Today we celebrated our proper Thanksgiving dinner. I have to say, of all the years we’ve done it here, this was the best. It just went so smoothly, everything turned out perfectly. Even the things that could have been a disaster went by miraculously well.
The first step: The Turkey
As I’ve mentioned, in Slovenia you have to order a turkey from a farmer. They will then butcher a turkey for you. If you’ve never been around an actual live turkey, let me tell you, they are massive. In America you have the option of choosing how many pounds you want your bird. Here, they just hand it to you. It was MASSIVE. 11 kilos. That’s 25 pounds. What upsets me most is that no photo did it justice. It took two men just to get it out of the bag and into the pan. I had to chop away the ends to get it to fit in the pan, which was the size of the oven. The bird took up the entire oven. We got it into the oven at 11:00am and I was pretty worried thinking it wouldn’t be done for 4-5 hours. Remember how I said “miraculous”? Well, for whatever reason, at 2:30 I thought, “I’ll just check the internal temperature. What the heck, why not?” And it read done! We got it out of the oven and, lo and behold, it was done! I was seriously happy. Is there anything worse than a dried out turkey on Thanksgiving? So, we let that lovely beast rest for more than an hour while we finished up the rest of the food.
Once I started cutting into the turkey I realized I needed a photo of this thing. However, no photo did it any justice. I was rather upset. So here’s me, holding a turkey drumstick, with the banana in the background for scale. It was the best we could do.
We had enough meat that we could have fed 3 other families. The good thing is that we all meal prep anyway so leftovers are saving us work for the rest of the week. And there are no better leftovers than Thanksgiving Day leftovers. Over and over I said throughout the process of preparing this turkey and cleaning it afterwards, “I cannot believe how much meat is here! I cannot believe how much meat came from this one bird!” It really was staggering. And I have to say, I was grateful to that bird. I’m not a vegan, nor a vegetarian, but I truly value animals and I am grateful to every one of them that dies so I can be fed. I never cared about it growing up. I never thought about it. Animals were food, that’s just how I thought. But in recent years, I’ve come to a different point of view. Animals are wonderful creatures and I’m very grateful to them and for them. Wasting an animal’s death by wasting meat is a horrible thing to do. I made a few changes to my life in this regard: I get my meat from local farmers who treat their livestock well; I don’t eat excessive amounts of meat; I don’t let meat go to waste. They were changes that took a little extra effort, perhaps more effort initially, but in the long run, I believe they are a friendlier, more caring way to live. Someone once said to me, “I just don’t care enough to make the effort.” And that was the statement that made me decide to make the effort. Why not make the effort? Why not be grateful to that animal who had to die for me to enjoy this food? Why not care about animals and if they have a good life? Why not care if they are treated well? Why not care? Why not?
So, thank you, Turkey.