Having lived far away from home for many years as a college student in Palo Alto and medical resident in Boston and Pittsburgh, I have met many turkeys of different shapes, sizes and personalities. People would graciously extend thanksgiving invitations to me and I would graciously accept. While I’ve always enjoyed juicy American turkeys cooked to perfection, I have equally enjoyed exotic birds from faraway lands. There was the bronzed Middle Eastern turkey that looked like he had spent weeks in the sub Sahara desert under the blazing sun which he owed to a generous glaze of pomegranate sauce. Then I met this colorful bird at another Persian household who had been decorated with slices of round red, yellow and green peppers pinned to its body for dramatic effect-definitely a Middle Easterner with an attention seeking persona. And he was surrounded by elaborate Persian dishes, Fesenjoon (a scrumptious pomegranate walnut chicken dish), Ghormeh sabzi (a mouthwatering traditional dish made with a wide array of sautéed herbs, legumes, limes and lamb shank) and Chelow kabob, rather than your usual mashed potatoes and green beans. And finally, there was the turkey roasted in Iran by my family at thanksgiving- our attempt to replicate the traditional American meal in the motherland failed miserably. The turkey meat turned out to taste and feel more like rubber than poultry due to lack of hormones and antibiotics, not to mention a diet not aimed at plumping a bird for an annal harvest. It was one tough turkey.
No matter the demographic of the bird, thanksgiving is always a feast filled with blessing, love and memories made.
Although the holidays are a time of great joy and togetherness for many, they can also be a time of great sadness and despair for others. We must be mindful and reach out in any way we can. Thanksgiving is a time to be thankful for all that we have and all that we don't. It's even a time to be grateful for the not so wonderful things in our lives that make us grow and appreciate the positives that much more. My husband said it best one night when we were discussing the meaning of happiness..."The moment we stop being thankful and begin taking things for granted is the moment we stop being happy."
Wishing you a Happy Thanksgiving!