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An authentic Thanksgiving without the giblets

“We are going to do Thanksgiving a little differently this year,” I announced to husband-head as I prepared my holiday shopping list.

“Don’t tell me … you’re going to remember to remove the little packet of giblets from inside the turkey BEFORE you cook it this time?” husband-head suggested.

I shot him a dirty look…



“This year, I think we should have an authentic Thanksgiving like the Pilgrims did,” I told husband-head. “I think it’s the least we could do in light of my Native American heritage…”

Husband-head raised an eyebrow.



“Okay Squanto, but you don’t even know what FLAVOR of Indian you are,” he pointed out and then muttered under his breath. “… although I’d put my money on Apache …”

But I had gotten the idea from a TV program I had watched in which they said the traditional Thanksgiving fare we eat today wasn’t on the table at all at the first Thanksgiving supper in 1621.

According to the program, there was no ham, sweet potatoes, corn on the cob, cranberry sauce or pumpkin pie at that time.

“We’re not going to have a Mrs. Smith’s frozen pumpkin pie?” husband-head said with disappointment. “But that’s your SPECIALTY! What am I supposed to wash down the dried-out turkey, burnt green beans and mushy potatoes with?”

Then he had an idea.

“Hey, what percentage of Indian are you?” he said, his eyes lighting up. “Maybe you could qualify for a federal grant that would allow us to hire someone to come in and cook a HOMEMADE Thanksgiving dinner …”

He was starting to get on my nerves.

“Don’t forget that the art of scalping also runs in my bloodline,” I warned. “Don’t make me get out the tomahawk…”

But apparently, the early Thanksgiving celebrations were a far cry from the Martha Stewart extravaganzas of today in that nobody at the table was being accused of insider trading and potentially in deep doo-doo with the Securities and Exchange Commission…

“The first Thanksgiving dinners didn’t have stuffed turkeys with gravy, mashed potatoes or green bean casseroles,” I informed husband-head, proud of my newfound knowledge. “Their meals included venison, wild turkey, goose, duck, chicken and nuts and berries.”

“TURDUCKENS!” husband-head cried out excitedly. “That’s what John Madden has every year!”

He then explained that each Thanksgiving the sportscaster promoted his famous “turducken” – a chicken stuffed inside a duck which was stuffed inside a turkey…

“And this year he cut it open with his hand,” husband-head said, demonstrating a karate-chop move. “I thought the guy sitting next to him was going to get sick!”

How disgusting …

Then a thought crossed his mind and he stopped for a moment.

“I suppose you’re going to tell me they didn’t have any football either,” he said, in a voice that indicated the idea was preposterous.

“Nope,” I assured him. “They didn’t have a Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade in the morning and they didn’t lay on the couch after dinner and watch football all afternoon …”

Husband-head shook his head sadly.

“Poor Pilgrims,” he sympathized and looked close to tears. “Can you IMAGINE a Thanksgiving without football?”

In the end, after careful consideration, I decided against the authentic Thanksgiving meal as it didn’t seem like much fun and instead made my usual shopping list: pre-cooked turkey, packaged gravy, canned cranberries, frozen green beans, instant mashed potatoes, pre-made dinner rolls …

“I’m still going to do something different,” I informed husband-head. “This year, I’m going to remove the package of giblets BEFORE cooking the turkey …”

New Castle resident Heidi Rice’s column appears every Friday in the Post Independent. Visit her Web site at http://www.heidirice.com.


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