"POV Contest Entry" Let's Talk Modern Turkey

January 11, 2010
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With the approaching holiday known for mass turkey consumption, do we dare consider an alternative to Jefferson’s proposed national bird? In my estimation, it is time to begin a new tradition of modern festivities. Do we need to gobble down a gobbler to feel warm inside?

Thanksgiving gives us a brief whiff of the Christmas break to come within one month’s time, and it offers the quaint tradition of gathering with loved ones to rejoice the community meal shared between the Native Americans and surviving Pilgrims. And, as always, families will venture out to their local grocery store to purchase that Butterball beast.
Deep fried turkey is a modern take on the repetitive stuffed creature splayed on the silver platter, but why turkey at all? How many of you eat turkey any other time of the year? There’s a reason for that. Turkeys require massive preparation, thawing, stuffing, and basting during the hours of baking. Not to mention the carving fiascos and distant relatives who invade your home and steal your bed.
Feasting on the last Thursday in November was formally declared a national holiday for giving thanks by President Lincoln in 1863, shortly after the Gettysburg Address. Lincoln saw the possibility to encourage feelings of unification throughout the country, and there came about our Turkey Day.
I’m no Thanksgiving Ebenezer Scrooge, yet I wonder why we invest such an effort on a meal nearly no one looks forward to repeating for another 365 days. For adults, the time spent slaving in the kitchen is often rewarded by children refusing that twice baked vegetable medley. It can be stressful and worthy of giving thanks when it’s all done.
This year, I asked my family who enjoyed the turkey and its leftovers. Turns out, no one truly liked the main course, only the tradition. While we find comfort in normalcy, it’s high time we consider prime cutlets of ribeye steak as an option. Who said a feast could only make you satiated with boring meat?

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