Turkeys seem like Christmas to me. I know a lot of Americans associate turkeys with Thanksgiving, and Canadians associate turkey with Canadian Thanksgiving... but to me, Christmas is turkey time... and as I love turkey, that's a pretty good thing.
It's really all Charles Dickens' fault. Before it was published in 1843, Christmas was in a decline. Dickens sparked a revival in Christmas as well as the Christmas turkey dinner. Obviously, before the discovery of the Americas, turkeys were unknown so a traditional Christmas dinner was more likely to consist of goose or beef. Ham and pork are also quite common.
"Do you know the Poulterer's in the next street but one, at the corner?" Scrooge inquired.
"I should hope I did," replied the lad.
" An intelligent boy!" said Scrooge. "A remarkable boy! Do you know whether they've sold the prize Turkey that was hanging up there?- Not the little prize Turkey: the big one?"
"What, the one as big as me?" returned the boy.
"What a delightful boy!" said Scrooge. "It's a pleasure to talk to him. Yes, my buck!"
"It's hanging there now," replied the boy.
"Is it?" said Scrooge. "Go and buy it ... I'll send it to Bob Cratchit's," whispered Scrooge, rubbing his hands, and splitting with a laugh. "He shan't know who sends it. It's twice the size of Tiny Tim. Joe Miller never made such a joke as sending it to Bob's will be!" - Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol
This is not my Christmas turkey. I had a cold at Christmas time and whilst I did cook my turkey and do it all very well, I didn't take any pictures. So the turkey above is actually from Christmas 2... last Saturday when I baked a half price post Christmas turkey. But I love turkey so it was a terrible thing to have to cook another one just for fun (and photos).
INGREDIENTS. - 1 turkey
1 to 2 lbs. of sausage meat
1 to 1 1/2 lbs. of veal forcemeat
2 or 3 slices of bacon
1 pint of good gravy
fat for basting
METHOD. - Prepare and truss the turkey. Fill the crop with sausage meat, and put the veal forcemeat inside the body of the bird.
Skewer the bacon over the breast, baste well with hot fat, and roast in a moderate oven from 1 3/4 to 2 1/4 hours, according to age and size of the bird.
Baste frequently, and about 20 miutes before serving remove the bacon to allow the breast to brown.
Remove the trussing-strings, serve on a hot dish, and send the gravy and bread sauce to table in sauce-boats.
TIME. - From 1 3/4 to 2 1/4 hours. SUFFICIENT for 10 or more persons
Sides will be following in later posts so for now just enjoy the turkey goodness and get sleepy from the tryptophan.