Tag Archives: Benjamin Franklin

Food: Thanksgiving Turkey

Ground turkey mimics ground beef, and turkey sausage mimics pork. But nothing mimics a roast turkey. Uploaded to Flickr by jen d. cox.

On Thanksgiving Day, everyone looks forward to a feast unlike any other day of the year. And while the supporting cast is important, the undisputed star of the show…is turkey.

Turkey is native to America, and you may remember that Ben Franklin lobbied to have it named the official American mascot. Fortunately for us all, he was unsuccessful.

Uploaded to Flickr by rebelxtned.

As popular as turkey is on Thanksgiving, so popular that the holiday’s nickname is “Turkey Day,” it’s surprising that people don’t enjoy turkey as much during the rest of the year. It’s inexpensive, rather easy to prepare, and a turkey or breast can feed a family in leftovers and sandwiches for most of a week.

Turkey is a lean meat, and as a result has become a tasty and nutritious substitute for other meats. Ground turkey makes a pretty decent substitute for beef in chili, and for pork in sausage.

One thing we all know about turkey is that it contains the amino acid tryptophan, which works as a natural sedative. I just had a wonderful Thanksgiving dinner prepared by my stepdaughter, anzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Americana: Bald Eagle

I wouldn't want to cross him, would you? National Geographic photo uploaded by fatfinch.wordpress.com.

I wouldn't want to cross him, would you? National Geographic photo uploaded by fatfinch.wordpress.com.

Can we all take a moment and be grateful that, for all his contributions to our nation’s founding, Ben Franklin didn’t get his wish that the turkey become our national bird? I mean, I like turkey at Thanksgiving as much as the next guy, but for majesty and stature, it’s hard to match the bald eagle.

The bald eagle is the only eagle unique to North America. It’s no longer on the list of endangered wildlife, I’m happy to report, though it’s still protected by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. (As is the chimney swift, as I found out all too well this summer.)

Uploaded by pwlf.org.

Uploaded by pwlf.org.

For today’s lesson in Old English, we find that the word “bawld” originally meant “white,” not “hairless.” And as you can see in these pictures, the bald eagle is crowned in white, much like Steve Martin or James Coburn. Or me, for that matter.

About half of the population of about 70,000 live in Alaska, and another 20,000 reside in nearby British Columbia. One of the primary reasons for the concentration in the Pacific Northwest is the presence of salmon, the favorite food of bald eagles. I doubt if Ben Franklin ever tasted, or for that matter, ever heard of salmon. No wonder he thought the gobbler was nobler.