Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Thanksgiving Myths

MSNBC.com posted an article today entitled “5 biggest Thanksgiving myths debunked.” The article comes from Bon Appetit.

1. The bigger the turkey the better. Guys would always pick the bird with the biggest breasts. I think it’s in the DNA. Apparently when it comes to turkeys, large breasts are overrated. Think turkeys on steroids.

2. Fresh pumpkin is better than canned pumpkin. I always use canned pumpkin for a favorite pumpkin cheesecake recipe. For fresh pumpkin I would need a Ford F-150 and a back brace.

3. Turkey makes you sleepy. No, adult beverages make you sleepy, or if you eat so much you cannot move. In that case, you might as well sneak in a nap while down. You will also need a nap if you don’t plan, prep, and prepare as much as possible ahead of time and you’re in the kitchen from sunup to sundown.

4. Stuffing is the same as dressing. No, that is why they call it stuffing—it is stuffed inside the turkey. Dressing is prepared in an oven-safe, casserole-type dish. Go with the dressing. It is hard to get any crunch to the breading when it is getting all soppy inside the bird. The cooking turkey-correctness posse also suggests that using and subsequently consuming stuffing raises the risk of bacteria types I can’t spell.

5. Pop-up plastic thermometers work. Simply stated, they are unreliable and you need a reliable way to make sure that turkey is cooked (and not overcooked). Besides, the size of pop-ups allows too much juice to escape. I have tried a number of thermometers including instant read. I have yet to get it perfect with a turkey and my oven and end up using the zapper (microwave).

Bon Appetit left out a few myths.

1. Turkeys can’t fly. Actually the wilder ones can, albeit short distances. The domesticated ones are so fattened they have as good a chance of flying as emus. Thankfully, Europeans bypassed America and transported emus to Australia. Turkey Day has a better ring then Emu Day. The turkey flying myth was immortalized by a classic episode of a 70s’s sitcom, WKRP Cincinnati.

2. Deep-frying is the best way to cook a turkey. You’d probably want to check with your local fire department and find out the number of emergency calls on turkey day for exploding fryers. If you must earn your guy badge this way I suggest you cook the bird at least 100 yards from the house and any dry forest or shrub area, and don fireman garb.

3. Cranberry is a Thanksgiving staple. Not. There are about five hundred foods that go better with turkey. Okay, so I never liked cranberry.

4. The turkey waddle is the way they walk. Actually the turkey waddle is the word for the sagging skin on the turkey’s neck; also know as turkey neck. On humanoids, Botox buttresses that blight. Celebrating Thanksgiving-style throughout the year would also fill out that waggle, and cause one to waggle.

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