A Gentleman and a Rogue

Monday, November 21, 2011

The Gobble on Turkey Day. Thanksgiving Week #1


Turkeys, interestingly enough, were native to North America. The Native American name for turkey? Peru. (Spaniards introduced turkeys to Europe in the 16th Century.)

Back during the American colonial days, founding father Ben Franklin believed the turkey should be the national bird. Back in his time, turkeys lived in flocks, loved to fly, were wild, brightly plumed and cunning. Go figure.

Today, domestic turkeys are bred to have large breasts for their white meat. Because of this, the "toms" (the boy turkeys) are not able to fertilize the hens in the natural way. Most eggs are fertilized using artificial insemination.

Only the "toms" gobble gobble. The hens make clucking sounds.


So what's the skinny with white and dark meat? It has nothing to do with blood. The legs and thighs are darker because they are a specific muscle type, different from the breast.


Turkey eggs are twice the size of chicken eggs and fertilized eggs take 28 days to hatch.


Interestingly enough, "The Christmas Carol" by Charles Dickens is given credit for making turkey the dinner of choice for Christmas.


The first president to pardon the turkey was Harry Truman in 1947. The National Turkey Federation presented him the bird, but Truman had pity on him. Truman's pardon continued on after him. Every year, newborn turkeys in April are picked as potential pardonees. These turkey live the good life in an air-conditioned barn, the best saw dust to sleep on, and the best food in their bellies.

In August, the "toms" pork out at 25 pounds. Only the top 6 toms – the largest and the most handsome, get picked for crowd control training. They get exposed to large crowds, clapping, noise, kids, and guys who look like the president. They're trained not to bite the kids, attack the president, or exhibit any unsatisfactory behavior.

Out of the 6, 2 get picked to go to the White House – the president and vice-president. (just in case something happens on the trip over)

After the big pardon, the birds to live in a luxury retirement farm called Frying Pan Park, but few make it to the next turkey day. Since they are bred to have large breasts, they can't support their weight and die within the year.

Thanksgiving is meant to offer thanks for our blessings and most of us celebrate in a fashion similar to the Pilgrim/Indian feast in 1621. I'd love to hear what some of your favorites foods are for Thanksgiving. Mine? Turkey wings, corn, clam chowder and blueberry pie.


Stephanie's Christmas release, "Christmas in Bayeux" is avail as a 99 cent read with Victory Tales Press.

GENRE: Contemporary romance
HEAT LEVEL: Stimulating

BLURB: Aiden seeks out his childhood friend, Noel, in Bayeux, France. Can she help heal his lonely heart and convince him Christmas wishes do come true?


Her cheeks reddened, but she only gestured toward the hall. "It's this way."

They entered the main room and he saw that the tapestry hung on the wall opposite of them. It filled the space entirely. Aiden stood stock-still, admiring its craftsmanship.

"We believe it commemorates the Norman conquest of England in 1066. We all call it a tapestry, but it's really an embroidery." She paused, then pointed. "Of course, the hero is William the Conqueror. His forces defeated those led by the English king, Harold Godwinson."

Aiden walked the length to the tapestry, marveling at the story and how the work had been well preserved for close to 1,000 years.

"Edward the Confessor had no heir so he sent Harold to tell William he would rule England once Edward died. Harold, however, usurped the throne."

Aiden pointed to a star with a tail. "Is that a star?"

She grinned. "Modern interpretation believes it to be Haley's comet. It was a bad omen for Harold."

"What happened next?"

Noel giggled. "William conquered him."

"Silly me. I should have known that." He grabbed her waist and pulled her against him. Their eyes locked, hers smoldering with desire. Damn. He wanted to kiss her. Right now. Screw his willpower. Aiden grabbed her hand and led her to the nearest hallway. Empty, thank God.

BOOK TEASER ON YOU TUBE: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-muZ0dhOvSE

AMAZON: http://www.amazon.com/Christmas-in-Bayeux-ebook/dp/B005BTLSI8/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1321401927&sr=1-1

BARNES & NOBLE NOOK: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/christmas-in-bayeux-stephanie-burkhart/1104401603?ean=2940011371806&itm=1&usri=christmas+in+bayeux

SMASHWORDS: http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/72100






GIVEAWAY: If you post a review on Amazon, Barnes & Noble or Smashwords between now and 1 DEC, then your name will go in a hat to win one of two decorative cloth Christmas trees made by my crafty friend, Lori Powell, along with some Yankee Candles and Chocolate. Be sure to return here and post in the comments that you posted the review along with a contact email.


  1. Hi Steph! I enjoyed the turkey talk and the hot excerpt! Happy turkey day to you.


  2. Frying Pan Park? Good name for a turkey retirement home.
    I knew Ben Franklin wanted a turkey as the national symbol. Nice that the Eagle got the honors. Who wants to be a turkey?
    As always, I enjoyed your blog.

  3. Thanks for Talking Turkey Lessons... Steph this sounds like a book I want to put on my first Kindle...Yep, I got an early Christmas present...

  4. Maggie,
    Happy Turkey Day back at you. Anyone else going to brine the bird for the big meal?

    Sarah, it's that a riot? You gotta have a sense of humor. I'm glad the Eagle won out, too!

    Yay! Nothing wrong with a little early Christmas. Don't forget to come back and leave a post about the review.


  5. I love the dressing. I usually eat a piece of the breast. But pile on the dressing with jellied cranberry sauce, and giblet gravy. My husband's family always has a great meal with everyone bringing a dish. It is served sort of buffet style. Too many people to consider sitting around a table and passing the groceries. A blessing is said, then everyone fills their plate and finds a place to land. Even with extra tables some still end up sitting on couches and chairs. My husband is the oldest of nine, my mother-in-law has 13 grandkids and approximately 22 great grandchildren. So always lots of people and lots of kids. I love his family and it is hard to explain to my family the attraction. It is more laid back and informal. My mother always had everyone at the table and pass the food. Too many in Jim's family and the comraderie is great. Big family vs small family I prefer the big one.

  6. Kathy, what a wonderful gathering. Thanks so much for sharing. It sounds like Thanksgiving on your husband's side is full of fellowship and love. And I'm a sucker for a good gravy.


  7. I love all the classic American foods, Turkey with mashed potates, gravy & stuffing, and the classic pumpkin pie for dessert. My family often had Italian food for holidays, so I appreciate having American food!

  8. Aly, thanks for popping in, Sweetie. I never did care for pumpkin pie much until my MIL made a pumpkin cheesecake last year and I couldn't stop licking the plate, it was THAT good.