Saturday, 4 December 2010

Why, in my house, turkey isn't quite so boo-ti-ful

I warn you, this post may just cause some debate, even, dare I say, controversy.

You see, I grew up in the late 80s and early 90s, you know, the time as a kid when even the adverts are  important in your televisual schedule of delights (yes, we're talking before on demand TV stations purely for kids).

One ad that sticks in mind was for Bernard Matthews, and his Boo-ti-ful (ahem) turkeys, which would be on almost constantly from November onwards, and would, for me, signal the start of Christmas more than the Cola ones.

But turkey.

Every year my Mum would carry, near on her shoulder, a great beast of a bird from the local butchers (I'm not sure if its fact or a childhood imagining but I swear that our old brown cord pram was wheeled out to carry the turkey home on occassions). It would still have feathers in places.

But my Dad would cook it, and we would eat the thing, first for the mian event of Christmas lunch, then for sandwiches on Boxing day, then as a, well, anything my Dad could conjure up- stews, with chips, and as he got a bit more adventurous when I reached my teens, as a rissotto.

So, when I left home, I too dutifully bought a turkey (mine was in a box. From Iceland. Cooked from frozen). We would either eat on Boxing Day if I was going home, or later with 15 friends at our house (then it was a big bird), cooked not by me, but by Elder. I did the stuffing, but backed away from any giblet removals.

But, every year, after a glass (or 5) of white wine, I have said that, actually I think turkey is bloody awful. I actually wonder if the advertisers, knowing that we all know that turkey is not nearly as nice as chicken, pork or beef, decide to really push turkey as The Christmas Meat of choice. Its almost law to buy the things.

But you go to your supermarket come the end of January onwards and there is always an abundance of turkey. Whenever I have left Sunday roast shops to the eleventh hour, having found that the supermarkets have sold out of every other meat for roasting, there is always, without fail, a turkey, looking forlorn, just begging you to roast it to its dry conclusion.

This year, and I am actually better at cooking. I even like cooking. Shocking!

And this year, I have offered to cook.

But I have said that I will not be buying a turkey. Not at all.

Instead I am cooking chicken with a herb butter pushed under the skin, a nice piece of beef, and am making Meatloaf (stolen from Nigella).

The veg and roasties, as well as the stuffing will be in attendence, but alas, I will not be troubling the aisles for a turkey.


This year, I will not guzzle lots of wine to mask the revolting taste, I will enjoy my Christmas Fayre, with all the foodie love and appreciation of those who know it is not law to only buy a turkey.

At least I really hope its not, or I'm for it.

Turkey anyone?

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