As a Native American, we call it a National Day of Mourning. But I eat my turkey with cranberry in every bite. 😋
I don't hate turkey quite as much as you, but I do agree it's pretty overrated. I cook it pretty well and it always comes out juicy as far as turkey goes, but it still isn't nearly as good as any of the sides.
But, the huge upside of turkey is that the grocery stores always give you a free one if you spend enough money before the holiday. So unless somebody is willing to give me 20 pounds of other free meat, I'll cook turkey forever.
For a moment there while reading this I got the impression that you don't like turkey. Not sure why I might have thought that.
I'm from Jamaica, so Thanksgiving is not something I grew up with. When I first moved here I loved it because it was an opportunity to work two consecutive days of OT when most others did not want to work. Money talks! I have since lived here longer than I lived in Jamaica, but the whole Thanksgiving holiday still hasn't captured me. My best Thanksgiving dinners have been ones with tropical dishes and little or no turkey.
If your turkey is "drier than the Sahara," you're doing it wrong. I can only assume you're eating white meat only from a turkey that's been oven-baked with no basting. Try spatchcocking it and letting the breast stew in its own broth... it's a whole different experience. Or eat the dark meat that naturally ends up on bottom anyway.
I wouldn't call turkey my favorite meat, but it's just as good as chicken. And the outer skin is fantastic if you get it crisp with butter under the broiler. Most of that doesn't make it to our Thanksgiving table, because my dad eats some of it while he's carving, and I sneak in and eat some of the rest. Best part of the day.
I heard the country renamed itself in English to Turkiye specifically not to be confused with the bird.
When it comes to traditional holiday meals, you think about eating turkey the same way as my mum does about traditional in my country eating carp on Christmas Eve's supper. Thankfully, my mum is opposing that tradition, as she doesn't like carp's taste, so we usually have salmon instead.
Eating carp wouldn't normally be a problem (even though my family members prefer other kinds of fish), but there's an issue here with condition in which folks are buying it. Because back in the times of communism not everybody had fridge or freezer, some people here (which is in my family deemed to be unacceptable) are still accustomed to that times' necessitity that was buying living carps a few days prior to kill them on the 24th of Decmeber themselves. In the meantime the poor fish were put into the bathtub. What's fortunate, nowadays it's not commonly accepted to still stick to that habit.
I actually love turkey, but only once a year is enough. And it better be fall apart tender or forget it.
I laughed out loud at "It’s the most slowly developing disappointment since my parents watched me grow up." That really is hilarious.
Now time to go throw out the leftover turkey still in the fridge. Memories of turkey ala king that my mom fixed with leftovers the day after T'giving are ones I don't like remembering. Ugh.
Literally no one in my family likes turkey AT ALL, so a few years ago we decided that we would not do turkey anymore for Thanksgiving. One year we did my mom's homemade spaghetti and meatballs, the next year we did sausage and peppers, the third year chicken parm, and this year we did a ham. It was all so much better than turkey. We always prepared all the side dishes and pies (including when we had spaghetti) and the gravy. We all love the mashed and sweet potatoes and dressing especially. May sound weird but it has worked out great. So, yes, we are right there with you, James. No more turkey for Thanksgiving. Never again! Mutiny and come to our family! Haha!
Even my cats hate turkey. I’m talking about cats that’ll eat virtually anything except turkey.
There are a lot of things we eat that are more of a base for all the good things than actually good on there own. Pasta for example. Most people don't eat pasta plain. It is only good when you add the sauces and cheese. But it does enhance the sauces and cheese which you could eat alone but are undeniably better with the pasta. Turkey and chicken are okay plain but usually much better with some gravy or seasoned properly. A cold turkey sandwich (not deli meat but actual roasted turkey) with fixins is one of my favorite things to eat.
Since there was only my son and I for Thanksgiving this year we'd already figured out turkey was a no go when I went through my freezer and found a package of leftover turkey from last year. In the past when most of my extended family were still around, I would spatchcock the turkey and lovingly bbq it on the grill. It was much faster than baking in a slow oven and much tastier, however I still ended up tossing some out because my late husband insisted that I get a big bird 20 lb or more. I never understood why he wanted such a big turkey since he only enjoyed the dark meat! A bigger bird only means breasts so big that they cannot even walk properly as their center of gravity is off. I offered my son vegetarian turkey, chicken and even KFC. He said he didn't care and make what I wanted. I went with a rotisserie chicken and cut the sides down to two dishes and only one pie. NO leftover turkey this year!! Hooray!
Have you considered ham for Thanksgiving? Many Southerners prefer ham. My guests ate all of our 20 lb. turkey, so I bought a smaller one I intend to cook tomorrow.
So what's your favorite Thanksgiving meat instead? This year, we had ham and turkey at one and then chicken and brisket at another. Ham is always a classic for me.
So - my amazing daughter is married to an imported full-blooded Scot. She made turkey sausage rolls this year and they were absolutely fantastic! Couldn’t even taste the turkey. It is now a new tradition that I will demand until my demise. I’m with you on the dry shoe leather version that has to soak in gravy for 30 min to be edible. I’ve had enough of that growing up to last a lifetime!
This is an impressive level of turkey-hate. I'm so thankful you have an avenue to vent, because you can't keep this amount of turkey-resentment bottled up. I won't antagonize you by saying my family likes turkey, but I can't believe you don't at least appreciate the epic amount of crispy skin the turkey provides. I'll be honest, it's the best part. We actually didn't get to eat turkey this year, and my husband, who agrees with you by the way, was thankful for that. I'm just sorry I don't have the leftover turkey to be able to make turkey pot pie.
ROFL! Just when I thought it couldn‘t get funnier, the next paragraph goes wham! I couldn’t decide which passages were my favorite - I had to re-read the newsletter several times and forward it to friends who are (not yet?) subscribers. Comedy gold!
As for the topic, I whole-heartedly agree that turkey is bleh at best - I think it tastes weird and definitely needs a whole host of flavorings, incuding sodium nitrite, to mask that off flavor. Cornish game hens for Thanksgiving sounds much more appealing - or pizza or that ice cream bar!
As an Australian, I'm very thankful that turkey rarely makes an appearance on the food table at any holiday gathering. I am totally on board with your opinion that turkey meat is inferior to ham, chicken, beef, or lamb. (Lamb is also a somewhat controversial meat, but roast lamb is my absolute favourite.)