Though at this point Tap – a multi-national organization – has fewer active American writers than it does those from far-flung realms, we’d nonetheless like to take a moment and wish all our readers a very happy Thanksgiving Thursday. For the majority of the world, it is just a normal day. But it’s the day Americans congregate with relatives they largely despise, consume poorly-prepared turkey with a slurry of bread and spices shoved up its ass, get drunk, then fall asleep on the sofa before waking and stumbling into the kitchen to make and consume sandwiches from what remains of the dessicated bird carcass.
An interesting new trend observed during this day of celebration (we’re celebrating our pioneer ancestors’ survival of New England’s bitter winter on account of help from Natives we would later slaughter to a man) is the “Turduckhen,” which takes all the dry, flavorless appeal of a turkey and runs with it. Big time.
Remember above how I mentioned the bread and spices in the turkey’s ass? This is called “stuffing,” on account of being “stuffed” up the turkey.
Once the animal has been cooked to a crispy-on-the-outside, dry-as-sawdust-on-the-inside consistency, this “stuffing” is removed and put in a pan. Wise families then bake it further, because “stuffing” never cooks thoroughly inside the turkey and is an excellent source of food poisoning (which shouldn’t be surprising; Turkey Ass Bread frankly sounds unsanitary). In either case it’s then served alongside the turkey; along with a cylinder of cranberry-flavored gelatin in the shape of the can it came in; a revolting combination of green beans, dried onions, and cream of mushroom soup; and pumpkin pie, which is delicious.
Anyway, “stuffing,” Americans have realized, is not the only substance one can stuff into a turkey. The sky’s the limit. See, a turkey’s a pretty big animal. We’re talking 18-30lbs, and that’s after they’ve been beheaded, plucked, and eviscerated. With that in mind there’s a fair amount of square footage inside a turkey – where its innards used to be – space that could be filled with all manner of fascinating objects and substances.
Thus did some enterprising soul take a turkey and ram a duck into it.
And since cornholing a turkey with a duck is insufficiently ambitious, this visionary chef then took a Cornish hen and shoved that into the duck. Result? A Turduckhen:
You’ll note, if you look carefully, that they still managed to get some stuffing between each of the layers, like insulation. I am confident that, given time, someone will invent the Turduckhenquail, leading inevitably to a sort of culinary arms race in which ever smaller consumables are inserted into the turkey shell, until we reach the most infinitesimal possible food.
Then the process will obvert, because large as a turkey is, it’s no ostrich. Turduckhen becomes Osturduckhen. Becomes Boarosturduckhen. Becomes Cowboarosturduckhen. Until eventually elephants get involved. And even then, someone will try to deep fry it. Someone always does.
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That cranberry-flavored gelatin was a huge part of my childhood. Knowing full well I can now make my own (better) from actual cranberries, I still must have the canned stuff… ’cause it’s nostalgic… and I’m inherently lazy.
Happy eat-’til-you-puke-then-eat-some-more Day!
1. Who wrote this? Don’t hide.
2. I feel like whatever I’m gonna eat on Thanksgiving, regardless of how good it may be, will pale next to the Turduckhen in my mind. If only I’d known about it earlier, I would have tried to arrange to have it for lunch tomorrow.
3. It’s interesting to note that of all American holidays, Thanksgiving is the one most often adopted first by immigrants. They’ve done anthropological studies into this. Something to do with holidays based on food and family always being the most popular with new comers.
To me, this day marks the start of a two month period in which I can’t go to the store, on fear of death from swarms of shoppers. I HATE the holidays. Yet somehow, this is one of the less offensive ones. The requirements are few: Go to families home. Eat a lot of tasty food. Get the rest of the week off! Sounds pretty good. Just make sure to do all my shopping before Black Friday.
It grows eerily quiet in my neighborhood as Thanksgiving Day approaches. Cars disappear from the roads. Pedestrians vanish from the sidewalks. Planes and trains cease to move. True, grocery stores fill with sociopaths fighting to the death over the last of the canned cranberries. But it’s as if the communal snake brain is in a trance in anticipation of the giant turkey ass heading its way.
I just renewed my US Passport and they made me turn in all my words to the TSA, Steerpike. I don’t have anything left to write with.
Down here at Spike’s, we never stand on ceremony or tradition. Nobody much cares for turkey. So we are having grilled salmon (a big ol’ filet) – 1/2 of it basted with a mixture of high-test mayonnaise and anchovy past, and the other 1/2 sprinkled with pepper, dry mustard and parsley. Sides galore. My one nod to tradition, and it’s a small one, is made-from-scratch cranberry-orange muffins (Fresh cranberries, people. So much tastier than the alternative).
But I’m with Toger on the canned cranberry stuff – it’s so much a part of my childhood that I can’t walk away from it for good. But as it’s available year-round, I cuddle up with it a few times a year.
So let’s stuff ourselves silly tomorrow as we give thanks for all the goodness of life that we have come to enjoy. Follow the bouncing pig skin if you must. We’ll catch up on Friday – assuming that we are smart enough to stay home and eat leftovers instead of taking our very lives in our hands by joining the marauding throngs who will trample over our broken bodies to get the very last digital photo frame that was marked down to $14.95 from $15.75.
P.S. We here at Tap can go the Turduckhen one better: Tofurkey!!
The canned gelatin is ribbed for your pleasure Toger. And mine, though I mostly admire it on the edge of my plate more than actually consume the stuff.
Plan today is steal the can during the prep stages. Pull the youngest kid aside (need a sidekick), hum the Mission Impossible theme while scrounging supplies, and make a gelatinous turkey, snowman, or Chuck Berry centerpiece for the table.
Blame Aud, she told me to hatch a plan or run a caper.
Now the turkey-duck-hen-freak-bird-thing sounds (and looks) grotesque but I love turkey, at least when it’s well cooked ie. not dry and flavourless. I’ve been known to eat turkey sandwiches for days after Christmas dinner. Thanksgiving sounds just like Christmas though, only without all the sickly marketing and obligatory tacky presents.
The bird clusterstuff with pork lubrication is surprisingly good for what is clearly a stupid gimmick.
However there is evil in this world and this woman has found it. http://www.blueberryfiles.com/2010/06/mccormick-spice-mix-wtf.html
I like having NFL during the day during work. Makes it feel festive all day long.
Ok, so this holiday is on Thursday – so how many of y’all will take Friday off as well, and have a huge long weekend?
Pumpkin pie hasn’t taken off down here at all. In Aus, we like our vegetables to remain vegetables. They can be mashed, roasted, even fried. But cannot be considered a ‘sweet’. Mind you, turkey and cranberry sauce (separately or together) hasn’t really caught on either.
I think the turduckhen looks good, although I wonder where all of the bones are? Maybe they’re the boneless variety. Took a little while to get the word to look right, though… My mind wanted to interpret it as “turd-uchken”, which didn’t sound too appealing.
Happy holiday anyway, guys!
Jarrod, I never heard of Turduchken until two days ago when I was at the grocery store. That was exactly my first take.
Oh yummy. Turd Yuck for dinner.
I had Turkey, mashed potatoes, brussel sprouts and red wine. And about 6 hours of Vault crawling in Fallout: New Vegas with Veronica and ED-E. It’s all about overindulging.
I side with Greggi, a Turkey cooked well is delicious, and so is stuffing. Steerpike, come to the UK! Well show you a perfect Sunday dinner!!
Jarrod, I think for most people (except those working retail) Thanksgiving is always a four day weekend. Some of us (me) took the entire week off.
We had turkey, sweet potatoes (yams), broccoli, cornbread stuffing, gravy and upside-down cranberry cake. I didn’t eat again for 24 hours.
I’m sure this idea has been around for a while at least in Europe with a goose as the outer layer.
Could all of this a result from too much exposure to childhood rhymes such as “therewas an old woman who swallowed a spider”?
Whole Stuffed Camel
* 1 whole camel, medium size
* 1 whole lamb, large size
* 20 whole chickens, medium size
* 60 eggs
* 12 kilos rice
* 2 kilos pine nuts
* 2 kilos almonds
* 1 kilo pistachio nuts
* 110 gallons water
* 5 pounds black pepper
* Salt to taste
1. Skin, trim and clean camel, lamb and chicken.
2. Boil until tender.
3. Cook rice until fluffy.
4. Fry nuts until brown and mix with rice.
5. Hard boil eggs and peel.
6. Stuff cooked chickens with hard boiled eggs and rice.
7. Stuff the cooked lamb with stuffed chickens. Add more rice.
8. Stuff the camel with the stuffed lamb and add rest of rice.
9. Broil over large charcoal pit until brown.
10. Spread any remaining rice on large tray and place camel on top of rice.
11. Decorate with boiled eggs and nuts.
Serves friendly crowd of 80-100.
While the recipe may be an exaggeration, this much is true:
a. the original recipe (fake or not) originated two miles from where I spent 13 years.
b. we own a 5ft. diameter copper tray (bedouin origin, purchased 1950’s by husband’s mom) large enough for serving over-sized mammals & rice.
If most of my year was spent peripatetic in the desert I’d stuff anything short of the other groups’ virgins into the camel for the holiday meal.
1) One- or two-humped camel?
2) Do I chop the hard boiled eggs or simply disperse them among the cooked rice?
3) In the absence of a camel-sized cauldron, is it acceptable to slow-roast the larger animals? If so, should I baste?
4) Should I bone the chickens or lamb? (not like that, you perverts, I mean REMOVE the bones)
5) Could you provide a wine suggestion?
6) How on earth do you store a 5-foot copper tray?
1. One-humped camels (dromedaries) are native to Africa & the Middle East. Two humped camels (Bactrian) are native to Mongolia. I suppose it won’t make a difference if you have to import the camel anyway. I’d say go with convenience, whatever your local grocery stocks.
2. I’d say it depends upon the size of your chickens’ tummies. Big chickens, more room, keep eggs whole. Or the opposite (small, crowded, slice).
3. Cooking camel does not require a pot. Cauldrons are for cooking vats of rice. I think the recipe made a mistake. Camel roasting is done over an open fire….on a spit.
4. Not sure on this question but I’d guess if you bone the chickens & sheep, they will not retain their shape & thus “stuffing” them into the camel will be more difficult. YMMV.
5. Wine…..spirits….FERMENTED GRAPES?!?!?!?!? This recipe originates in Saudi Arabia. Think….Steerpike….what you are asking? 😉
6. When I typed the post I was at the house where the tray is not. It’s only 4 ft. in diameter. What I have always wanted to do is hang it over the bed as a giant copper headboard. Knowing full well we’d never survive if it fell off the wall, the tray hangs on a wall without beds or stands on end behind a Bedouin chest.
I’m pretty sure the answer to #4 would be: yes, bone the chickens & lamb. They’ll fit better inside the camel and I’m thinking the entire dish would cook faster.
Now I’m hungry.
I love you, Sakey! In a nobody-can-make-me-laugh-about-having-suffered-through-hosting-11-of-my-in-laws-the-way-you-can sortuva way