Hello and welcome back to the Hometown Heritage Blog!
The holiday season has official started, and tomorrow is Thanksgiving! Many people will be gathering with their families to eat copious amounts of food and take a much-deserved break. The staple of numerous feasts tomorrow will be a home cooked (and hopefully not burnt) turkey. Most people will buy their turkeys at the store, already cleaned, plucked, and frozen. However, can you imagine what it would be like to have to raise your own turkey just for the Thanksgiving feast?
Back in the early 1900s, many families had to raise and then slaughter their own turkey if they wanted to have one for a Thanksgiving celebration. Imagine you woke up Thanksgiving morning, bright and early, to start preparing for the day. You head outside to your farm, and similar to Donald Johnson in the picture below, you find yourself surrounded by turkeys. It is probably very loud with all of the gobbling going on, making it hard to hear anything else. Alternatively, maybe you saw some just outside by your car, similar to the turkeys seen in the picture of Stroudtman Farm. Which turkey do you pick? After spending so many months raising them, you must know all about them, possible even named some. The choice would be quite difficult; do you pick the one with the most meat on it, or the one that you can catch the easiest? I imagine the turkeys would not be very happy about the idea of being cooked up and eaten, similar to those of the chickens in the movie Chicken Run (perhaps they have plans to escape!). After catching the right turkey, you then have to slaughter it, pluck out all the feathers, remove parts like the feet, and determine the best way to cook it. From the sounds of it, getting a turkey for Thanksgiving used to be an all day ordeal! Personally, I think I will stick to hunting down my turkey in the grocery aisle.
As we cook our turkey this Thanksgiving, I am going to be thankful that I did not have to go out and hunt it down myself. Readers, what are you going to be thankful for this Thanksgiving? Leave a comment and let us know, and I hope you all have a happy Thanksgiving!