Giblets, gravy, Instagram, and lovelessness
How bad is it that I stuff our turkey a few days in advance?
Bad -- disgusting actually, don't do that.
Is quinoa stuffing healthier than regular stuffing?
Yes. If regular white bread stuffing is what's on the table, though, don't let the words quinoa stuffing leave your mouth.
Tryptophan is what makes us sleepy?
Turkey has tryptophan, but not significantly more than chicken or beef. We fall asleep because we're hypoglycemic and bored. If napping is a concern, go for a walk or ask an old person about their old love stories.
Alternatively (and hopefully not the case), sleep could be how you respond to stress.
Is it true that most people gain five pounds over the holidays?
Also, do we really eat 4,500 calories on Thanksgiving?
Tara Parker-Pope at The New York Times measured it closer to 2,500. But that didn't include any alcohol at all -- or reheating later, or breakfast before. So essentially yes, a lot of us do.
If I'm in someone's kitchen, and I don't know how to help, or it's just generally awkward, what should I do?
I've heard that eating turkey without the skin is better for me. Is that true?
Yes, it is. The skin is mostly saturated fat.
How can I avoid talking to my family and just focus on what I really want: the f-o-o-d!
Please try to be more sincere. Some day you will spend the holidays alone, and it will suck.
I understand that if I try to deep fry a frozen turkey, it can explode my house. We just had our cabinets done, and the last thing we need is an explosion. Just how frozen is too frozen?
Really I only enjoy the turkey skins. Is that okay?
I mean I wouldn't make an entire meal of it.
It seems like we leave gravy sitting out most of the day and still eat it. Is that bad?
Yes. Put it in the refrigerator, and if it sits out you're supposed to bring it to a rolling boil before you serve it again.
What if I forget about the giblets?
Yeah, so, backing up for a minute, giblets are the visceral organs of the turkey. If you buy a turkey from the butcher, they might come in a bag inside of it, which you have to reach in and take out before you cook it. We use giblets to make dog food, but fancy and rural people eat them, too, in various ways. If you forget to take out the bag of giblets, and it melts "or changes shape in any way," the FDA says you shouldn't eat the turkey.
Cranberries are good for your heart and help prevent cancer. I read.
Maybe, but then we boil them in sugar, so I wouldn't look at cranberry sauce as healthy. Paula Dean puts mayonnaise in hers, though, so we're a step ahead of that.
Also should I make them with orange juice instead of table sugar?
If you want them to taste like orange juice. I know that sounds glib, but that really is what I'd say. It would get you a little less fructose, yes. But how much cranberry sauce are you eating? One day a year? It's like the quinoa stuffing. The difference ends up being pretty much academic, and there are a million more important things for us to worry about.
I was told to cook my turkey with the wings "akimbo." I just nodded, but I'm not sure what that means.
Tuck the tips of the wings under the shoulders, which spreads out the meat, so it's supposed to cook more evenly.
How much gravy is "too much"?
Unless you have heart failure, don't overthink it on the holiday. But then the fact that you're asking makes me wonder if you've had issues with gravy in the past?
What is Thanksgiving going to be like on Instagram?
I had to look this up, but this is actually Instagram's third Thanksgiving. For most of us, though, it's our first together. It will probably be the biggest day on Instagram ever. The outlook for the food-photo-averse is beyond bleak.
It's my first vegetarian Thanksgiving. Should I make tofurkey?
Tofurkey is offensive, linguistically and culturally. If you want to eat turkey, eat turkey. Tofu doesn't look or taste or smell like turkey at all. If you make tofu, own it and treat it like tofu and call it tofu.
What I plan to do, essentially, is make a bowl out of just turkey skin, and fill it with gravy. Then take it up to my old childhood bedroom and eat it alone. Then probably repeat that a couple times.
Ah don't do that. But we'd probably be good friends.
The Pilgrims landed on Plymouth Rock?
Abraham Lincoln made Thanksgiving an official holiday?
Is pumpkin the new bacon?
Yes, but we'll be mostly rid of pumpkin by March, and bacon is eternal. These are getting less like health questions. Well, I suppose that is a health question insofar as all of the pumpkin everywhere might be stressing us out. Like if you feel you can't escape it. Seasonal pumpkin-related anxiety.
I am a pescetarian.
I don't normally smoke, but hey, it's Thanksgiving, right?
Why are you putting me in this position?
I did the gravy bowl thing, and I have no regrets.
Does the USDA have a "meat and poultry hotline"?
Do you need love to enjoy the holidays?
No, but if you have the opportunity and are on the fence about loving someone, do it.
So Plymouth Rock landed on them?
That is more accurate, I suppose.