Turkey Neck Time

November 12, 2013

Barbara, (my high school friend who also lives locally with her husband), and I just returned from a 2 mile walk – where there was a crisp chill in the air (and even some snowflakes) and thoughts of Thanksgiving in our hearts.  She was reminiscing about her grandmother always reaching into the bottom of the Thanksgiving turkey pan to grab the turkey neck to have as her before-dinner snack, a memory she held from the time of her early childhood until that day when Barbara asked if she could try it, too.  Her grandmother told her she probably wouldn’t like it.  But she did try it and she did like it, and it became Barbara’s from that day forward….until recently when her own daughter asked about the turkey neck, tasted it, and the mantle passed again.  But not a problem; today we have everything.  So Barbara, before the next turkey time, stopped at the Centreville Food Lion on her way past one day and discovered an entire package of turkey necks!  Oh my!  The wonder of this modern age and country that we live in!  Maybe there’s not a chicken in every pot, (and that’s another story) but there are at least enough turkey necks for those who want them.

My memories are similar to Barbara’s, except that her grandmother prepared the necks differently from my mother.  As for our single turkey neck (before the days of multiple ones in the grocery store, and oops, sorry for the possessive spoiler alert, but my poor mother never had a chance with me salivating at her heels at every step), she boiled our’s on top of the stove, along with the giblets.  And quite frankly, I really don’t know how I would’ve survived holidays in our house if I couldn’t have eaten both the turkey neck in its entirety along with the gizzard and liver.  The heart was my sister’s because I had to share something. or I would’ve eaten that, too.)  And this was survival, since Sunday and holiday dinners were always at 2, when everyone else got there, and there was certainly not going to be any lunch offered when there was all of that food glory happening in the kitchen.  Good heavens, that would’ve been unthinkable, so you had to grab what you could, when you could.  Which was what I did.  🙂

Recently our British guests asked us what the traditional Thanksgiving foods were, so I described some of the tables of my childhood – although I forgot the turkey necks – but I doubt those reading this post need that same explanation.  Our’s was always wonderful, but it was standard fare.

As our kids have grown up, our traditions, of course, have changed, with the first major one being when my Aunt Sara didn’t host a holiday dinner that first time at Christmas.  The food was the same, but that year marked the beginning of the real changes.  This year we’ll have a noon time brunch at our daughter’s house in Philadelphia (easy and lovely).  The old memories shared and the new memories made will still be just as warm as my mother’s hot-just-out-of-the-oven-homemade-rolls and I can’t wait.  But I still need that turkey smell in our house…so hopefully I’ll get a free one at the Acme.  Oh, and Barbara’s going to pick me up a pack of turkey necks, too.  Happy Thanksgiving to you and your’s.

Comments

Comments

  1. Joan says:

    we ate at “the club” for every holiday….so my memories are different, but still wonderful…and very festive…

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