If you’re a turkey you’re not lucky if you live in the United States.
Around the world, Christmas celebrations usually involve a big, fancy meal. In the US this often means turkeys and/or hams find their way onto the table, all tarted up for the occasion. I’m sure you’ve all seen the wonderful artsy images in food magazines and on TV cooking shows, so I will not add to this plethora of culinary photos. I’m sure you’re grateful. Instead, here’s a proud, live specimen.
The destiny of one proud turkey
One Christmas some years ago, I had planned to escape the winter for a bit and be in East Timor, a tiny, tropical island nation in the Pacific Ocean, at the end of the world. Beaches, coconut palms, and no snow whatsoever. You know what I mean. But, alas, it was not to be. I spent Christmas instead in the US with family, where I had . . . turkey and ham (along with lots of other wonderful food.) Allow me to show you the very dead and no-longer-proud turkey. It’s not a pretty sight, rather humiliating for the turkey, but fortunately he was not aware of the undignified manner in which he was prepared for the table.
Deep-fried turkey seems to be a typical American invention (let me know if I am wrong and they’re torturing turkey carcasses this way in your corner of the globe as well). Apparently deep-fried turkey originated in the southern US, where deep-frying is a way of life (deep-fried pigs ears, guacamole, sauerkraut balls, I kid you not). Americans are always looking for a new way of doing things. Just roasting a turkey in the oven is so boring, don’t you agree?
As you can see on the photo, deep-frying a big beast is not something you want to do in your kitchen, but not to worry. Capitalism to the rescue. Turkey frying kits are available for sale, if not for the loose change in your pocket (google it). And I expect, some entrepreneur somewhere will offer a dedicated storage shed in your choice of colors to keep it in until next Christmas.
On the photo above you will notice on the top a clothes hanger. I am not sure it was part of the original kit, but it seemed to work: All went well and nobody got burned or cooked along with the unfortunate fowl. But . . .
Check this out!
Would you like to know what it looks like when things go south? Here’s a video that might change your mind if you’re considering deep-frying a turkey for Christmas this year:
Let me close this tale by saying the turkey I had was fabulous, and that I hope all of you had a wonderful meal this Christmas, with or without deep-fried turkey. I am in France and dined on oven-roasted guinea fowl and capon.
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Tell me about your traditional holiday meal adventures. Anything fun or unusual? Please comment and make my day!