It’s the Turkey, Stupid


Remember Bill Clinton’s successful 1992 presidential campaign against George H. W. Bush? That’s when Clinton’s campaign strategist, James Carville, coined the phrased, “It’s the economy, stupid” to help focus the political debate when Clinton seemed poised to verbally run wildly off in all directions at once.

Well, maybe consistency is good for politicians, but I wonder if it has gotten just a little boring for Thanksgiving dinner. Is it “the turkey again, stupid,” or do we need a little variety?

For 2014 the Jamestown Gazette offers you a little diversity to go with your sweet potatoes, cranberry sauce and apple pie.

A Pittsburgh restaurant, for instance, Braddock’s American Brasserie, called on Pittsburgh’s proud Polish heritage to create the Turkey Dinner Pierogi, stuffed with apple sage turkey kielbasa and doused in traditional gravy. How’s that, Pilgrim?

And how about a Thanksgiving barbecue? Try the Turkey Gizzard Kebabs created last year at Tavern Road in Boston’s Fort Point neighborhood. That delicacy leaves you the drumsticks and the white meat as leftovers.

And speaking of leftovers, on the day after Thanksgiving try treating your family to Thanksgiving Leftovers Pizza, like the kind created at Krescendo’s Pizzeria in Brooklyn’s Boerum Hill district. It’s a crisp crust pie topped with strips of leftover turkey, ham, au gratin potatoes and sour cream/sweet potato “sauce,” with a hint of marshmallow and cranberry – a real triumph of American culinary arts.

And don’t forget the football game snacks. We could all stand a little variety there, too, couldn’t we?

Did you know Lay’s has created Turkey Potato Chips? They go great with Lay’s Dill Pickle Chips. It’s said to be like combining the best parts of Thanksgiving dinner, all together in one bag. Sadly, for reasons only Lay’s knows, these savory chips are only available in China. Serve them with Roasted Turkey-flavor Doritos, baked in the shape of Christmas trees, only available in Taiwan, of course!

And for the kids, there’s the Harry Potter Bertie Bott’s Jelly Beans Bag, which includes Mashed Potatoes and Gravy jellybeans and even ketchup to sausage beans. Combine them all for the full holiday effect and a great sugar buzz for the young’ns.

How’s that for a dose of variety for your Thanksgiving dinner? But if it all seems a little too adventurous for 2014, just remember, “It’s the Turkey, stupid,” and you won’t go too far wrong.

Enjoy whichever of the old traditions you plan to follow this year, or the new ones you plan to start, and as always, enjoy the read.

Walt Pickut


The Jamestown Gazette

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Walt Pickut’s writing career began with publishing medical research in1971 while working at the Jersey City Medical Center and the NYU Hospital and School of Medicine. Walt holds board registries in respiratory care and sleep technology as well as bachelor's degrees in biology and communication, and a master's degrees in physiology from Fairleigh-Dickinson University in New Jersey, with additional graduate work in mass communication completed at SUNY Amherst. He currently teaches Presentational Speaking in the Houghton College PACE program at JCC and holds memberships in the Society of Professional Journalists and the American Society of Business Publication Editors. He lives in Jamestown with his wife Nancy, an MSW social worker, and has three children: Dr. Cait Lamberton in Pittsburgh, Bill Pickut, a marketing executive in Chicago, and Rev. Matt Pickut in Plymouth, IN.