Enter the turkey: large, red-necked birds native to North America, they are the staple meat of American Thanksgiving dinners. I can picture it now: the whole bird, freshly roasted with butter and herbs, placed at the center of a vast spread of other Thanksgiving fixings… stuffing (or dressing, depending on who you ask), cranberry sauce, casseroles galore, mashed potatoes, cornbread, corn pudding, pies of all sorts, the list goes on. Family and friends surround the table, reaching and passing and scooping, soaking in the various delicious scents wafting about. The air is abuzz with chatter and various catch-up conversations. There is a certain ritualistic, celebratory feeling to the whole affair.
Here at the Butcher Block, the weeks leading up to Thanksgiving and the following holiday season is somewhat less celebratory, leaning more to the side of a busy rush in preparation of the season. The days get busier the closer the holidays get. More customers are coming in to place orders ahead of time and to ask questions about various things; how much of this do I need for this many people? How do I cook and prepare this? What goes good with this? The phones are ringing off the hook, preorders for turkeys and various roasts (usually bone-in beef rib roasts) coming in constantly. The walk-in is filled nearly to the ceiling with meat, and the bulk of the turkeys haven’t even arrived yet. Much of my recent work at the ‘Block has consisted of deboning turkey breasts for those of our customers who have fewer folks to feed (or, perhaps, prefer a focus on the fixings) and rearranging and reorganizing the walk-in to fit the vast amount of meat coming in.
I suppose this influx of customers and business has also been affected by the state of life as it is right now. The pandemic has left many with cancelled travel plans, thus leaving people with more time at home than expected. What is better to do with that time than cook and eat with family and friends? Not a lot, I’d wager, particularly around the holidays.
Alas, the grind goes on and peoples’ interest and desire for good food grows ever greater, a mindset I can wholeheartedly get behind. That’s the scoop on turkey season with me, Coop, wishing you a happy Thanksgiving and happy gobblin’.