Sunday, November 11, 2007

let's talk turkey

Holy bacon wrapped smoked turkeys bat man!!! Is it that time of the year again??? if so, pass the gravy, and make sure there’s extra, cuz this time I’m leavin room for fourths…

This time of year is great isn’t it? The bears have their hibernation for which they eat like mad in the fall and then more or less sleep through the winter. We eat like mad in the fall, then eat even more madly in the winter, then we swear we’ll never eat that much again and vow to work it off in the spring with renewed vigor by way of new year’s resolutions…..hahahahahahahaha. do me a favor, don’t write your resolutions down or tell me, cuz mine look similar and there’s going to be some serious hilarity come spring time when I break out the shorts for the warm weather.

OK, let’s forget about that thought and concentrate on the really important stuff, like what foods will be at the annual turkey dinner at my mom’s. for sure there will be my grandmother’s famous green beans with sautéed bacon and fresh snowcap mushrooms and extra garlic. It’s important to be one of the first people in line for this dish as the forks fly for dibs on this one.

Another important facet is the gravy. I mean, the mashed potatoes are important too, but mostly it’s the gravy, which is sometimes an overlooked accoutrement that deserves the utmost attention. Truly good gravy is best experienced when poured over every last piece of food on one’s plate, even the cranberry. I tried it one year over pumpkin pie, and trust me it was worth every last minute of indigestion I experienced that night. Good gravy can make or break a turkey dinner.

Almost as imperative are the rolls. It never fails that somebody has to bring the ‘health conscious’ wheat bricks that pass for a bread product. You know who you are, leave the rocks at home and use them for doorstops and paperweights. Rolls are serious business and need their own special mention. Similar to the gravy, I like to experience my meal in every way with the use of a roll. For instance, pumpkin pie can be neatly sandwiched in between two pieces of a very good dinner roll, as can cranberry, and turkey, and mashed potatoes and gravy, etc.

Good rolls are fluffy and soft and yummy. You should be able to find someone at the store to lead you right to that brand, you know, the yummy roll brand fit for turkey dinner consumption?! When buying rolls, make a mental head count of the expected attendance, then multiply by 6, (that’s the safe count, but if my brother and I are coming, multiply by 8). You can NEVER have too many rolls, in fact you will want them for the leftovers the next day (unless my brother and I are there, in which case there will be no leftovers).

Lastly, a petition needs to be filed with farmers who raise turkeys. Something has to be done regarding the lack of dark meat on a bird. I would love to claim discrimination here but I am sure it has already been done by our good friends down at PETA, (which stands for “People for the Ethical Tasting of Animals”). I myself am a lifetime member of this fine organization, not to be confused with the other PETA.

Dark meat is to turkey like caffeine is to coffee. All you decaf psychos have no idea what I’m talking about but you should give it a shot, you might actually wake up to the idea. Dark meat is absolutely quintessential to a good turkey dinner. And while urban legends would have you believing that dark meat is not nearly as good for you as white and in fact is high in fat, I have provided a link to prove otherwise….

Similar to a s’more, if you had your choice you would skip the graham cracker and the marshmallow just to eat the chocolate. When it comes to turkey, you can keep the white meat at home with those petrified brown chunks of wheat that no human can digest in less than 6 months. Dark meat has flavor as opposed to the white stuff, which requires heavy amounts of salt and pepper and gravy just to get down. Of course, with the amount of gravy I plan to use, there really is no health benefit to argue about here.

So let’s recap. Prepare for turkey dinner with this list, it should be quite helpful…

72 – 96 rolls – get the yummy brand
4 gallons of gravy – may not be enough, make it 8
40 pounds of turkey – dark meat
6 gallons of mashed potatoes
10 pounds of green beans – call for the recipe
Cranberry sauce
6 pumpkin pies
1 Partridge in a pear tree (just for good measure)

If my brother and I are invited, double everything.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving.

my life is not mine, and yet it is mine to live for Him. Peace to you all.



Anonymous said...

OK, first of all... I really like wheat rolls - especially the ones called "berry wheat", I don't think there are any berries or wheat, but they are more dense than the white ones, therefore more able to soak up the gravy. Second, I like a good dry peice of white meat. I know, everyone thinks I'm nuts, but that's how it holds in all the gravy so well, and it doesn't get soggy when you slather cranberries on top... besides, if you're eating all the dark meat, I gotta eat somethin'!
Third, you left off the sweet potato casserole I'm making this year... gotta have the pecan crumble topping, mmmm, yummy.
I'll leave the mushromm/green beans all to you, but save me some pumpkin pie.... please?!

jolielee said...

hey PETA boy, you made me hungry! your crazy.

Meat is darker if it contains more myoglobin which allows muscles to use oxygen more efficiently. Oxygen is required to fuel the muscle if it is to be used constantly for long periods of time. In turkeys, these myoglobin-rich muscles are found in the legs which the bird stands and walks on for most of the day.

Because turkeys (and chickens) are flightless birds, the chest muscles are not used much. When they are used, it is for quick bursts of speed when running. The chest muscles of a turkey do not require a constant fuel supply so the breast meat is lacking in pigment-rich myoglobin. It is interesting that birds of flight have darker breast meat than their ground-dwelling cousins because their chest muscles require more endurance to flap their wings.

Science seems to favor white meat in terms of nutrition. White meat is lower in fat, calories, sodium, and cholesterol than dark meat which makes it a healthier choice for the average diet.

When it comes to which tastes better, that is a matter of, well, taste. Dark meat has a higher fat content and contains more myoglobin which adds flavor to meat. It also tends to be juicier than white meat. So, on an objective level, dark meat is probably more flavorful than white meat. On a subjective level, the better tasting of the two is debatable. I might not have compelling scientific evidence to back me up, but I am a fan of white meat and I think it tastes better than dark :))))) so happends that i am a bird expert ;)- hehe