Smarts aside, here’s something to gobble up

By John Owen | Nov 20, 2013

Would it surprise you to learn that a barnyard pig is smarter than a thoroughbred horse? There I go, getting into trouble again. I think it started when I suggested the Edmonds Saturday Market would be a better place without dogs.

That suggestion prompted some protests. I even got a letter from a dog named Mister Darcy. I don't think horses write letters, but some of their critics probably do, after betting the weekly paycheck in a claiming race at Emerald Downs.

I don't bet on horses, dogs or pigs, although they all have been judged more intelligent than a turkey. Yes, scientists have conducted intelligence tests on a variety of animals. Chimps usually win the gold medal.

You may have noticed that the family cook rarely serves up the family dog, cat or parrot. They have intelligence and personality. Turkeys are another matter.  They can't wait to jump into a roaster. That's their idea of a big night on the town.

What do you see during winter months staring up from magazine ads, place mats and cocktail napkins? Turkeys! They are strutting their stuff, feathers preened, wearing a stupid grin. Happy Thanksgiving, Merry Christmas, Happy New Year.

Big deal!  What does he think we are going to eat these holidays, tuna casserole?

The turkey doesn't have the slightest idea. He just knows that, suddenly, he's a celebrity. Politicians are shaking his claw, starlets want to pose with him. Old Tom puffs up his chest in pride while you and I measure him for an overcoat for a few pounds of stuffing.  But try to get a pig to pose for an Easter ad. No chance.

"What do you think, I'm dumb or something," he is liable to tell you.  "You're not talking to any jive turkey. You want an Easter picture, find a bunny that lays eggs." But just tell a turkey you need a couple of quick photos for a magazine layout featuring a recipe for turkey dressing and he'll respond, "Yeah great. Turkey dressing.  What are we stuffing?"


Turkey Stuffing


1/2 pound turkey livers

1 pound ground sausage

3/4 cup chopped onion

1/2 cup chopped celery

1/2 cup chopped green pepper

1 teaspoon caraway seed

1 teaspoon crushed rosemary

1/2 cup butter

5 cups bread cubes

5 cups crumbled corn bread

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon pepper

1 teaspoon sage

2/3 cup poultry broth

1 beaten egg

1/4 cup sherry


Mince the turkey livers, mix with the sausage, onion, celery, green pepper, caraway and rosemary. Dump this mess into a skillet which has been greased with two tablespoons butter.  Melt the rest of the butter and pour ir over the mixed bread crumbs.

When the cooked sausage and liver are no longer red dump the contents of the skillet over the mixed bread cubes and corn bread crumbs. Add the salt, pepper and sage and pour  in the broth. Add the beaten egg and the sherry and thoroughly mix the dressing, stuff the turkey and shove into an oven at your usual roasting  time and temperature. Dish any leftover stuffing into an ovenproof casserole and heat in the oven with the turkey for the last 45 minutes of roasting.

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