Friday, October 7, 2005


So I am a bit bewildered. How did it get to be Thanksgiving? I think we must have skipped a month while I wasn't looking. So, I have a plan. Two years ago, my mom came to visit and give me the "how to prepare a turkey" lesson. We had a lovely Thanksgiving dinner, she flew home and Di and I were stuck with many remaining pounds of bird. Eventually, I started to harass all guests to the house and demand that they help eat the turkey whether they wanted to or not. This was not a good thing. Last year, Di and I had prawns provencal. Not very traditional, but we enjoyed it. However, we eat that a lot, especially since meeting the new upstairs neighbour with the prawn traps. My plan this year is a compromise: special poultry dinner but not to drag on for days- we bought a cornish game hen. :) Just right for the two of us for one meal. Plus we can have some local squash. I got a spaghetti squash. I was driving down the road and there was a sign, "Free squash"- one of the benefits of living in the middle of nowhere. [Aside: I will always remember the time that J&T asked about preparing spaghetti squash and I explained that it is nice to cut 'em in half, add some butter and SPRINKLE with brown sugar, wrap in tin foil and bake in oven. Somehow, this was an instance of broken telephone, since was ensued was a squash with the entire empty depression in the middle FILLED with brown sugar for some scary sweet squash soup! Ick! Almost as bad as the hyper-vanilla "Pleasure Dome" for a lesson on how there can be too much of a good thing.]

I must confess there is another motive for my merely semi-tradition Thanksgiving. Every day I walk to work past the WH stables. In the late summer/early fall, they raise not only horses, but turkey. Seeing these turkey, even these one living the good life of a free range bird, has made me reluctant to eat one. I was never the city girl who thought food originated at the grocery store, but I do find it different when I am acquainted with the birds most likely to show up at the local store. I mean the poor things are so colossally stupid, it seems like taking advantage of them, or eating Weirdo the local mentally deficient cat [I suppose Weirdo has a real name, but I dubbed her Weirdo and it stuck]. One day I was walking home and a large number of them had escaped through a small hole in the fence. They were milling around on the road and by the fence in a senseless manner. I tried to gently chase them back into the field and panic ensued. They ran around like the proverbial chickens with their heads chopped off, running into things (mainly the fence which would hit them at neck level and they would fall over). After a couple of minutes of this, and utterly failing to catch one (since I now know how to catch a chicken*, I thought maybe I could catch a turkey), I decided I was doing more harm than good, so I continued home and looked up the stable in the phone book and left them a message about their wayward turkeys.

I hope everyone has a lovely long weekend and that it does not RAIN. Today here it is not grey, which is a nice surprise. Enjoy your meals and I hope you don't overdose on turkey (nor let my squeamishness hinder your enjoyment- you are not likely to be acquainted with your dinners after all). Happy thanksgiving.

*footnote: Chicken catching story- 1.5 years ago I was sitting at my breakfast table looking out the window across the field. I saw something russet moving in the bushes and like a good Ontario girl I thought, 'oh, it's a fox' but Di said there are no foxes on the Island. This claim made sense because if there were foxes (apparently weaker swimmers than wolves) on the Island, we would not be beset with thousands of bunny rabbits [Rabbits are a real problem here. The yard in front of the hospital is so riddled with rabbit holes that people get injured attempting to enter the building and falling down rabbit holes]. So, I put on my glasses. Not only was it not a fox, it would consider a fox its enemy- it was a chicken! What was a chicken doing in the bushes? It was caught and talking to itself in a consternated manner. I coaxed it out of the bushes and tried to convince it... yes, I'm not kidding... to cross the road- to go to the house that sold eggs, since that stuck me as its most likely home. Di wanted to take pictures. The bird made sounds that seemed to say, "oh, I don't know about this... I don't think I'm supposed to be here..." Every time I tried to pick it up, it would flap and struggle away. Then our friend (bassist and worker on a chicken farm) rode by on his bike. Within 30 s he had the chicken by the feet, holding it upside down, crossed the road and returned it to its home. Quite the adventure for a city girl on a Saturday morn.

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