Roasting The Big Bird ! Essay
Growing up in Brooklyn in the mid-twentieth century, there were only the four of us, my mom, dad, sister and me. There was no extended family, which meant that Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners served only four people. Turkeys back then were largely twelve pounds or larger. In reality, a twelve-pound bird is excessive for a family of four. As an economic consequence, capon was the bird of choice for our fall and winter holiday dinners. The reason for specificity is that I have noted in other posts, we had roasted lamb at Easter and Christmas featured a small baked ham to accompany the capon.
Individual family tastes worked in my favor, I always got at least one drumstick. Notable because when we finally had turkey on Thanksgiving, due to my parents were entertaining close family friends, I got a turkey drumstick. Impressive, at least in size, unfortunately, I expected it to taste like chicken. Was I ever wrong! The strong taste of dark meat turkey startled me; unusually, my parents permitted a switch to turkey breast. (I assume now, that they knew I probably wouldn?t like it). Thus began a lifelong dichotomy of loving dark meat chicken and white meat turkey.
Happily, capons were plentiful in the 1960s, today, however, they are both expensive and hard to find. I attribute the demise in popularity to the availability of smaller sized tom turkeys in today?s market; and to the availability of large roasters due to changing breeding practices. These…