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Tue Nov 13, 2012, 08:48 PM

Thanksgiving as a competitive sport:

My Mom always tried to get the best tasting turkey she could buy for the feast; generally a fresh bird from a local farm. I have since discovered that for some cooks, the real goal is to obtain the turkey for the lowest price possible. It doesn't seem to matter what it tastes like or whether it is injected with industrial grade lubricants instead of basted with butter, if you got it for 22 cents a pound; you're a winner!

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Arrow 24 replies Author Time Post
Reply Thanksgiving as a competitive sport: (Original post)
hedgehog Nov 2012 OP
noamnety Nov 2012 #1
hedgehog Nov 2012 #5
noamnety Nov 2012 #6
hedgehog Nov 2012 #16
Retrograde Nov 2012 #2
Warpy Nov 2012 #3
cbayer Nov 2012 #4
The empressof all Nov 2012 #7
cbayer Nov 2012 #8
The empressof all Nov 2012 #10
cbayer Nov 2012 #12
The empressof all Nov 2012 #14
cbayer Nov 2012 #18
HappyMe Nov 2012 #15
cbayer Nov 2012 #17
HappyMe Nov 2012 #19
BillyJack Nov 2012 #20
cbayer Nov 2012 #22
cbayer Nov 2012 #9
The empressof all Nov 2012 #11
cbayer Nov 2012 #13
BillyJack Nov 2012 #21
grasswire Nov 2012 #23
cbayer Nov 2012 #24

Response to hedgehog (Original post)

Tue Nov 13, 2012, 09:31 PM

1. I went the cheap route this year.

I plan to get a few at this price because I can feed my own family for well under a dollar if I get a few for 20 cents a pound and jam them in my freezer.

With the money I saved on this turkey, I bought bananas, bread, jam and a gallon of milk for my classroom. One of the girls was talking today about how she loves milk so much but she's not allowed to drink it at home. She's in a foster family, they have a bridge card for food, and on that the parents can only afford milk for the little ones in the house, not the teens.

So my family will enjoy a generic turkey, we don't need anything that fancy. I'm more excited about tomorrow - I'm really looking forward to surprising this girl with a whole gallon of milk that she can help herself to.

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Response to noamnety (Reply #1)

Wed Nov 14, 2012, 12:35 PM

5. We are blessed to have people such as you teaching in our schools!

You have an excellent reason for buying generic. I was thinking more of people who seem to think the point of dinner is to put the cheapest possible meal on the table even when they have the means to do better. It seems to me to be disrespectful of the food and of Nature itself to more or less treat eating with contempt.

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Response to hedgehog (Reply #5)

Wed Nov 14, 2012, 01:15 PM

6. Well, I suck.

Last edited Wed Nov 14, 2012, 03:26 PM - Edit history (1)

I forgot the milk at home this morning! I got partway to work before I realized it.

I have mixed feelings about the competitive budgeting. Spending a lot but getting quality for it makes sense, but most people are on a tight budget. Being on a budget sucks, but if people can find a way to turn that into a game and get some satisfaction from it, that's better than just feeling sorry for yourself. And I'd certainly rather be on the end that gets satisfaction from not shelling out lots of money to corporations than be someone who is so commercialized that I am paying for nikes or other status-branding.

Some places I won't compromise, like I will make cranberry sauce instead of having it from a can, and I (normally) make yogurt instead of buying the HFCS candy version of yogurt.

And I'm gonna admit right now that I tucked my turkey receipt into my wallet along with the $8.50 I got in coupons off my next purchase to show a student. Every year now I do a graphing project based on living off a typical food stamp budget, and even though the official lesson objectives are design related, there are ulterior motives. I want them to understand how difficult it is to eat in a balanced way on that budget, and I know many of my students will be living that way and I try to show them ways to use cheap protein sources and avoid processed food and shop sales with coupons to stretch the little they have. We graph it against nutrition requirements so they are having to try to do this without resorting to bags of cheese doodles, and are buying real food.

My competitive score for my turkey trip: $21.30 paid, which included a 16lb turkey, 4 packs of napkins, two 7oz wedges of brie, 2 jars of pesto sauce, a can of olives, 2 lbs of jelly, and a couple yogurts, and got $8.50 in coupons off my next purchase. (the bread and bananas were from a second store). Since I used discounts and coupons though I was credited for $50 of the $75 I need to get another $8 coupon from the store. So - I am very OCD about shopping. But it benefits a lot of people.

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Response to noamnety (Reply #6)

Wed Nov 14, 2012, 03:08 PM

16. Clearly- you enjoy food and have excellent reasons for cutting your costs.

The people I'm thinking of do not balance quality and cost, they concentrate solely on cost. They have more money in the bank than I'll ever have, but they've never had a decent meal in their life!

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Response to hedgehog (Original post)

Tue Nov 13, 2012, 10:45 PM

2. It depends

If I'm making a smaller dinner for people who appreciate good food, I might go with an organically raised bird. If I'm hosting a potluck and know some people will bring their teenage boys who can inhale food without tasting, it's the biggest and cheapest possible. They both make decent stock, though.

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Response to hedgehog (Original post)

Tue Nov 13, 2012, 11:05 PM

3. I thought this was going to be about the competition among the men

at the table over who could jam a complete dinner down his gullet faster and be back watching football first.

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Response to hedgehog (Original post)

Wed Nov 14, 2012, 10:39 AM

4. One of my guests keeps kosher, so I have assigned him the job of bringing the turkey.

He will get it from a local kosher butcher and probably pay more than he would in a regular grocery store.

But I wonder if it will taste any different?

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Response to cbayer (Reply #4)

Wed Nov 14, 2012, 02:21 PM

7. I find Kosher turkeys are rather on the salty side

I will occasionally use them but I make sure I rinse them very well a day before cooking then let it air dry in the fridge over night.

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Response to The empressof all (Reply #7)

Wed Nov 14, 2012, 02:30 PM

8. Yes, he told me all of the turkeys at his butcher were brined.

Thanks for the advice on this. He will be arriving the day before, so I can do this. When you say air dry, do you mean uncovered?

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Response to cbayer (Reply #8)

Wed Nov 14, 2012, 02:40 PM

10. Yes..

I wash it really well...Inside and out. Then I use paper towels to dry it. Put it on a platter and stick it in the fridge uncovered overnight. Then since you can't use butter..You can make a paste out of good olive oil and herbs. Gently massage this into the bird..Under the skin as best you can without tearing it. You will get a beautiful crispy skin this way. I no longer stuff my birds but I do throw a few onions into the cavity.

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Response to The empressof all (Reply #10)

Wed Nov 14, 2012, 02:43 PM

12. OMG, I really need your advice. Forgot about the butter.

I have to make stuffing, but I think I can get some kosher chicken stock and can use margarine, right?

And I will make my usual milk based gravy, but get something else for him to use.

I have cooked for him many times and he usually guides me. But we will have many, many cooks that day. I don't want him to feel uncomfortable at all and will work with him quietly that day. He has taught me a lot (and he is one of the best cooks I know - Italian born and raised).

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Response to cbayer (Reply #12)

Wed Nov 14, 2012, 02:58 PM

14. You can use a vegetable stock in lieu of Chicken broth

Yes Margarine works well just check the label to be sure it doesn't include any dairy. I don't know how strict he is but you also should check the label of the stuffing mix or bread you use to make sure it is non dairy. You can also enrich your stuffing by including kosher turkey sausage (again check label), nuts and dried fruit. The sausage will be tough to find but maybe he can get some where he gets the bird. In a pinch you can also add ground kosher turkey instead. That little bit of meat added to the stuffing really makes it something special. Just brown it well and add it with your veg.

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Response to The empressof all (Reply #14)

Wed Nov 14, 2012, 03:50 PM

18. Vegetable broth, of course!

He's strict about the food, but not about the cookware, etc, which is ok. It's not that hard and I have grown accustomed to checking labels.

There is no kosher meat in the area where I am - none. He will be here for a few days, so I told him to pick up any other meats he might want. And he is very comfortable with just skipping some dishes. I just make a point of going over everything with him.

We work well together in this regard, and I am really pleased that he has agreed to join us. He usually goes to a dinner at the synagogue, but we are his family and we want him with us this year.

Thanks so much for your help with this. I may check back with you if I have questions.

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Response to HappyMe (Reply #15)

Wed Nov 14, 2012, 03:36 PM

17. Priceless!

As I am going to have people choose dishes that they will be responsible for, I can print this and encourage them to use some of these (or variations).

Thank you so, so much!

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Response to cbayer (Reply #17)

Wed Nov 14, 2012, 03:52 PM

19. You are welcome.

Glad to help.

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Response to cbayer (Reply #4)

Wed Nov 14, 2012, 10:24 PM

20. Every kosher turkey I've ever had is dry, dry, dry.....

My understanding is that the dryness is an unavoidable result of the koshering process with turkeys.

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Response to BillyJack (Reply #20)

Thu Nov 15, 2012, 09:52 AM

22. I think it may have to do with the brining, but I'm not sure.

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Response to hedgehog (Original post)

Wed Nov 14, 2012, 02:31 PM

9. Speaking of turkeys, how much do you figure per person?

Would a 17 pounder be ok for 15 people, or do I need to get two smaller ones?

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Response to cbayer (Reply #9)

Wed Nov 14, 2012, 02:42 PM

11. It depends....

I think that's cutting it very close. If you are planning a plethora of sides you may be able to slide with that small a bird for so many folks. The other thing to consider is that most people prefer the white meat so there will be rather small servings of that. I would get the two birds and send guests home with leftovers.

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Response to The empressof all (Reply #11)

Wed Nov 14, 2012, 02:45 PM

13. This may actually work out perfectly. I can prepare one as kosher and the other not.

I will have a house of 11 guests for a week, so leftovers are a must. Two birds it is.

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Response to cbayer (Reply #13)


Response to cbayer (Reply #9)

Thu Nov 15, 2012, 06:49 PM

23. plan a pound of bird for each person

that's the general rule. If you want lotsa leftovers, add more weight. Much of a turkey is bone!

Also, if you get two smaller birds remember that the bone to meat ratio is higher in them than it would be in one large bird.

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Response to grasswire (Reply #23)

Thu Nov 15, 2012, 06:53 PM

24. Thanks. I'm thinking 2 10 - 12 pounders, then.

Everyone coming loves their leftovers!

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