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Traveling with Turkey

Out on the road, it is sometimes hard to make the traditions that you grew up with come to life. I know that in Japan, for instance, it can be hard to find a turkey for Thanksgiving -- but even if you can, try locating an oven of sufficient size to accommodate a 16 pounder (or even 10 for that matter). So, there have been years when I have had to go without.

Those of you who didn't experience Thanksgiving as a kid, probably are scratching your head and saying: "what's the big deal?" but those of us who have sampled the stuffing, gnawed on the wishbone, pan-cooked and poured out the giblets, dipped into the yams, and forked up some pumpkin pie, know exactly where I'm coming from.

Today, I just happen to be in a place where the ingredients are available and the ovens wide and deep enough. So today I feast. For those of you also so unencumbered, and also so inclined, I'm happy to share communion with you. And wish you a happy turkey day!

We've just got our turkey washed, patted down with vinegar; stuffed with oven-dried bread cubes, diced onions, celery, and mushrooms, sprinkled with paprika, pepper, salt, tarragon, marjoram, and thyme; trussed: cheese-clothed; basted; and in the oven. The internal temp is only up to 86, but we'll get there. Two more hours to go and still a lot more sweat yet to be expended. Cranberry sauce to cook, potatoes to whip, string beans to boil, carrots to render au glace.

But when we finally sit down to the feast, you can bet it'll feel like we've been transported back to other years, connected with lives past. For a few hours at least, it'll feel like home.

Wherever you are today, whatever you are eating, whomever you are spending time with, it wouldn't be untoward to offer thanks. Thanks for being alive, for having friends, food, consciousness, the opportunity to continue for another day. The chance to contribute to our world a little bit more.

Happy thanksgiving, one and all.

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