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November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving
Posted by Jim Macdonald at 10:38 AM * 42 comments

Q. Why do turkeys go “gobble gobble”?
A. Because they have terrible table manners.

Q, What’s big and green and goes “gobble gobble”?
A. Turkeysaurus Rex

Q. What’s inside a genie’s turkey?
A. Three wishbones.

Q. How many cranberries grow on a bush?
A. All of them.

Q. Why did the turkey cross the road?
A. The chicken gets major holidays off.

Q. What happened when the turkey got into a fight?
A. He got the stuffing knocked out of him.

Q. What does Godzilla eat on Thanksgiving?
A. Squash.

Q. What do mathematicians do on Thanksgiving?
A. Count their blessings.

Q. What always comes at the end of Thanksgiving?
A. The letter G.

Comments on Happy Thanksgiving:
#1 ::: Julie ::: (view all by) ::: November 24, 2011, 10:46 AM:

And a Happy Thanksgiving to you, too!

#2 ::: Xopher HalfTongue ::: (view all by) ::: November 24, 2011, 10:55 AM:

My joke in high school was that German turkeys say "Fork! Fork! Fork!"

This year, I'm grateful for my friends. I have the best friends in the world.

I'm also grateful for being alive, considering that I got cancer. This is not unconnected to my having the best friends in the world.

#3 ::: Melissa Singer ::: (view all by) ::: November 24, 2011, 11:24 AM:

My 15.5-yo daughter has just told me that if I tell any of these jokes at Thanksgiving, she will disown me.

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone who is celebrating. Warm thoughts and best wishes to all.

#4 ::: James V ::: (view all by) ::: November 24, 2011, 11:36 AM:

The bulk of my nieces are at the right age to appreciate these jokes. Committing them to memory now. Thanks!

#6 ::: Paul A. ::: (view all by) ::: November 24, 2011, 11:49 AM:

It's a little-known fact that although vampires are immortal, their teeth aren't. Dracula and his fellow ancients are actually the possessors of handcrafted dentures made by certain specialist craftsmen, who traditionally deliver the finished product on a particular day in November: Fangs Giving Day.

#7 ::: Lizzy L ::: (view all by) ::: November 24, 2011, 11:50 AM:

I give thanks today for so much! I am grateful for family and friends, for the incredible abundance of life, and for the love I receive each and every day.

Whether and however you celebrate, may you have a joy-filled day.

#8 ::: beth meacham ::: (view all by) ::: November 24, 2011, 01:07 PM:

Happy Thanksgiving Day!

I have to confess that we laughed and laughed at 'Squash'.

#9 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: November 24, 2011, 01:13 PM:

is it just my memory, or is the newspaper being bigger than Sunday's average on Thanksgiving something that happened long ago? (But no color comics, sniff!)

#10 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: November 24, 2011, 01:15 PM:

I actually woke up with two riddles of the quality of these (though only one can be made Thanksgiving related) in my head.

What caused the zombie apocalypse?
Amoebic disinterring.

Where do sheep go for (Thanksgiving) vacation?
Baaa-aa California.

#11 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: November 24, 2011, 01:29 PM:

Just finished my B-day card for my youngest niece (front: photo of an agouti from our Costa Rica vacation; sketch: A mountain from the same vacation (drawn from photo). Almost time to do the cornbread....

#12 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: November 24, 2011, 01:33 PM:

Thankful to be with the west coast branch of the family for Thanksgiving.

Not thankful for plane trip induced back trouble. Off for a stretchy walk.

#13 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: November 24, 2011, 02:47 PM:

MMMMmmmm, TurDunkin!

#14 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: November 24, 2011, 02:50 PM:

I am thankful that, despite my protestations that last year's surprise Thanksgiving dinner, while wonderful, was not a requirement for every year, seeing as how we both work on the day, Martin made another wonderful Thanksgiving dinner.

And it took just that little bit longer (despite getting the chicken pre-cooked from the village poulterer) that when I left the office late, grumpy and weary, I arrived home just as it was ready.

Chicken, sausage meat wrapped in bacon, stuffing, roast winter vegetables, green beans wrapped in bacon, mashed potatoes, corn, and cranberry sauce. I'm not feeling nearly as homesick as I was this morning.

Which means that I've more emotional energy to tell you all here on Making Light how thankful I am for your presence in my life.

#15 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: November 24, 2011, 03:16 PM:

And for me, the big thanks is as always for my family. Without their support, there's no way I'd still be alive, let alone in a position to hang out here....

#16 ::: Syd ::: (view all by) ::: November 24, 2011, 03:28 PM:

Big, BIG thanks for all my friends, both the two-footed and the four-footed, the in-person and the online. I hope all who celebrate it have a wonderful day--and those who don't, you have a wonderful day as well! After all, it's still one day closer to the weekend. :)

#17 ::: eric ::: (view all by) ::: November 24, 2011, 03:45 PM:

This year's turkey is closer to a Uniform spherical turkey than I can remember doing before. I'm assuming that it'll take extra time over the thin heirloom ones I've been doing lately.

#18 ::: Jim Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: November 24, 2011, 04:48 PM:

For those in need of Holiday Horror, I give you the Cherpumple and the Stuffpuppy.

#19 ::: Janet Brennan Croft ::: (view all by) ::: November 24, 2011, 05:34 PM:

Getting down to the last minutes here, where I try to find time to change the shirt I've been cooking in all day before my guests arrive and remember all the relishes I was planning to put out. I'm grateful that I didn't slice a huge chunk out of my finger and have to drive to urgent care holding it above my head like last year. I'm grateful I finally bought some GOOD knives after that little incident. And I'm grateful, as goes without saying but shouldn't, for the community here.

#20 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: November 24, 2011, 06:13 PM:

Jim @ #18, the Stuffpuppy isn't completely outlandish to my sensibilities, but the Cherpumple? Good grief.

#21 ::: Paula Helm Murray ::: (view all by) ::: November 24, 2011, 08:39 PM:

Happy Thanksgiving to all.

Going to remind myself in my LJ that anytime I need to cut things at my mom's house, I have to bring my own knives. All of hers are crap but I'm afraid to buy her a new, sharp one because she's used to what she has and she IS 86. (bought her a new can-opener a couple years ago, one of those that cuts the seam on the lid). At least it gives me something to use when I need to open cans.

#22 ::: Melissa Mead ::: (view all by) ::: November 24, 2011, 09:22 PM:

Happy Thanksgiving!

I'm thankful for a great meal with my husband, family and friends, and enough leftovers for several days.

#23 ::: Lila ::: (view all by) ::: November 24, 2011, 10:03 PM:

Happy Thanksgiving, all, and I hope your day went well. I had all 3 daughters home, all the food turned out well, and the dogs neither got into any holiday-excitement fights nor had any digestive difficulties. (Well, unless you count my Aussie mix being startled out of a nap by her own fart, but we found that rather entertaining, though she didn't.)

#24 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: November 25, 2011, 12:17 AM:

Xopher HalfTongue @2: I'm also grateful for being alive

I'm grateful you're alive, too! In point of fact, I'm grateful for everybody here. I'm grateful for my piggles. (As we speak, Donkey is patrolling the girl's fence saying "Dkl dkl dkl dkl!"

#25 ::: B. Durbin ::: (view all by) ::: November 25, 2011, 11:17 PM:

Pamela Helm Murray: A number of years back, I got my MiL a nice new knife in response to the horror that was her knife drawer. (I tried to hone them, really I did.) She appreciated it mightily. Even if she does still send it through the dishwasher. (At least I anticipated that and gave her one WITHOUT a wooden handle!)

#26 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: November 26, 2011, 01:17 AM:

B. Durbin @25: hone

THANK you. This has become one of my recent twitches. I still have holes in my tongue from the conversation with my boss wherein she allowed as how we needed to "hone in on a solution."


#27 ::: Erik Nelson ::: (view all by) ::: November 26, 2011, 05:30 PM:

Tom Whitmore at #9:
I have had jobs at two newspapers. In both of them I was hired in the fall and let go in January.

There is a seasonal pre-Christmas increase in ad traffic, and a corresponding decrease after Christmas, and also tends to be a slump in August.

#28 ::: Laura Runkle ::: (view all by) ::: November 27, 2011, 02:39 PM:

Our daughter's answer to "What do mathematicians do on Thanksgiving?" "Divide Pi!"

#29 ::: joann ::: (view all by) ::: November 28, 2011, 11:24 AM:

Turns out the annual Thanksgiving experience can be improved enormously by two things, one deliberate, one fortuitous. We bought the dinner at a well-known sort-of-local grocery for heating up at mum's house, which saved us from the entirely tasteless and textureless experience of last year. And the abrasive housemate, the sort who hogs conversations and attempts to Explain It All to subject matter experts, was somewhere else, which put everyone else at ease and on their best behavior.

#30 ::: Rob Hansen ::: (view all by) ::: November 29, 2011, 12:22 PM:

Avedon being American we have a turkey at Thanksgiving, of course. Me being British we also have one at Xmas. Just as well we really like turkey, then. One problem I've never found a solution to is that when the body is cooked just right the legs are inevitably overcooked.

#31 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: November 29, 2011, 05:04 PM:

Rob Hansen @ #30: one supposed remedy is to cook the bird breast-side down, flipping it over for the last 30-40 minutes. That keeps the breast juicy but has the legs further above the heat source and thus cooking more slowly.

I haven't tried this but it seems to have some logic to it.

#32 ::: Michael I ::: (view all by) ::: November 29, 2011, 07:36 PM:

Rob Hansen@30

A suggestion from America's Test Kitchen is to place bags of ice (two 1-gallon zip lock, each half-full) beneath the turkey breast and inside the main cavity and the neck cavity (two 1-quart zip lock, each 1/3rd full) for one hour before doing the final prep of the turkey.

(Make sure that the ice does NOT touch the thighs or legs of the turkey.)

The idea is that the breast will be cooler than the leg area when the turkey enters the oven.

#33 ::: Syd ::: (view all by) ::: November 29, 2011, 08:10 PM:

Michael I @ 32 beat me to it. But I wouldn't have remembered the amounts of ice or time to leave it in place.

#34 ::: Jim Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: November 29, 2011, 11:00 PM:

Our deep-fried turkey.

It was delicious.

Injected marinade of 6T Tabasco sauce in 1 cup of chicken broth. Dry rub of kosher salt, chili powder, cinnamon, and brown sugar.

#35 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: November 30, 2011, 12:44 AM:

Michael I @32 -- but wouldn't that slow down the cooking of the breast meat, which is precisely the opposite of what Rob is complaining about? He's commenting that the legs are done before the breasts, not after. What you recommend would make the problem worse!

#36 ::: Rob Hansen ::: (view all by) ::: November 30, 2011, 12:53 AM:

@30: That seems backward to me. Surely it should be the legs you want to start off cooler? If the time it takes to cook the breast is too long for the legs then you need to make it so the legs take longer to cook.

#37 ::: Michael I ::: (view all by) ::: November 30, 2011, 07:22 AM:

Rob Hansen@36

Possibly America's Test Kitchen has a different idea of "done" so that under their definition the breast would ordinarily be done before the legs.

#38 ::: lorax ::: (view all by) ::: November 30, 2011, 09:08 AM:

Rob may be complaining about the legs being done first, but he's the first person I've ever seen complaining about that problem; most people, including myself, finds that the breast is done first, which is why every place you look will tell you to put the meat thermometer in the thigh, which is the last part to finish cooking, and provide a variety of suggestions for preventing the breast from drying out. (The nice people who sold me my pastured turkey this year mentioned one of the standards, the "cover the breast with foil after it's browned" option, and added that bacon works just as well as foil for this trick. It worked very well for me, with the additional benefit of tasty bacon to nibble while the turkey was resting after being removed from the oven.) So it's probably hard to find suggestions for the problem going the other way, since it's uncommon in the extreme. (That, or maybe he's including "thighs" with "body" and limiting "legs" to the drumsticks?)

#39 ::: Jim Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: November 30, 2011, 09:58 AM:

My old family recipe (before we started deep-frying the turkeys) included covering the breast with a coating made of flour and butter, seasoned with pepper, that turned into a crust.

#40 ::: Debbie ::: (view all by) ::: November 30, 2011, 02:58 PM:

This video offers a no-nonsense and pretty informative approach to turkeys, with the battle cry, "Just put the f*cking turkey in the oven!"

#41 ::: Cadbury Moose ::: (view all by) ::: November 30, 2011, 03:52 PM:

Lorax@ #38

...with the additional benefit of tasty bacon to nibble while the turkey was resting

It's not resting, it's dead.

Or did you nail it to the roasting tin?

(Why are you all looking at me like that? Someone had to say it.)

#42 ::: Cally Soukup ::: (view all by) ::: November 30, 2011, 04:12 PM:

Rob @30

On a Thanksgiving program on the Food Network this year, Alton Brown recommended spatchcocking the turkey, which sounds really dirty, but really just means "flattened". You use a good pair of kitchen shears, and cut the backbone out of the bird (both sides of the backbone), and then push "firmly" on the breast to break the breastbone and/or ribs and flatten it out.

The bird should cook in less time, and more evenly, as it's now closer to the same thickness everywhere. I wish the segment he did on spatchcocking the turkey was on the Food Network website, but it's not, so instead here's another LINK.

Brown also said that if your turkey comes with those little pop-up thermometers, don't trust them; they only pop up when the bird is overdone.

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