Ah the holidays. The gifts under the tree, the decorations hung over the mantle, a kiss under the mistletoe. What better way to celebrate the holidays than a trip to the emergency department with your inlaws. Say what?
Yes, it’s that time a year when people cook a meal that involves high stress and surgical cleanliness revolving around a meat that is supposed to make you relax.
Ok, hang on to your oven mitts for a moment.
First, cooking a turkey should not involve a lot of stress. Unless of course you have a live turkey in your back yard and plan to pluck and process it for dinner the day before. Good luck with that.
Second, eating turkey is not really the cause of you turning into a couch potato. Sure, turkey meat does contain tryptophan, the essential amino acid that induces relaxation and sleep. However, other foods such as eggs, fish, even spinach have the same amount or more tryptophan as turkey. That’s why Popeye needed a nap after dealing with Pluto.
Fortunately, in today’s world of modern technology we are able to clean, cook and consume a food that somehow our ancestors managed to consume safely for hundreds of years, when a doctor was a two-day trip by oxen cart.
The Manitoba Turkey Producers have a simple booklet you can download online (turkey.mb.ca) that gives you all the facts and methodology for purchasing, thawing, cooking and serving your turkey. There’s also a “Turkey 101 How to Thaw Video” for those who live in our ‘show-me’ state of Manitoba.
And, for all those culinary accountants out there, there’s even a “Turkey Calculator.” That’s right, a Turkey Calculator (tastyturkey.ca). A simple online tool that can help determine what size bird you need to buy for the amount of people you are having for dinner, how long you need to thaw the turkey in either the refrigerator or in cold water, and how long you need to cook the turkey.
For more traditionalists, you can also read the label on the turkey you purchase. D’uh.
So there you have it. This isn’t rocket science people. Cooking a turkey today is not as difficult or stressful as you think. As for the mass of visiting inlaws, well, that stress we can’t help you with.
Just have some tryptophan and relax.