Turkey talk: 2016 edition

hwbush_turkeypardonThanksgiving 2016 is just a day away — do you know where your turkey is?

No, really. Do you know? If you didn’t buy a fresh turkey, or you forgot to take the bird out of the freezer, keep in mind that it will take 11 – 12 hours to thaw that 20+ lb beast in cold water before you can pop it in the oven.

While you’re waiting for the turkey to thaw, you can think up interesting turkey-themed topics to bring up in conversation over tomorrow’s dinner.

We have a few little-known turkey facts to get you started:

Dancing turkeys, aka Jets vs Sharks? Wild turkeys (the birds, not the distilled liquor) have rigidly-stratified social structures. National Geographic cites a report in Scientific American that came out before most of you were born, young “dominant male [turkeys] gather together and literally strut their stuff in unison before the females, like a scene out of West Side Story.”

White or dark? Culinary historian Mark Morton says the impropriety of talking about body parts (even if they belonged to a turkey) in the 1870s led to the adoption of the terms ‘white meat’ and ‘dark meat,’ as “euphemisms for the breast and legs.” Same goes for the term “drumstick.”

jfk-pardons-turkeyI beg your pardon. Many historians credit John F Kennedy (pictured) as being the first US President to issue a ceremonial pardon to a Thanksgiving turkey he received as a gift from the poultry industry association.

Traveling with turkey? File this under “things you learn from NPR while you cook” — According to Marketplace this week, the TSA allows travelers to bring turkeys with them (checked or as carry-on items) — as long as the turkey (and its ice packs) stays frozen. Cranberry sauce, gravy, mashed potatoes, are all categorized as “liquids,” since they are (sort of) viscous. Well, squishy, anyway. These items have a strict 3.4 ounce limit and must be secured in small, clear Ziploc bags.

Let me let that mental image sink in, for a moment, of you, dear reader, taking your big frozen turkey, and tiny bags of dressing and gravy, through security at the airport.

obama-turkey-pardonAnyhow – Wednesday is the perfect time to run those last-minute pre-Thanksgiving errands, to fill in any gaps in your Thanksgiving preparations. Drop by a bakery for some crusty bread, to go with the fancy cheese and jam you got at the Winter Farmers’ Market last weekend.

Then come see us at AllSpice and grab a bottle or two of good Olive Oil and your favorite seasoning blend (try the Gusto Pizza Co Spice Blend) to make an easy and flavorful dipping oil.  Boom! – bread, cheese, oil for dipping – there’s the appetizer you’re supposed to bring to dinner tomorrow.

We’ll be open until 6pm Wednesday for any last-minute ingredients and gifts you might need.  We’ve even got a brining mix for your turkey, once it’s thawed.

Moral support and encouragement provided, all day, free of charge.

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