Monday, November 30, 2009

Running Fowl with Tradition

Someone mentioned to me that they now make Tofu turkeys. Oh, the horror.

Every one has their Thanksgiving day meal favorites. Some stake out a particular part of the turkey, or want that special stuffing passed down, others have to have the homemade cornbread, the candied yams, or the traditional family pumpkin pie. Some families have a lasagna as a first course (Italian, much?) or kielbasa, or perogies to add which ever traditional ethnic flair fits your particular ethnic background to what is the quintessential American meal. Recently, there has been an effort to replace the traditional turkey with other things...say a nice, free-range organic chicken. A move away from the traditional turkey dinner to something more "progressive". I am all for social progress, but I do draw the line on certain traditions. Lest we think the turkey boring and outdated, I, for one, would like to resist this trend. My rallying cry would be 'Save the Turkey, save the world."

And although the turkey takes center stage in the only real American holiday associated with a particular animal (do cows count, since people eat more hamburgers than turkeys?) And, although realistically we consume more beef, no one is ready to see a cow pardoned by the President at the White House before say, the traditional July 4th barbeques. I say the turkey alone gives us something more American, then vegetarian tofu ever will.

Even if more turkeys are consumed in our weekly lunch sandwiches then roasted up for dinner, the turkey should remain the star. A symbol of the new old frontier. The turkey should bask (and baste) in the glow of its true turkeyhood. Unlike most traditional meals, the star of the show comes to the table as dressed and over-stuffed as the dinner guests who leave it. Where else do you get a meal which shows up at table feeling as you do after you've eaten it. These days turkey's are being brined, smoked, deep fried and fancied up to represent anything but what they are. They even have a Turduken--- trying to be something it is not ---a turkey stuffed with a duck and a chicken. I ask, is nothing sacred? Where are the American traditionalists in matters of importance? These are the inalienable rights that shall remain sacred. In the words of the Reagan era. Let turkey, be turkey.

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