more?

Victoria said...

You probably ought to spend Thanksgiving with your family...

Lisa said...

You aren't the boss of me

Erika said...

OK, you are the best thing since Erma Bombeck, OK, Lisa is probably pretty good too but SHE doesn't have a blog that I know about. I'm lucky to associate with you very clever people. Love the song (again) with Rachel!

Anonymous said...

I am thee other way around. You can keep Christmas. Who needs all that over-gifted holiday. People scrambling do get someone a gift who got them a gift but didn't tell them. Doesn't seem very holiday spirity to me.

I love Thanksgiving, in fact it is my most favorite holiday. You get to show your wares from the kitchen, what you make best, make Rachael Ray eat your dust.

Good food along side friends and family. Giving thanks for anything and everything.