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By Donnabeth Leffler

Talking Turkey

By Donnabeth Leffler Posted November 18, 2012 at 2:21 pm

Turkey seems to be at a crossroads.  No, this isn’t a joke about how it gets to the other side to be with the chicken.  

Turkey breast, turkey meatballs, meatloaf, turkey burgers and more all seem to have found a place in frequent dinner rotation for many people.  What was once a holiday-only regal bird is now frequently found on regular tables.  In fact, the National Turkey Federation reports that in 1970 50% of all turkey consumed was during the holidays; today that number is down to about 31% as more people enjoy turkey year-round.

 
On the other hand, this year, I’m hearing more people eschewing turkey at their Thanksgiving tables.  Please allow me to thank you for reading a sentence in which I wrote a form of “eschew”; it’s something I’ve always wanted to do.  (My bucket list is sadly simple). 

Whether it’s because a beloved family member just doesn’t like turkey or- more commonly heard: “It’s too hard to not end up with dry white meat”, I know families sitting down this year to tables groaning with everything from pasta to prime rib.  

My observation is anecdotal only so maybe I’ve become acquainted with a more adventurous group of cooks and/or hosts and nothing’s changed at all.  

When I’m a guest, I’m just happy to not have the pressure of the main course on me. So  Larry the Lasagna is as welcome as Tom the Turkey.  When it’s my turn, I’m a passable cook but not an inspired one and my past attempts at brining, buttering, etc. have yielded me only one tip that seems to usually work: cook turkey upside down for most of the time so juices run into the breast meat.  But, for me, even that’s not been foolproof (anyone choosing to place emphasis on the “fool” is not going to be alone).  

This makes me wonder if this subtle shift I’ve noticed toward turkey alternatives for Thanksgiving has anything to do with the difficulty of producing the perfect juicy bird, especially one of a significant size.  

Do you have an idiot-proof way to end up with a delectable roast turkey?  Have you chosen a different holiday menu?  Please send much-needed tips and info this way!  Post them down below or write to me at Donnabeth@Chapelboro.com . I hope you and those you love have much for which to give thanks this week.

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