Turkey Remorse

As Thankful as I am each day and especially on Thanksgiving Day, I’ve awoken this morning filled not with tryptophan but with remorse. Regret. Sadness. And although I know many people back in the mother country also woke up feeling a bit sorry, I think for many the reason has more to do with calorie intake, the hateful glow of a digital scale and the impending shadow of culinary Holiday gluttony that promises to last another 6 weeks.

Being a vegetarian for about 5 years now, I don’t partake in the ‘turkey’ portion of a turkey dinner. I dive head first into a vat of mashed potatoes with fistfuls of stuffing and armloads of pie, but I avoid the massive animal carcass in the middle of the table when loading up my plate. Now, meat lovers, please don’t close your browser window. I’m a liberal vegetarian, meaning not only will I NOT douse you in red paint if you are wearing fur, but I also won’t begrudge you your right to eat meat as a part of your meal. And since I am legally bound to a ravenous carnivore I don’t even go so far as to refuse to prepare meat. I do it. Gaggingly.

So of course, I didn’t step down from the task of preparing a turkey for my non-American husband on the American holiday of Thanksgiving when we don’t live in America. There were certain conditions. 1) I will NOT be sticking my hand inside the carcass and retrieving anything call ‘giblets’ or ‘innards.’ 2) I will NOT be repeatedly risking 3rd degree burns to ‘baste’ the carcass with buttery carcass juices. 3) I won’t risk nicking an artery (I have, in the past, managed to cut myself severely while grating cheese) to carve up the dead animal. Essentially, I agree to prepare the stuffing and the glaze, while leaving most turkey duties in the hands of David.

Our first turkey went over quite well. It was roasted, sliced up, then eaten voraciously by our guests. But this didn’t absolve me of my guilt. Because as I cleaned up the kitchen the framework of a once living turkey stared at me. I did my best to avoid it’s steely glare. I showed it my plate, how I had eaten none of it’s parts, told it about how I had never wanted it in our house in the first place. The turkey body, predictably, stayed silent. Eerily silent as it judged my laissez-faire vegetarianism. I think next year I might substitute a Tofurky.

All guilt and gluttony aside, our Thanksgiving was a success. Thanks to the miracles of our one English channel (ironically, the North American Sports Network) we were able to watch the Green Bay vs. Detroit game live while we dined. Dave and I were an incredibly dynamic duo as we cooked and baked our way to a delicious meal. Sure, the gravy was lumpy, but we avoided a catastrophe to the scale of the Great Ham Debacle of Christmas 2004. The company was lovely, and the break in our normal Thursday night routine (which is alarmingly similar to our Friday-Wednesday night routines) was welcome.

Dave, sporting a kitty-themed apron, peels potatoes topless.

Lane, cheerful as ever, stirs things.

The feast. Start with wine, work your way onward.

*photo thanks to: Ginger Me

2 thoughts on “Turkey Remorse

  1. Very funny post Lane – love it. Though I’m not vegetarian – I will only wear the hide of something I eat regularly – so wool and leather are fine, but as I don’t eat rabbit frequently, I would never wear a fur coat (ditto on the mink). I come from a rural background where you use the entire animal – so I can’t stand the thought of taking an animal’s life only for it’s coat. And rabbits and kangaroos are pests so we have to cull them (the latter kills people too!). Sounds like you had a great day! Thanks for the post!Suze x

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