Thanksgiving Greetings : LUSENET : TB2K spinoff uncensored : One Thread

As is our custom within the community of the forum, a thread for Holiday greetings:


A cold rain had fallen steady for three days when the south wind came back to push the salty waters of the gulf up into the bayou. The dark and green depths were stirred and lifted to lick at the edge of the old wooden bulkhead, where they greeted the rivulets of rain like children, returned to a childhood home.

Here, at the meeting of living bayou and ancient soil, is the place of miracle, where water and earth fulfill their promise of life to one another. Here, is established the ragged and tender edge, of life in the low country. At this eternal labium the creatures come, each divided by ancestral chance or choice into separate elements. At this threshold, they gaze across into the shadow of past or future with unknowing wisdom.

This Thanksgiving, may you know the miracle of renewal. May your family return to one another as surely as fallen waters. May you come to the edge of quietude within your soul, and find there an affirmation of life, the certainty of future, and the eternality of love.


-- Lon Frank (, November 19, 2000


"More than once, after I was very tired, I gave up taking her alive, and was going to shoot her, but I never did it, although it was my right, for I did not believe I could hit her, and besides, she always stopped and posed, when I raised the gun, and this made me suspicious that she knew about me and my marksmanship, and so I did not care to expose myself to remarks." --Hunting the Deceitful Turkey

-- by Mark Twain (***@__._), November 19, 2000.

Vegetarians look to tofu turkey for Thanksgiving

by Gail Appleson

New York (Reuters) - Turkey may be the sacred centrepiece of the traditional Thanksgiving meal, but some American chefs say cooks should not be chicken about raising the status of vegetable and grain dishes as more and more diners demand meatless meals.

The growing demand for holiday alternatives is clear in the mushrooming number of vegetarian holiday cookbooks and recipe websites, restaurants offering non-meat dishes and companies drumming up business with faux fowl poultry products such as Tofurky.

Indeed, sales of Turtle Island Foods' Tofurky, the tofu and wheat gluten mock turkey roast, have taken flight since the product was test marketed in 1995. Seth Tibbott, head of the Hood River, Oregon company, said he expects to sell 100 000 roasts by the end of the year, up from 5 000 the first year.

The roasts, selling for about $20, serve four and cook in only 40 minutes. They come with "dark meat" drummettes, stuffing, brown gravy with Tofurky giblets and even two completely edible wishbone-shaped Tofurky Jerky "wishstix".

"They are twice as much fun as a turkey," Tibbott said.

Even with the wide variety of mock meat items ranging from bogus barbecue beef seitan to counterfeit chicken tempeh, some chefs still prefer to gobble up the bounty of the season.

"I'm not thinking of a tofu turkey breast," said James Laird, chef at the four-star Restaurant Serenade in Chatham, New Jersey, which he owns with his wife Nancy. "I would just embellish or give a wider variety of vegetables in season," he added.

Laird, named one of the "Rising Stars of the 21st Century" by the James Beard Foundation, is known for his light, modern French style and creative work with organic produce.

Turkeyless Thanksgiving 'not revolutionary' He said demand for meatless dishes is apparent at his elegant country- inn-style restaurant, where 2 to 3% of the orders on Saturday nights are for vegetarian creations. He will offer vegetarian alternatives for Thanksgiving with an array of roasted vegetables, butternut squash soup and chestnut sage stuffing.

"We're not doing anything revolutionary. We're not making up ingredients," he said, explaining that his goal is to create exciting dishes from the best produce of the season.

Laird said Thanksgiving is actually an easy holiday to please vegetarians because of the variety, colours and textures available at this time of year. "Root vegetables can be combined to create hearty but unique dishes such as celery root and potato gratin with sweet onions and sage," he said.

Tony Del Plato, a chef at the famous vegetarian Moosewood Restaurant in Ithaca, New York, suggests that cooks view Thanksgiving differently. He is part of the collective who wrote the Moosewood Restaurant Daily Special cookbook, published last month by Clarkson Potter.

"Start with a picture of the turkey in the centre and think of the surrounding dishes. Then change the picture to have the side dishes be the focus. People focus on meat too much and consider everything else secondary, but it doesn't have to be that way," he said.

Susan Westmoreland, food editor for Good Housekeeping magazine, agreed. "For some people turkey is the centrepiece of the Thanksgiving meal but for others it's an excuse to have the side dishes . . . I'm not of the mind that you have to have meat as the main dish," she said.

Both Del Plato and Westmoreland come from Italian backgrounds and discussed how meat was used as a side dish or flavouring.

"My grandmother used to bring out a platter of broccoli rabe that was as big as a turkey platter," she said, adding that it was drizzled with olive oil and served with lemon wedges at room temperature so it did not have to be kept warm for the Thanksgiving meal.

The next day her grandmother would saute the broccoli rabe with garlic and hot pepper and serve it on sandwiches. Now Westmoreland also tries to think of dishes that can be made in advance or easily warmed up before the big meal. For example, vegetables such as broccoli or green beans can be steamed ahead of time and sauteed in oil and lemon peel before serving.

Westmoreland said a simple but impressive vegetable dish is acorn squash glazed with maple syrup. Wedges of squash can be cooked in the morning with maple syrup, butter and cinnamon and reheated later in a microwave.

Del Plato suggests that corn dishes play a role in the Thanksgiving meal. "Corn represents the Indian side of Thanksgiving . . . we want to honour that," he said.

He suggested making polenta, an easy cornmeal dish, and baking it in a bowl so it will be dome-shaped. The polenta can be placed at the centre of a platter and surrounded by roasted vegetables.

Portland, Oregon, chef Paul Wenner, who created the meatless Gardenburger, said that while some people prefer a variety of unusual dishes at Thanksgiving, others want the traditional meal as much as possible using meatless products.

"What people really miss is the texture of meat. They want something they can really sink their teeth into," he said, suggesting baking stuffing outside of the turkey, then mixing in cooked soya sausage sauteed in olive oil.

It can be served separately or used to fill acorn squash, eggplants or other vegetables, even portobello mushrooms.

Bruce Friedrich, vegetarian campaign coordinator at People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, said he and his wife bring Tofurky to Thanksgiving with their relatives.

"It's fantastic stuff," he said, adding that PETA is sending Tofurky to 300 homeless shelters so they can offer vegetarian Thanksgivings.

Friedrich said that this is the third year PETA will sent a Tofurky to the White House because Clinton's daughter Chelsea is a vegetarian. "We've have never received a thank you note, but somebody signed for them," he added

-- cin (cin@cin.cin), November 19, 2000.

If anyone needs holiday meal wine pairing ask me on this thread or drop me an email.BTW,tell me what your having and how it is to be prepared ie. mild,spicy,traditional,roasted,grilled,baked.

-- capnfun (, November 19, 2000.


We are having our second storm of the month move in. The first did nothing. This one is in question. Of course, it is already so wet that the moisture makes no difference. We lost two birds against the great windows on the east of the house. They were chased into death by Falcons. They choose their path to enternity; or we do. Whatever, we won't ever know.


What do you serve with armadillo stew?

Best wishes,,,,


-- Z1X4Y7 (, November 19, 2000.


Well,that depends on what your primary spices are and how you pre- treated your meat.Not having any experience with armadillo I'm not quite so sure your'e not pullin my leg,if not,is it moreso white or dark meat?

-- capnfun (, November 19, 2000.


Yep, a little leg pulling. I am just getting over the flu and I thought that I deserved one little fling :^)

Thanks for your response, anyway. By the way have you ever had armadillo stew; or possum stew; if you haven't, don't ask.

Best wishes,,,,,


-- Z1X4Y7 (, November 19, 2000.

capn- I will be cooking a Thanksgiving dinner consisting of; salisbury steak in mushroom gravy, macaroni & cheese, green beans and apple crumb dessert. It will be prepared in the "traditional" manner (Heat on high 4 minutes. Rotate. Remove platic and stir macaroni. Replace plastic and heat an additional 3 1/2 - 4 minutes.) I'm leaning towards Piesporter, but perhaps I should be thinking "red" instead. I dunno. What do you think?

-- CD (, November 19, 2000.


Good one,I pretty much thought that the armadillo and the possum were closely related and not the most sought after animal in the food chain,but there was that tiny bit of doubt sinse I haven't heard you talking about an abundance of them on your place.And,for all I know,ya raise the damn things as some type of experimental urban food distribution program; )

-- capnfun (, November 19, 2000.

I'm multi-tasking [working on homework AND checking out the forum]. I needed two trivia questions for a list of 20 due tomorrow. I went to Useless Facts and learned that an armadillo is the only other animal [besides humans] that can get leprosy. Useless facts on BARNACLES is pretty interesting, as well.

-- Anita (, November 19, 2000.


I would probably go with a red,a Pinot Noir,try to find one that is not as light as most,ask your local wine person for an "unfiltered" Pinot Noir.

A Piesporter will not do your meal justice,if you do not want to go with a red maybe try something in the middle like a French Rose,"Tavel Rose" is a very nice one for not too much money($10-$12).

-- capnfun (, November 19, 2000.


Is that URL

-- capnfun (, November 19, 2000.


I found this stuff at useless.facts.NET. I clicked on animals after that.

-- Anita (, November 19, 2000.

Q: In what country is the avergae altitude so high that you can stick your hand into boiling water and leave it there without scalding yourself?

A: Tibet, whre the average altitude is in excess of 15,000 ft. above sea level. (However, don't tell China that Tibet is a "country".)

Q: What pseudonym was used by the author Eric Blair?

A: George Orwell.

Useless fact: Blueberries are red when they are green.

-- Brian McLaughlin (, November 20, 2000.


Thinking of George Orwell, did you notice that the 50 billionth McDonald's burger was made on November 20, 1984? That came from uselessfacts.COM.

-- Anita (, November 20, 2000.

(committing a blasphemy here by referring to the original post in the thread)

Lon, once again, thank you for sharing your insights with us. Yet another beautiful piece. Have you been on the road lately? Do you have any stories?

I hope you are well and I wish you the best for the holiday!

-- Patricia (, November 20, 2000.

Thanks, Patricia. Kit and I have been on the road for most of the last three months (and we're starting to show it)

This IS a strange thread and I like it! An aimless chat with friends, while we sit around waiting for the turkey to get done. Just what I really need.

Fried turkey and yams

Pecan pie smile on my face

Cajun Thanksgiving! -----------------------------------------------------------

-- Lon Frank (, November 20, 2000.


Oh how I love a Cajun fried turkey and spicy dressing.

-- capnfun (, November 20, 2000.

Re Cajun fried turkey: Recipe, anyone?

(I'm sitting here practially drooling, and it's still two-plus hours until lunch. Grrrrrrrrrrr.)

-- Patricia (, November 20, 2000.

Cap 'N' Pat,

Looks to me like we should head on down to Geezerville-on-the-Bayou for Turkey Day.

Be sure to tell your beloved that it will be no fuss, Lon. We've each got our own bedrolls, I'm certain.

-- flora (***@__._), November 20, 2000.


The easiest way to do the Cajun turkey is to see if there are any cajun restarants in LV and order it today.I can go into specifics via email as you will need to buy a few things,not cheap and by and large easier to just buy outright.

Flora's right, if Lon's cookin'!!!......THAT would really be easy : )

-- capnfun (, November 20, 2000.


-- Peg (, November 20, 2000.

Something I found in my travels.

Cajun Deep-Fried Turkey 1 10 to 15-pound wild turkey 5 gallons peanut oil 2 tablespoons Cajun seasoning 1 stick butter 1 teaspoon garlic powder 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper Pour peanut oil into 10-gallon pot. Place pot on propane burner used for fish cooker and heat to 375 degrees. Dry turkey and tie two cotton strings around carcass for ease in lifting. Carefully submerge into hot oil and deep fry for 3 to 4 minutes per pound and until turkey floats to the top. Remove from oil and dust with Cajun seasoning. In a saucepan, melt butter with garlic and cayenne, brushing bird with mixture before serving.

-- Peg (, November 20, 2000.

Damn Peg! that was quick and good,one thing I like to do is inject the meat with the baste a day before and several times before cooking,the deep frying locks in the moisture.You can also inject it right before re-heating in the oven.

-- capnfun (, November 20, 2000.

I'm passing the hemmoroid cream for those 'cajon' lovers .... tee hee.


-- (, November 20, 2000.


But it hurts soooo good ; )

-- capnfun (, November 20, 2000.

Five GALLONS of peanut oil? I'd be poppin' zits for a year if I ate something cooked in that. [Then again, I don't have a pot that big either.]

-- Anita (, November 20, 2000.

Anita, you can also do this with just a turkey breast.

Of course, the easiest way is to visit Cajun Market and order this already cooked, frozen solid.

Directions: Unwrap, thaw, heat in oven. Eat. Enjoy.

-- Patricia (, November 20, 2000.

Does it come in a can?

-- Peg (, November 20, 2000.


Your'e one on the ball gal,mucho kudo's!!! I'm a gonna order me one of those turduchen thangs for Christmas,sounds killer.

-- capnfun (, November 20, 2000.

Well, after you guys mentioned "cajun fried turkey", I did a search (wish there was a way to get paid for this -- but I digress). Found a couple of recipes, and this fabulous market.

I'm thinking of ordering one of those turkey breasts and a pound of the Andouille sausage (my FAVORITE!!).

Christmas Eve I do an Italian-type feast, though I don't know how well I'm going to do this year. The main ingredient is FRESH seafood, though I suppose good frozen will (have to) do.

-- Patricia (, November 20, 2000.


Believe it or not, the turkey does NOT come out oily or greasy. You fry it with the skin on, of course, in VERY hot oil. Folks 'round the bayou do as the cap'n, and inject liquid spice into the bird before cooking. The meat is very moist, never dry, and just, well, dam good!

Add a side dish of dirty rice, andouille gumbo, and some boudain balls to start it all off - Oh, ma sha! We gonna pass a good time TO-NIGHT!


-- Lon Frank (, November 20, 2000.

Deep fried, cajun turkey is the best that I've had. Propane fired turkey deep-friers are in the front aisle of all of the home improvement stores this time of the year along with 5 gal tins of oil.

Funny, in New England, they sell exactly the same thing but call them lobster or clam cookers.

By the way, I've always wondered, how do you store the oil once it has been used.

Best wishes,,,,


-- Z1X4Y7 (, November 20, 2000.


Do you serve yours with armadillo stuffing? ; )

-- capnfun (, November 20, 2000.

Two Bean Texas Armadillo

Categories: Armadillo Yield: 6 servings

3 tb Butter

2 lg Onions, chopped

4 Garlic cloves, chopped

2 lb Ground armadillo 2 1/2 tb Chili powder

1 tb Ground cumin

1/2 ts Cayenne pepper

1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes

1 14 1/2-ounce can beef broth

2 md White potatoes, peeled, diced

2 lg Carrots, peeled, diced 1 Bell pepper, diced

3/4 c Chili sauce

1 15 1/4-ounce can kidney beans, drained

1 15-ounce can pinto beans, drained

Melt butter in heavy large saucepan or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onions and garlic and saute until almost golden, about 8 minutes. Add armadillo and cook until brown, breaking meat up with fork, about 10 minutes. Stir in chili powder, cumin and cayenne and continue cooking 3 minutes. Mix in tomatoes, broth, potatoes, carrots, bell pepper and chili sauce. Simmer until vegetables are tender, about 1 hour. Stir in beans. Simmer until beans are heated through and vegetables are very tender, about 30 minutes.

Note to self, stop a store and get 2 lbs of ground armadillo.

Best wishes,,,,


-- Z1X4Y7 (, November 20, 2000.

***Five GALLONS of peanut oil? I'd be poppin' zits for a year if I ate something cooked in that. [Then again, I don't have a pot that big either.]***

I about spit a mouthful of wine allover the monitor when I read that one Anita! LOL

-- cin (cin@cin.cin), November 20, 2000.


Funny, in New England, they sell exactly the same thing but call them lobster or clam cookers.

Your right. And I own one. Boiled many a fine lobster in that baby. Biggest one was 11 pounds. Mmmmmm.....gooooooood!

But I would never attempt to fry a turkey in it.

Just "Chicken" I

-- Peg (, November 20, 2000.

Change that to you're right...dang!...I hate it when that happens.

-- Peg (you@re.right), November 20, 2000.


The "Two Bean Texas Armadillo" sounds scrumptious,I have an 82 Chateau Margaux that might stand a chance of doing it justice,but is already reserved for a gathering of oenophiles during the holidays.

As a distant second choice I would try it with a Tobin James Zinfandel 97 or 98.

-- capnfun (, November 20, 2000.


Now, that 82 Chateau Margaux sounds pretty high-falutin', but a gastronomic man-of-the-world, like yourself, should know that Armadillo can only properly be presented with the National Beverage of Texas - Lone Star longnecks.

And, if you an' flora would like to come on down to the bayou, we could sample a little turducken in some of the joints where I hang out (down here, they call 'em fish camps, where the vintage of choice comes in fruit jars)

Just an anecdote in passing - When I was a student at Texas Tech, about 30 years ago, I spent one whole year propagating grape cuttings as an assistant to a horticulture profesor. He kept talking about raising wine grapes in West Texas, and everyone thought he was crazy. So, when you think about it, I am probably responsible for the entire Texas wine industry. You'd think they would give me a free sample once in a while. Ingrates!


-- Lon Frank (, November 20, 2000.


So right you are,I'm probably gettin' above my raisin' and would never superscede local tradition,I acquiesce,bring on the Lone Star's!!!

I do love the bayou,worked down there for about a year,met some damn fine people,ate some damn fine food and fit right in with the coonasses,I was one of them(now before everybody gets riled and calls me a racist it's a terminology for a certain type people in the bayou) they took me in as one of them and I would fight,drink and have fun with'em any day of the week,I respect them and they respect me,we are both one in the same)Hell,they taught me how to cook those turkeys among other things.They liked my moonshine and skunk-bud and I liked their tradition,food and women,workrd out great.

Would love to come down and visit Lon,sounds like old times.

Did that prof ever say what he was gonna call his winery,theres some good ones in Texas,maybe you can smooz a case?

-- capnfun (, November 20, 2000.

You’re so right capn. I’ve never met a Cajun who didn’t like to laugh, even if it was at himself. I first came among these folks when I was 18, and signed on as a deck-hand on a towboat out of Lake Charles. The Captain’s name was Percy Premeaux, and we had an ancient cook who only spoke Cajun. For three months, I never understood a word he said!

Lord, that seems like a long time ago, but I can still hear the mosquitoes swarming in the flood lights at Vermilion locks, see the sunset over the Mississippi Sound, and taste the Seaport coffee. The Mate was a man named Don Tibideau. He called me “college boy” and taught me the waterman’s ways. He took care of me like a brother. Quite an adventure for a green kid from a west Texas ranch. I had never worked so hard, nor enjoyed life so much. Such is the Cajun legacy.

BTW, “coon-ass” is a corrupted alliteration of a derogatory French term. In typical Cajun fashion, most think it’s funny, and even refer to themselves as “registered coon-asses”, but I might hesitate to say it to some of the old back-water boys, unless I’d been buying the beer for quite some time.


-- Lon Frank (, November 20, 2000.

It's such a small world Lon,my story is oh so like your own,when at 19 I took my first trip down river I couldn't understand a friggin' word the cook said,I knew she was the cook and not wanting to appear stupid just shook my head when it appeared like she was asking if what she was fixing was ok with everybody.Well,it didn't take long for her to catch on and then one evening I found some shoelaces,mud,leaves and minnows on my plate,that night my cajunese lessons began.

One of my most vivid memories is sitting on the lock at Baton Rouge watching a mammoth fog bank slide across the river,then stay there for 2 days.I guess it will allways be one of those things that "you just had to be there".

You are definetly right about not wanting to loosely use the term coonass as it can get ya beat within an inch of your life in the wrong situation.I also knew some Thibideaux's and others from down on the sound,for the most part all were fantastic people and I would have missed alot by having never known them.

What a trip down memory lane,thanks Lon.

-- capnfun (, November 21, 2000.

* Kinda OT *

I'm thankful for friends, books, & films which have opened worlds new to me {including y'all}. Les Blank, an old acquaintance of mine, made a film which you may have seen on public TV. It's a documentary about Mardi Gras called "Always For Pleasure". He also made a a film called: "J'ai Été Au Bal / I Went to the Dance (1989) The definitive film on the history of the toe-tapping, foot-stomping music of French Southwest Louisiana. Includes many Cajun and Zydeco greats, featuring Michael Doucet and Beausoleil, Clifton Chenier, Marc and Ann Savoy, D.L. Menard, and many others. 84 minutes. ISBN: 0- 933779-03"

The most indelible scene for me was of the fellow with a terrible toothache, sitting in what we'd call a 'beach chair' here on the left coast. As the musicians muscle their intoxicating momentum, and the dancers swirl and dip in the dirt behind him, he nurses his wine until the time is right for him to put those pliers in his hand to use...

Ah, the music, the dancers, the passions...

Regrettably, I haven't seen this one:

Yum, Yum, Yum! (1990) "Les Blank marries his passion for spicy, down home food and his love for Cajuns and Creoles in this mouth-watering, exploration of the cooking and other enthusiasms of French-speaking Louisiana. Features tangy music, Marc Savoy, Paul Prudhomme, and other great cooks. 31 minutes. ISBN: 0-933621-53-1.

Home Video: $29.95

"More than any other filmmaker, Les Blank understands that food and the pleasure it imparts is an essential element of human culture, inseparable from life itself. His films capture real people in the normal course of living interesting and delicious lives" - KRCB Radio

If you need a fix, maybe Santa will bring you a video {if you've been good, of course}. I bet this stuff can be rented through some independent cinema place or group. I'm way outta the loop anymore, it's truly great stuff, though.

-- flora (***@__._), November 21, 2000.

Lon, thank you for painting that beautiful little mosaic for us. You sent me there in wistful reverie. And I appreciate your Thanksgiving wishes. Right back atcha...for you and yours. And to the rest of y'all as well. :)

Regarding turkeys -- I experiment every year -- sauces, spices, temps, timing, etc. In fact, lots of my cooking is kinda like that - - spontaneous, intuitive, whimsical. Problem is, I never write 'em down -- I know I probably should, though. But my fun is in the creating, and I just focus on that and get carried away with it.

Ok -- I can't leave this post without contributing a totally "Useless Fact":

Did you know that it would take nearly 3,200,000 major league home runs to reach the moon?

-- eve (, November 21, 2000.

I found this thread on a net search,"I'm a gonna order me one of those turduchen thangs for Christmas" came up.Just had to make a note of it.

-- capnfun (, December 24, 2000.

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