My vocabulary word for the week is how to say "Turkey" in Chinese. It’s Huo Jie, which translates as "Fire Bird." After I put my bird on to roast this morning, I thought about what a neat word it is. If I had a copy of Stravinski’s Firebird Suite, I’d put it on right now! I’m mentally celebrating because I’m cooking Thanksgiving Dinner for the first time in a long time! We’re going to have turkey, dressing, sweet potato casserole, broccoli casserole, rice and gravy, pumpkin pie, and pecan pie. Oh, and home made dinner rolls (which I need to go make). I like the name "fire bird" much better than plain, old "turkey," how about you?!!
It’s still just an ordinary school and work day. D is at work and C is at school. C will likely have a ton of homework when she gets home. But we’re going to put our foot down for just a few hours this evening, have some friends join us, and have a family time set aside for our special meal and for giving thanks.
Speaking of, it’s thanks to Sally that I found my Thanksgiving Turkey yesterday! I had shopped at a local foreign grocery. They did have one, but they wanted 45 RMB per kilo, which would have come to about $36 for a 12 pound bird. I figured I could do better a the wholesale market. Sally told me the name of the shop where she bought her bird. Or, let’s clarify this. Sally’s housekeeper told my houskeeper, in Cantonese, the address and phone number of the shop as well as the pertinent information that we ought to be able to get one for 30 RMB per kilo. Song Ying went alone to purchase the bird. The shopkeeper wanted 32 RMB per kilo, but Song Ying told him "No way! My friend says to pay 30 RMB." So, he relented and we paid 30 RMB per kilo, or about $24?
Anyway, the turkey came home in a package that says it was raised on a family farm in North Carolina. It has an address and phone number. The town is a place I’ve never heard of. But here’s the strange thing: the package says it’s a premium turkey, but the word premium is badly misspelled. It’s misspelled so badly that I can’t imagine an American company doing it, especially on a package that will be shipped overseas.
I decided that just for fun, I would call the 800 number listed on the package and see if it’s a real company. Doggone it, Song Ying is so efficient that she’s already taken out the garbage! Oh well. I guess I’ll never know. But I just can’t quite believe that an American farm in North Carolina would be shipping turkeys to China that are labeled something like "Preemmumin" or some similarly horrific spelling. Can you?
Okay, back to cooking.
And . . . as a post script . . . the menu for the day was: Turkey, southern cornbread dressing, rice, gravy, cranberry salad, cranberry sauce, home made rolls, broccoli casserole, sweet potato casserole, okra pickles, pickled beets, sweet cucumber pickles, a nice wine, and sweet iced tea. And . . . notice there’s no dessert? We ran out of time so . . . we put syrup on the rolls. Yum, it was fine! Our guests were two Americans and two Chinese, and a good time was had by all!