Aloha! That’s Polish for “Holy crap, it’s Tidbit Tuesday!”
Thanksgiving is on Thursday. It’s a day for us to eat all the green bean casserole and take all the naps and have all the family fights. Those things are, of course, essential to a proper Thanksgiving, but the real star of the day is our tricky friend, the turkey.
Thanksgiving without turkey is unimaginable. I mean, why do you think there’s Tofurkey and other gross I MEAN TOTALLY DELICIOUS substitutes? Because it wouldn’t be Thanksgiving without a heaping pile of bird meat. Images of Pilgrims chillin’ with Native Americans before chowing down on a shared meal of death and destruction wouldn’t be complete without our fat fowl friend.
Hate to be the bearer of bad news, but them murderous Pilgrims and unsuspecting Native Americans (omg could I be any more biased?) did not center their Thanksgiving meal on the turkey. Actually, they didn’t even start the holiday of Thanksgiving.
“Contrary to popular belief, Thanksgiving did not become a national tradition under the Massachusetts Pilgrims; nor was the turkey for a fact the piece de resistance at the famous 1621 meal” -James G. Dickinson
November Thanksgiving wasn’t widely celebrated until Abraham Lincoln decalred it a national holiday in 1863. Before that it was occasionally celebrated by New Englanders but for different reasons and never at the same time of year. Turkey wasn’t a traditional part of their Thanksgiving until 1857. From there it spread nationwide until, finally, it came to rest in our hearts and minds as the only suitable Thanksgiving main course.
And to think, if we’d followed the Pilgrims example, our main Thanksgiving course would be deer.
Ah well. Better luck next time, the turkey.
If you have any interest in reading a little more about the turkey, check out my Christmas Bird post. Yeah, yeah, I know it was for Christmas but it kinda turned into a history of the turkey instead.
Keep eating and asking, my friends.
-Davies, Karen. “Our Token of Festive Joy.” More Than a Meal: The Turkey in History, Myth, Ritual, and Reality. New York: Lantern Books, 2001. 51-4. Print.