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Talking Turkey: Timing Is Everything

The first great decision to make when contemplating the Thanksgiving turkey is when to eat the darn thing. Do you plan for a late lunch, at around 2 or 3 p.m.? Or do you go for an early dinner, say 5 o'clock? Or do you do something else entirely?

Your answer can depend on a lot of factors, including the size of your bird, the complexity of your menu and when various guests are scheduled to arrive. There are other considerations as well. I was speaking to a friend the other day whose mother suggested that their relative-heavy Thanksgiving meal start at 2. "Are you kidding?" my friend said. "I need more drinking time before dinner." Anticipating the sort of snarling and sniping that can only come from cousins and in-laws in close proximity to one another, she wanted more time for self-lubrication.

Our bird is going in the oven any minute now--around noon. We're anticipating a four-hour cook time and dinner around 4:30 or 5. That's a somewhat problematical time--how do you handle lunch?--but, for the first time in a long time, it's only the four of us this year. Last year we were in England and celebrated with some English friends. The organic, free-range turkey that my wife cooked set us back 45 pounds. At the rate of exchange back then it was $90. For a turkey.

Anyway, when ours is out of the oven I'll post a photo here. And I invite you to do the same. Snap a digital picture and e-mail it, along with your name, where you live, and a sentence or two about your meal and your day, to Happy Thanksgiving!

By John Kelly  |  November 27, 2008; 1:01 AM ET
 | Tags: Thanksgiving, turkeys  
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