No new turkey photos – they ran through the yard so fast yesterday I didn’t get the shot.
Might have had something to do with the blonde dog chasing them…
So, back to Turkey Day Prep, the Grocery Store Episode.
I don’t know for sure what it is about Thanksgiving that turns normal people into snarling demons, but spend a few minutes in a crowd of them in a grocery store (Or worse, an entire day) and you’ll see what I mean. I suspect it has something to do with the (self-imposed) pressure to create a perfect, Rockwellian holiday…or worrying that Uncle George will once again create a scene at the dinner table. What I do know, is that a month later, on Christmas Eve, they’re much more relaxed and happy…
So, what’s my point?
If you don’t need to be in the store on the Wednesday before, don’t go. Plan your shopping for Sunday or Monday, and only go back if you forgot something. You can pick up the bird then – yes, even a fresh* one – and store it in your fridge. Just be sure to put it in a pan. It will leak. Buying a frozen turkey that far ahead insures that it will be completely thawed in time to cook, and there’s nothing wrong with letting a thawed turkey stay in the fridge for a day or two.
I wish I had a dollar for every customer who grabbed a frozen bird on Wednesday afternoon and said, “This will thaw by tomorrow, right?”
And then, there’s this:
Customer: “Miss! I ordered a fresh turkey! The one you gave me is frozen!”
Me, smiling weakly: “No, Ma’am. That’s a fresh one. The top feels frozen because of the holding temperature…”
Welcome to the wonderful world of Poultry Labels, where ‘fresh’ means ‘chilled and held at 32F,’ and ‘frozen’ means blast-chilled and held at 0F.
It’s ok. It makes no sense to us, either. For a list of other label double-speak, take a look at this post from 2009.
Now, I have a request, on behalf of everyone who ever had to put in a twelve-hour shift, and get up the next morning to cook a holiday meal for their own family: Look around your store on the day you do your shopping. When you see a harried staff member – the cashier who just got yelled at for the second time in ten minutes, the produce boy who can’t fill the potato and onion bins fast enough to keep up, or the meat clerk trying to read an order written by the 75-year-old butcher with Parkinson’s – smile at them, and wish them a Happy Thanksgiving.
You’ll make their load just a little lighter…