A turkey-hater’s Thanksgiving struggle

by Cami Buckman, Staff Writer

‘Tis the season for family feasting and overeating. While we all prepare to stretch our stomachs for many activities that Thanksgiving entails, I can’t help but loathe the pilgrims and their choice of food.

To the pilgrims of our country’s first Thanksgiving, out of all the birds frolicking around in your Plymouth Rock fields, why did you decide turkey would be the best meat to feast on? I’m sure you pilgrims had some lovely chickens, piggies and cows to prepare for your feast, so why did you settle with the turkey? Thanks to you, I’m forced to pretend that for one day out of the year, I’m excited to eat turkey.

If you couldn’t tell, I am not a fan of the gobbling bird.

Look, I understand the pilgrims’ options were limited in 1621, but I expected more from a group of people that fled English persecution and created a nation.

In their defense, however, I do admit our settlers really nailed it on the side dishes. Buttery mashed potatoes, creamy corn on the cob and sweet pumpkin pie tie an American Thanksgiving together. The only thing that could possibly ruin America’s annual feast is a bland, dry and tasteless turkey. Way to go, pilgrims.

We all know that the only thing makes turkey tolerable is the gravy. Anything can be delicious when you drown it in pools of gravy, right? Gravy is like the glue on a kindergartner’s art project: It holds the turkey together.

However, imagine if the pilgrims had chosen a different dish. Picture both pilgrims and Native Americans alike, sitting side by side on a long table, with plates of mashed potatoes, stuffing, green beans and corn being passed around. However, this time, barbecue sauce is smothered along everyone’s faces and hands from the joy of eating barbecue ribs. Doesn’t that sound like an enjoyable holiday?

Imagine how lovely it would be to see plates full of fried chicken being passed down from the eldest grandfather to the youngest grandchild during a family gathering. Imagine a Thanksgiving where a sizzling, juicy sirloin steak is the central component of every dinner in the United States of America. Gobble, gobble, goodbye, turkey and hello, pork chops.

I appreciate the efforts of our early settlers to create a tradition that prides itself on camaraderie and gratitude. However, what I don’t appreciate is the fact that the central component of a Thanksgiving feast is a less than mediocre bird.

Yes, I very much enjoy turkey meat on a sandwich. And yes, I am absolutely thrilled to eat a turkey leg at the county fair, but there’s just something about Thanksgiving turkey that really grinds my gears. Maybe I just haven’t experienced what a properly prepared turkey tastes like, or maybe I’m just the only American who’s not in denial about our feathered friends (I’ll choose the latter option).

So this Thanksgiving, when my plate is piled high with wonderful side dishes, I might consider skipping the turkey. Instead, give me a pulled pork sandwich, and I’ll be happy.

Happy Thanksgiving!