As Thanksgiving 2011 winds down, I thought I’d share this fun piece the playwright Wajahat Ali wrote for Salon about how his family eventually came to embraced that “confounding bird,” the turkey:
Now, I don’t begrudge my parents their position toward turkey. It’s a confounding bird for most immigrants, who are generally more comfortable with the bleats of a goat or a lamb, the squawks of the simple-minded chicken. The turkey was an enigma: a heavy, feathered bird with its “gobbledygook” mutterings, freakish red wattle and vast supply of dry, juiceless meat. “Do the Amreekans realize it is dry?” ask my still perplexed relatives living in Pakistan. “Where is the masala? The taste? The juices? Why do they eat this bird?”
What did you serve this Thanksgiving? Did you desi-fy your turkey? (Aarti Sequeira has a recipe for tandoori turkey here.) I grew up in a vegetarian household, so no turkey for me, but we did have pumpkin raita and cranberry chutney on the table as a nod to the holiday.