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The Truth About the Fact: An International Journal of Literary Nonfiction

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Tuesday, March 29, 2011

I Am Thankful for American Overindulgence

Thanksgiving is a holiday that I think particularly appeals to a lot of college students for several reasons. We get to go home to see family and old friends. We also get a short but sweet break from school. While going through LAX near a holiday can be a nightmare, the vacation is still usually a much needed relaxation period. And of course, there really is nothing like a home cooked meal, of which Thanksgiving is the king. I love to cook, but have difficulty finding the time to do so while trying to balance school and work. This holiday is a time that we are more or less obligated to take some time out of our busy schedules and focus on something we love: food.

My family somewhat recently heard about and started our own very tasty tradition of the turducken. It is a chicken, inside of a duck, inside of a turkey. There is a layer of stuffing in between each bird and it takes the whole day to cook. You can purchase these creations already prepared, but I think that takes out half the fun. Some people find it beautiful and some find it nauseating. But mixed emotions aside, you cannot deny the creativity it brings to what would otherwise be a typical Thanksgiving.

We have toyed with different ideas for this part of the meal. Two years ago we made a turgooduckenhen: a Cornish game hen inside of a chicken inside of a duck inside of a goose inside of a turkey (see photo). It weighed almost 40 lbs. This seemed a little excessive, even for us. So we cut back down to the turducken this past Thanksgiving, but added some strips of bacon with the stuffing in between birds, an appreciated suggestion from my little brother.

With only three children being home for most Thanksgivings now (the fourth is also a vegetarian…), it has worked out so that each year we each debone a bird. My first deboning was only two years ago, and I was assigned the turkey, while this year I was given the duck. For each bird, the deboning consists of cutting out the spine, ribs and leg bones of the bird, trying to avoid complete mutilation of the birds and ourselves. Both processes have been a challenge that lasted a couple of hours and left my arms too sore to make decent mashed potatoes.

Every family has traditions. While not typical, this tradition provides a subtle delight. We enjoy the experience not because we especially like ripping apart fowl carcasses, although that can be pretty fun. But more importantly, it is another thing that makes the Boueys unusual – a sort of bonding experience. People’s reactions, whether of disgust or in admiration, only amplify our amusement.

-Colleen Bouey


Blogger Editorial Staff said...

Wow Colleen, this sounds crazy! But I must say, that's a cool little (understatement) family tradition for such a family oriented holiday. I'm sure it will bring fun and memories for years to come.

March 30, 2011 at 10:13 AM  
Blogger Editorial Staff said...

By the way, the comment was from Cairesse : )

March 30, 2011 at 10:14 AM  
Blogger Editorial Staff said...

I want to try a turducken! Thanksgiving is by far my favorite holiday, how can you not love a day celebrating eating.

--Weston Finfer

April 28, 2011 at 5:35 PM  

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