The “Big Week” is here at last. Who’d a thunk that a Thursday would become so revered in this nation’s collective consciousness? It’s not a weekend? It’s not a three-day holiday. . . Stop to think why. We celebrate the anniversary of the beginning of our new nation as the Pilgrims did – with food and fellowship! Add to that television fare that is out of the ordinary; a huge parade or two, the Westminster Dog Show (which my wife and mother-in-law love to watch, and a full slate of NFL matchups. And, beginning immediately after (and sometimes even before) the Christmas shopping season kicks off with a bang as Black Friday Sales abound! As if that weren’t enough, Pennsylvania Buck Season is ushered in this weekend. In my early years in the grocery business, when there were seemingly more out of state hunters around, I often surmised they must have gotten up from their Thanksgiving dinner tables and headed to McKean County!
In my 52 years in the grocery business, I cannot remember a Thanksgiving so fraught with concern about the availability and price of turkeys. Turkey is just one of those things that you expect to walk into a supermarket and find – in abundance. Much like Campbell’s Tomato Soup, frozen corn, or sliced bread. This year, due to the onset of Avian Flu, some 23 million chickens and turkeys were culled from the flock. And as we’ve all learned in recent years, the shorter the supply, the higher the price. Still turkey remains one of the most economical meats you can serve your family. It’s cheaper than beef and pork by a long shot.
Somewhere during the day Thursday, I will take time to “contemplate the inside of my eyelids” for 30 minutes or so. It’s not something I enjoy just on the holiday per se since it’s a ritual I follow every day! However, on Thanksgiving, the ingestion of turkey infuses me with Tryptophan, an essential amino acid that can’t be produced by the human body. Tryptophan plays a roll in the production of serotonin, melatonin, as well as Vitamin B. And besides aiding me in my nap, it has a beneficial impact on mood, depression, memory skills, visual cognition, learning, and aggression control! If I eat enough turkey, perhaps I’ll be able to resist fighting my son over leftovers.