I’m not quite ready yet (wasn’t it just Valentine’s Day?) but there is no stopping Thanksgiving. A holiday which took on it’s modern day form in 1863 due to a woman, Sarah Josepha Hale, editor of the Boston Ladies’ Magazine.
Thanksgiving is a day spent with family and friends, watching football (sorry Sarah) and feasting on an abundance of food.
Yes. It’s all about the food. Amongst a setting of cornucopias, flowers, and fruit bowls, there sits the usual suspects. Green bean casseroles, cranberry sauces, sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, pumpkin pies and plumped up in center stage: The Turkey.
For the past few weeks, the Food Network and Cooking Channel have bombarded us with programs on how to cook this star of the day. (If we spent this much time on how to bring about world peace, we may have a more unified world.)
According to these TV chefs, there are more ways to prepare a turkey than there are sex positions in the Kama Sutra. Some of the most popular are: Baked. Deep fried. Smoked. Grilled. Rubbed with spices. Injected with wine. Bagged in beer. Soaked in Brine.
And then there is that is the age-old question. To baste or not to baste?
In our family, my mother swears that basting is the only way to go if you want a moist turkey. My husband on the other hand favors soaking his turkey in brine for twenty-four hours. And take my cousin. She’s currently deciding on whether or not to use the turkey baster in order to get pregnant.
And once we know how to cook the turkey, the master chefs are hell-bent on advising us what to do with our leftovers. All this before we’ve even eaten the special meal.
You can whip up turkey tacos, turkey soup, turkey enchiladas, turkey pancakes, cupcakes, smoothies, eggroll, dumplings. There is no end to the diversification of this grand bird. Even vegetarians get into the act with their variation: Tofurky.
I wouldn’t be surprised if turkey-flavored edible undies will soon be on the shelves. Or hot turkey oil for those “happy ending” massages.
With all this focus on the turkey, I often think that we’ve forgotten what we are celebrating. You know the story about the Pilgrims arriving in America ill prepared for the winter? How they had a traditional British feast with the Indians who helped them survive? Imagine that? Dining with the Indians. But that’s a story for another day.
So, on the big day, we will eat, drink and eat some more. Eat ourselves into a stupor.
I’ll be thankful if I wake up on Friday without having massacred my digestive system. Or added to that turkey wattle on my neck that I’m trying so hard to pretend doesn’t exist.
But, of course, I am also thankful for all the wonderful friends and family in my life. And wish for nothing less than the best for everyone.
Read more from Janie Emaus on her blog