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boudin noir

Thanksgiving: I am not fond of turkey

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Thanksgiving is on the horizen. I don't like turkey. I usually do duck or capon since they fit the optics. What do you other turkey haters do?

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When I can get away with not following tradition, game hens de-boned and stuffed with a sage/sausage stuffing.   I've also done a turkey leg confit when the turkey traditionalists win over.  It made the nasty turkey meat taste amazing (like anything cooked in duck fat).  

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No one in my immediate family likes turkey much. I usually do duck for Thanksgiving. My sister-in-law, who hosts Christmas, usually does roast beef.

Elaina

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I don't hate turkey at all, BUT I feel for the people that have multiple family dinners to attend in which turkey is served at every one of them.    I don't host any more, but when I did I would do a chicken noodle soup and a venison chili.  I think one year I did a lasagna.....or if I didn't I sure thought hard about doing it lol.

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I have done pizza and lasagna in the past.  When my mother-in-law was alive and in the nursing home she insisted she hated turkey...and ham...and just about anything else so I did a bunch of small plates like stuffed mushrooms, mini quiche, the pizza again and I included some coleslaw and salad. 

I actually like turkey breast and like to make both green and red moles.   Growing up the turkey was secondary to all the sides and really made it's appearance later with the portugese sweet  and oatmeal breads for sandwiches.

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Our Thanksgiving is over & done with, but we have had in past Thanksgivings & Christmases turkey meatball stew, prime rib roast, roast pork, roast chicken, cheese fondue and Chinese hotpot.

 

My family doesn't dislike turkey, we just like other stuff better.

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For our Thanksgiving (we are in Canada) we always have capon. Same thing at Christmas.

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I have done goose in the past.  

 

But lately we've done deep fried turkey, which you cannot stuff, so we make the meal a Cajun Classic and guests bring sides like dirty rice, collard greens, okra, sweet potatoes, corn maque choux.  I bake a pan of oyster bienville stuffing.  It's a fun change of pace from the routine TDay meal.  

 

And....my DH who hates roast turkey, loves the deep fried version, as do all the guests.  It's a treat!

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We always have a Cajun deep-fried turkey, but a roast turkey as well, because I have to have one stuffed with cornbread dressing, and I also need the roasting pan drippings to make gravy. But we buy two small turkeys. And, for those that don't like turkey, there's ham.

Plus, since we're Southwesterners, there are always pork tamales.

Plenty of choices and nobody goes away hungry.

That's Thanksgiving.

Christmas is a lot more flexible and often features something like rack of lamb or prime rib, etc. Anything goes as long as it's lavish and special and festive.

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I knew someone who always did spaghetti carbonara for Thanksgiving - to honour Columbus.

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My husband doesn't like turkey either, so we alternate turkey and non-turkey years. One of my favorite alternatives is crown roast of pork with some sort of stuffing in the middle.

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I knew someone who always did spaghetti carbonara for Thanksgiving - to honour Columbus.

 

Just so you know, the idea (including the Columbus connection) comes from Calvin Trillin.  Here's a copy of his essay, which originally was published in the New Yorker in 1981.

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My immediate family is vegetarian, so when I was growing up, the Thanksgiving Day centrepiece was always nut loaf, of which it is best to not speak.

 

Thanksgivings that I was fortunate enough to spend on my own always involved venison, which is not only tasty (and holiday-appropriate), but relatively easy to find at this time of year, and offers a really wide array of possibilities in terms of cuts and preparation.

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I like roast pork or ham for Thanksgiving--and Christmas, too! One year I made a butternut squash-kale recipe by Deborah Madison. I would love to try porchetta this year, but I am afraid my guests will freak out over the fat.

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I have a dear friend who's mother despised turkey so they never had it for Thanksgiving. They usually resorted to Cornish game hens. 

My mom tends to have large gatherings for the holiday so it's not unusual to see a couple of turkeys there (this year one will be smoked...the other will be oven-roasted. We've done fried turkeys in the past)) and there will also be a ham for those who don't like turkey.

 

I wonder if the reason why some people don't like turkey is because they never had it cooked and served properly?

My father grew up (on a farm, yet) hating to eat chicken. My mom grew up loving chicken. My dad was eating his mom's (my grandmother's) cooking which was terrible so it's no wonder he never liked to eat chicken. But my mom was raised by her older sister who was a wizard when it came to cooking and baking and my mom loved her chicken dishes. More importantly, she learned to cook from her sister and my brothers and I grew up loving my mom's cooking, including her Thanksgiving turkey. We all really like turkey. 

To paraphrase the old saying, the old sins of bad cooks in the kitchen cast long shadows over the palates of future diners.

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There was nothing wrong with the way my mother cooked turkey. One year I came down with the 24 hour flu right after eating turkey and that put me off. Now, the thought of Butterball turkey with all that artificial 'butter' simply sounds unappetizing.

I am also very particular about the kind of poultry I eat. I am totally unimpressed by turkeys (or chickens) that are produced for mass consumption. I want to be sure any bird I eat is raised properly. Perhaps if I tried a heritage turkey, I might like it better, but that is not an option where I live.

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Actually, eels were probably a big part of that first Thanksgiving. If you served eels there's a good chance that no one in attendance would be tired of them, or ate too many as a kid, etc.

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This article gives an idea of what may have been served at the first Thanksgiving:

http://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/what-was-on-the-menu-at-the-first-thanksgiving-511554/

Ducks and geese, plus other smaller birds were n the menu, as well as oysters, mussels, etc. There are plenty of choices beyond turkey that make a fine Thanksgiving menu.

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Pheasant?

 

One year, when I was in college and most of my friends were vegetarians, we formed a small alt. Thanksgiving before we dispersed to go back to our square families.  We gave plasma to raise funds and then spent it on a bottle of Wild Turkey, sweet potatoes and a bag of marshmallows, and fashioned a ground tofu product into a poultry shape.  Tofurky.  

 

We got very drunk and ate these things and one of my friends broke her front tooth on said tofu product.

 

It was really one of the sweetest most memorable Thanksgivings I've had.  

 

However, I love turkey and find it to be an excellent support system for pools of gravy.

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