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Matt Yglesias is an ignorant, lazy snob.

I don't care if he likes turkey or not (it's a free country) but this little screed really annoys me. He accuses turkey of being bland and flavorless, which tells me volumes about his inability to cook, and makes a ridiculous analogy to greenhouse tomatoes, which are to Thanksgiving turkeys as fish are to bicycles. He also completely avoids the inconvenient truths (see what I did there?) that turkey is insanely cheap at this and most other times of the year*, it is traditional, and some of the side dishes he so likes are pretty sucky and worthless without that turkey to provide tasty nummy stock. Oh, sure, you could buy Stove Top stuffing and cook it up in a pan on the side, lots of folks do, but it's not the same as stuffing made from dry bread, onions, celery and whatever seasonings you think go with those, and stuffed up the bird's ass. Try doing that with a ham. Go ahead. I'll wait here. Show all your work, please. As for gravy, again, one could buy it in a jar, heat it on the stove, and dump it in the appropriate tureen while your fellow diners try to repress images of motor oil or less mentionable fluids. This would, however, be Wrong. And while we may not be professionals, we can at least make the attempt to do it Right, and doing it right involves turkey fluids and a neck simmering in the aforementioned fluids. Who cares if it's a little lumpy? It was Made With Love. Use butter if you don't like the gravy. You know, I can easily imagine this poser munching grimly on an "artisanal baguette from Safeway" instead of a turkey at Thanksgiving, and it just confirms my belief that this country is going to hell in a handbasket because of elitist jackasses like this. (Ed Cone via Instapundit)

As for my turkey, I haven't lost my chops after a couple of years off from roasting birds. Drumstick was a little dry at the end, but that's hard to avoid without wrapping the whole thing in foil**, and all other parts sampled were tasty, tender and moist. Not bad for a no-name $0.49/pound frozen turkey. I sliced off most of the breast meat, the remaining leg and wing, and filled two freezer bags with those; the carcass is going into the pot tomorrow to get boiled down and reduced to turkey gruel.


*but especially in November when every grocery store from Key West to Deadhorse is flogging the birds as loss leaders.
I already wish I'd bought two.

**Don't talk to me about cooking bags. Those have their place, but that place is not on my turkey. We don't cook these things just for the meat, you know.

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( 12 comments — Leave a comment )
materia_indigo
Nov. 29th, 2008 07:22 am (UTC)
Turkey is NOT bland and flavorless when cooked properly. M makes absolutely wonderful turkey. He brines it, and he uses a digital meat thermometer so as not to overcook it.

I recommend this person start checking out Alton Brown if he needs to learn how to successfully prepare turkey.
wombat_socho
Nov. 29th, 2008 09:20 am (UTC)
"Turkey is NOT bland and flavorless when cooked properly."

Agreed - and it doesn't even take that much effort. We're not talking duck or goose here; aside from the sheer bulk of most turkey, it's actually pretty easy to cook. There's a reason that there's 57,286,903 other meat products made out of the stuff. Mmm, turkey bacon. :)
chebutykin
Nov. 29th, 2008 07:33 am (UTC)
Personally, I call poultry in general bland and flavorless, regardless of how it's cooked. I'll eat birds when they're minor components in something larger (i.e., gumbo, chili, etc.), but usually I just avoid them.

There are several genes in the human genome that code for different ways of tasting food. Some people love cilantro, some think it tastes exactly like soap. It's not a "personal taste" thing, but a complete difference in the way taste buds receive certain chemicals, and the way the brain interprets the signals. I wouldn't be surprised if there's a similar trigger for being able to taste poultry meats in a certain way.

Anyway, I suppose that just means more turkey for you. *grin*
wombat_socho
Nov. 29th, 2008 09:17 am (UTC)
Well, nobody's going to confuse chicken and turkey with pork and beef, that's for sure, whether they have the "correct" wiring or not. Still, without too much effort you can do things with roast fowl that make it taste like something more than Generic Protein Component.

As an aside, after years of being served roast chicken, I can't eat the stuff any more. Fried, sure; as part of soup, definitely. Roast chicken is right out, though.
therevdrnye
Nov. 29th, 2008 07:28 pm (UTC)
"...Those have their place, but that place is not on my turkey. We don't cook these things just for the meat, you know."

Yes, we've been trying ti exterminate these stupid bastards for ages the old fashioned way - by eating them!

wombat_socho
Nov. 29th, 2008 09:52 pm (UTC)
I'm told that wild turkeys are actually hella smarter than their retarded, mass-produced domesticated cousins, and taste considerably different to boot. I'd like to test that one of these days.
therevdrnye
Nov. 30th, 2008 03:43 pm (UTC)
Wild Turkey? You can't have any of that, you're diabetic!

wombat_socho
Nov. 30th, 2008 04:15 pm (UTC)
Birds not bottles O.K.!
therevdrnye
Dec. 1st, 2008 06:23 pm (UTC)
Oooooohhh... wild turkey*s*...

Never mind.


(Good night, Emily Latella, wherever you are...)

wombat_socho
Dec. 1st, 2008 11:10 pm (UTC)
You should know better. With the unfortunate exception of the first two Goonmeets I attended, I've been dry since I arrived.
nornagest
Nov. 29th, 2008 10:29 pm (UTC)
I couldn't possibly comment on greenhouse tomatoes, but turkey -- at least the factory-farmed supermarket kind -- is probably my least favorite meat. I'll eat it anyway at Thanksgiving (it's Tradition) and I'd be willing to try wild turkey if the opportunity arose, but I try to avoid it otherwise.

Except on club sandwiches. Those are tasty.
wombat_socho
Nov. 30th, 2008 01:03 am (UTC)
Turkey + bacon = WIN.

I sometimes think of turkey as the protein equivalent of rice. Not much flavor of its own, but it's an excellent carrier and complement for whatever spice or flavoring you add to it. That having been said, maybe throwing the two ramen cups into the Post-Thanksgiving Turkey Mulligan WTF Gruel was a mistake.
( 12 comments — Leave a comment )

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