THE HUNTING PARTY

Welcome to the 50th post of this blog. It is hard for me to believe that I have not run out of things to say. I never thought the blog would last this long, so thank you to all the readers.

Imagine me in a camouflage outfit. Imagine me tiptoeing on a blanket of leaves trying not to make a sound. Imagine me holding a shotgun and going on a hunt. Have I turned into Elmer Fudd? I am hunting for a turkey.  A Dutch turkey that cannot understand English and will not come when I call him.  If you are having trouble imagining me in this scenario, you are not alone. All I can tell you that looking for turkey in the Netherlands made me feel like I was a hunter, but it never got so bad that I picked up a gun and went into the woods.

This country has plenty of turkeys, but there is  a weird turkey thing here. You can buy turkey legs and turkey fillets throughout the year. You will have trouble finding a full turkey in the spring, summer or fall. A turkey with all of its body parts is easy to find in December as it is very popular at Christmas. But if you want to find a turkey breast, then you will have a lot of trouble. I have been in search of a turkey breast since late October and have been dreaming of Elmer Fudd volunteering to find me that elusive piece of meat.

I wanted to cook just the breast. It is so moist and wonderful, and I didn’t want to deal with the legs or the little packet of unspoken treasures that come inside the tummy. I just wanted a breast. Was I asking too much? Apparently I was. By the way, to all of you vegetarians, you are absolutely right: if I did not eat meat, I would not be having this problem. I would be over here trying to find tofu, and I cannot think about how I search for that stuff.

When we asked our local butcher about buying just the breast, he looked at me (he already knew I was an American) as if I had three breasts.  He told us he could get us a small turkey, probably the size of a breast. But he would contact “his people” and see what he could do. But alas, he could not give us what we wanted.

The search continued and I was trying to accept the idea of getting a full turkey, but I had to decide soon as I had to special order the turkey. I know that this sounds so strange to Americans, as the grocery stores have mammoth mountains of frozen and fresh turkeys. You can get a 12lb turkey or a 24lb turkey…whatever you want, you can get. And breasts?!! America has millions of turkey breasts, couldn’t they ship some of them over here?

But someone suggested that I try a store just outside of Utrecht that I didn’t know even existed. It’s a store like a Sam’s Club or BJ’s and I was speechless walking into this store. It is very much like the stores in America, just not as ridiculously huge. But still it could fit three large Dutch grocery store within its walls. And they had a great meat section, this place was my last hope. And there it was, a 3lb turkey breast, with my name on it. I clutched it to my breast and thanked my feathered friend who gave me this gift. Now I could plan on an almost traditional Thanksgiving meal.

The other big shock was finding butternut squash in the grocery stores. When I held the squash in my hands, I had a big smile on my face. Things were looking up. The mature side of me says that it makes no difference where you celebrate this holiday, it is all about who you are with and the gratitude and love you give those that are not near you. After all, it is just a turkey. It is just a dinner. But for whatever the reason, it has a bigger meaning to a lot of people. I simply love this holiday.

I think I will be better prepared next year. This was a learning experience for me, and I am always learning about what is and is not here. I don’t need to be Elmer Fudd to have a good meal. And I don’t have to creep into the woods to find dinner. I can just walk into the store and buy a breast, just like I could in America.

Whether your turkey is huge or dinkie, I wish you much joy. Whether you have tofu and pine nuts, I wish you a day of happiness.

An update—I saw THE HELP! I loved it.  All I want is some chocolate pie…..

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Comments

  • Jane Moore Houghton  On November 22, 2011 at 11:19 pm

    You too my friend! I am thankful for YOU in my life.
    Enjoy your dinkie turkey! How do you know for sure it’s turkey? You know how sometimes they try to fool the tourists coming to Maine for ‘lobsta’ only to be served (unknowingly) cray fish?! Could be a goose – from Canada!

    Enjoy xo

  • aledysver  On November 23, 2011 at 8:15 pm

    Oh dear! It´s *that* time of the year, when you start looking for things (mostly to eat, right?) that you absolutely must have during the holidays and you can´t get anywhere? Or that it costs the same as both your eyes and maybe one of your kidneys as well? 😀

    I have to say I´ve never seen a whole turkey in the supermarkets in the NL. I´ve just seen (and usually buy) turkey filets and once we bought a pre marinated turkey breast filet in the AH for Christmas…

    I still have 3 more weeks here in Argentina (yeeyyyyy!!) and I am already stressed about choosing the right food stuffs to take back with me – there´s so much I normally miss there in the NL!

    Enjoy your turkey breast!!

    Cheers!

  • aledysver  On November 23, 2011 at 8:16 pm

    Oh, and congrats on your 50th post!!! 😀

  • Sandra  On November 23, 2011 at 10:05 pm

    Congratulations on your 50th … and please keep ‘um coming! I love the image of you as Elmer Fudd, and am grateful that turkey breast found its way into your life. Cheers and Happy Thanksgiving, Sandra

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