If you want your turkey to look like it just got off the beach like in this picture, just cut out the suit in aluminum foil and pin it to the bird before cooking. (SUBMITTED)
Pumpkin pie. Turkey. No other two foods can make a holiday more recognizable that those two foods. Turkey and pumpkin pie mean Thanksgiving, of course this weekend. But the holiday is so much more than just food. It’s family, friends and tradition. One such tradition is carving the turkey. Not sure why its called carving, since really its more like "cutting up", "butchering" or "dis-assembling" the turkey. And while we live in an equal opportunity society, when it comes to the tradition of meat and anything connected to meat (as in cutting or grilling) I’m sorry but this is the job for the man of the house. Mr. Joe Pilgrim the knife belongs to you and shouldn’t be placed in anyone else’s hand. And here’s why: Carving the meat asserts you as the head of the house.
It’s your house. It’s your meat. Carving the meat satisfies your mental caveman.
Do you really think the Neanderthal handed off the knife to Mrs. Neanderthal to carve the sabre-toothed cat? No he did not. So gentlemen let’s all let out a big "Tim the Tool Man" grunt or two, grab the confusing knife sharpener rock thing or the electric blade thingy that has moving blades, or just grab something sharp from your commemorative Dancing with the Stars cutlery collection and act like a man. (or just shock everyone and rip it apart with your bear hands screaming "I can’t take it anymore." While not good for laughs, it is good for a quiet meal, with lots of whispering and little controversy.)
This year the party is at our house in Brandon. But I hate to admit one of my favourite Thanksgiving memories was at my wife’s farm. And it wasn’t the memories of food or friends or family (although those are always nice). It was the shotguns.
As the meal was being readied, the men of the house would jump into pickup trucks with guns, and shells and the clay pigeon holder and clay pigeons (breakable hockey pucks tossed into the air so you could shoot them) and off to an open field we would go to play Duck Dynasty. And that’s just how it was. I liked it because I don’t own a gun and I don’t hunt, so it was the once a year I could feel the power and release of that hot steel and kickback of the … ok … wait a second. Gotta get back on track here.
Well, you get the picture. For some people, a weird activity can quickly develop into an endearing tradition. I’m not sure my neighbours in the south end would like if we fired some shotguns Sunday from my back porch. But if I blare some banjo music for the neighbourhood to hear, while the shotgun blasts and laughing are heard down the street, I can foresee some late fall houses for sale.
A recent online survey revealed some unusual Thanksgiving traditions that families have, including a paintball tournament, writing out thank you notes to everybody gathered at dinner, a contest to see who can get a spoon to balance on their nose the longest, a post-Thanksgiving leftover party, a Thanksgiving campfire, and the one I like best: Thanks-mas. This year is the first time in history many families will blend Thanksgiving and Christmas, however because of the special nature of the holiday, gifts are only given to the people hosting the party. Get it? Gifts for people hosting only. I take an XL, or XXL if its not pre-shrunk.
Here’s what a few Facebook friends will do this weekend:
• Jessica Stoddart: We ate the whole dinner using cooking utensils once when we were younger. Try eating anything with a whisk. It doesn’t happen!
• Kelsey J Taylor: My family always goes to the cabin and at midnight we jump in the lake!
• Tanis Turner: When we were young kids and our gatherings were huge (20-30 members!) We used to have a post-meal flag football game.
• April Downs: Family football game as kids we played tackle football in the yard while the mums were cooking. Now they play their little gadgets.
• Blair Emily Robertson: Rumoli game! So much fun. As a kid I played with family all the time and I think we even won once!
• Robbi-Lynn Sime: The whole family goes quadding before supper it’s a great time.
So whether your family chooses Rumoli, pictures after the meal, toss the football, or break the trampoline, I prefer my Grandfather’s tradition of opening the top button of my pants and putting on the TV. And if you don’t like football, maybe you can watch a Thanksgiving movie. Yup. You thought Christmas, and Halloween and summer were the only seasons for themed movies.
Check these out. Here’s my favourite Thanksgiving movies of all time.
Here’s my top 5:
5. A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving — The gold standard of Thanksgiving movies. It actually won an Emmy in 1973. This year this turkey (meaning me) was born.
4. Home for the Holidays — Features a great cast of Robert Downey Jr., Dylan McDermott, Holly Hunter and Anne Bancroft.
3. Son-in-Law — If you’re not a Pauly Shore fan, this one might not be for you. Pauly Shore played The 40 in Brandon last year and people are just starting to return to normal.
2. The Blind Side — Sandra Bullock’s Oscar-winning performance in The Blind Side made it one of 2009’s most viewed box office movies. I cry every time. Thanksgiving, football and the under dog. Gotta love it.
1. Planes, Trains and Automobiles — A classic 1980s comedy that hits the right mood for a family Thanksgiving. John Candy and Steve Martin. "Where are your hands? Between two pillows. THOSE AREN’T PILLOWS!"
JOKE THIS WEEK
Bob and Martha have been married for 35 years. Every morning for 35 years, Bob wakes up, farts loudly, rolls over onto his back and gets up for work.
Every morning for 35 years, Martha says, "One of these days, you’re gonna fart your guts out!" One Thanksgiving morning, Martha’s preparing the turkey and gets an idea. Before her husband gets up, she creeps upstairs and places the turkey innards in his pajama bottoms, giggling to herself. Well, later that morning, Bob wakes up and goes through his morning ritual. He screams as he goes running into the bathroom. Martha laughs, but is concerned after noticing that Bob has been in the bathroom for three hours.
She runs upstairs, and is about to knock on the door, when Bob opens up, pale as a ghost.
He says, "You were right. You were right. I did fart my guts out, but by the grace of God and these two fingers I got them back in again."
Betty J. Cochrane
» Tyler Glen is a radio DJ on Star-FM. He writes a weekly column for the Brandon Sun.
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition October 12, 2013