That Juicy Roast Turkey Slices…Yum!

TODAY is Christmas Eve.

And I have been thinking a lot about moist and juicy roast turkey slices in the past week or so.

I was introduced to it by countless Christmas movies on television during this time of the year since I was a small girl.

Made me wonder how yummy those slices were…as it melted in my mouth…hehe

And I have tasted quite a lot over the years. However, there was one that left lasting impression in my mind… the one I had in Glasgow, Scotland.

I remember that evening clearly as it was Christmas day in cold freezing Glasgow and we were invited to his cousin’s house for a dinner.

I can almost taste the juiciness of the meat and the savoury cranberry sauce…now…almost a decade later. OMG!

It was so long ago and yet the memory still fresh in my mind…

Since I have been thinking a lot about this dish on this Christmas eve I decided to search how it became such tradition for Christmas and Thanksgiving too…It is an intriguing and fascinating stuff for me to discover as an Asian and a Muslim…

Here I copied and pasted of what I read on the origins of roasted turkey tradition…

Turkeys are fresh, affordable, and big enough to feed a crowd.

Apparently the Americans have long preferred large poultry for celebrations because the birds could be slaughtered without a huge economic sacrifice. Cows were more useful alive than dead, and commercial beef wasn’t widely available until the late 19th century.

Chicken was more highly regarded than it is today, but rooster meat was tough, and hens were valuable as long as they laid eggs. Venison would have been another option, especially during the 17th and 18th centuries, though it would have required you to hunt for your Thanksgiving meal. There was plenty of other meats around, but it wasn’t considered fit for special occasions. Eating turkey was also in keeping with British holiday customs that had been imported to the New World.

Among the big birds, turkey was ideal for a fall feast. Turkeys born in the spring would spend about seven months eating insects and worms on the farm, growing to about 10 pounds by Thanksgiving. They were cheaper than geese, which were more difficult to raise, and cheaper by the pound than chickens. Cost was an important factor for holiday shoppers, because people weren’t necessarily preparing just one meal; Thanksgiving was the time to bake meat and other types of pies that could last through the winter.

(The British once served geese, swans, and even peacocks on special occasions, but they came to prefer turkey after it was first introduced to England in about 1540. Swans, because of their diet, would taste fishy unless they were fed wheat for weeks before slaughter.)

By 1863, when Lincoln proclaimed Thanksgiving a national holiday, turkeys had taken center stage at Thanksgiving. (Americans had started holding unofficial Thanksgiving dinners in the previous century.) And while the bird had already been associated with Christmas, the turkey also gained iconic status as a yuletide meal around the same time. The classic menu of turkey with gravy, stuffing, and plum pudding was popularised by Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, published in 1843 and widely read in the United States.

Some culinary historians believe Scrooge’s gift of a Christmas turkey to the Cratchit family helped cement the turkey’s place at the center of the holiday meal for both modest and affluent households. Among the wealthy, however, this changed around the turn of the 20th century as the birds became associated with the working class and poor immigrants, who often received turkeys from charities during the holidays.

Americans continued to serve Thanksgiving turkey, but at Christmas, those who could afford it turned to game and beef.

Turkeys were introduced in Britain more than 500 years ago by Yorkshireman William Strickland, who acquired six birds from American Indian traders on his travels.

Before that, people’s meat of choice for Christmas was geese, boars’ head and even peacocks. But from the moment turkeys arrived in this country, farmers realised that the animals they were killing for their Christmas feasts could be better used to provide other foods.

So, it has been left to the turkey to keep our stomachs full on Christmas Day – and many days after that.

Henry VIII was the first English king to enjoy turkey in the 16th century, although Edward VII made eating turkey fashionable at Christmas.

But even though turkey is now a regular feature on a great majority of British Christmas tables, it has only gone mainstream over the last 60 years. Indeed, up until the 1950s it was widely considered a luxury, as only then refrigerators became commonplace.

Back in the 1930s the average person had to work for a week to be able to buy a turkey. Now it only takes 1.7 hours of labour.

Unfortunately, the job of cooking that “perfect” Christmas turkey still often falls on the shoulders of women. According to research by Betta Living, 67 percent of British females will be the ones in charge of Christmas dinner this year.

Nearly half of women polled said they felt a real sense of achievement when finally dishing up the Christmas dinner and 28 per cent of British men admit that their partner’s dinner is better than their mother’s.

Approximately 10million turkeys are eaten in the UK every year.

However, turkey is not a traditional Christmas meal in a lot of other European countries

In Portugal, a seafood crazy nation, the typical Christmas animal is codfish.

Germans prefer wild boar or venison. While in Sweden the average Christmas feast would consist of caviar, shellfish, cooked and raw fish.

I told someone just now that one fine day I will cook my own version of roast turkey and cranberry sauce and he said he would be gladly helping me with it… hehehe…A

2 comments

  • Mizan

    Lol, if you know how they kicked, whacked and abused that bird in a battery confined space with no sun light from chick to turkeyhood, you wanna purge that piece of moist slice off your face. 😱

    I’m sorry but that’s the fact sad truth of the American corporate greed. Some animals rights journalists went in undercover a few years back so I no longer support this business.

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