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Turkey and Dressing

[excerpts from Lena Osborne's column in The Tulsa Daily World, Nov. 19, 1921]

   "Turkeys will be scarcer but cheaper this fall."
   This was the heading of an article on the market page not so very long ago, ...
   It's only tradition, of course, this idea of having turkey for Thanksgiving dinner, but it's a tradition of such long standing, it's part of the day, and many a family will skimp and save, if need be, for a week before, just to bring the allowance up to where the additional expense for this day can be met. ...
   Live turkeys come a little cheaper by the pound, and there are some who do not mind dressing one.* ...
   Many years ago every home furnished its supply of dusters for the season from the turkey wings.  Today, you still find them in homes where older women are looking out for conservation.  The first joint was removed with all the feathers on it.  This was taken out-of-doors and spread out as flat as it could be made and a heavy weight placed upon it.  Here it was left until thouroughly dried then used as a duster.
   These turkey wings do have some uses even today with all our fine brushes.  For instance, there isn't anything better to brush under a stove, a bathtub,** or under any low-covered place than a turkey wing. ...
   ... The covered roaster, of course, cooks turkey ideally, but if you haven't a roaster large enough to hold your turkey--improvise one by putting it in a "dough jacket."
   The "dough jacket was formerly used by restuarant cooks when they baked whole hams or large roasts of any sort, too large to go into their baking pans.  Take a piece of cheese cloth, large enought to tuck in and around the bird.  Lay it flat on a table, then spread on a heavy paste of flour and water not more than a quarter of an inch thick.  Lay this over the turkey after it is placed in the open pan with a little water in the bottom, and put in the oven, baking moderately.  This dough jacket hardens, of course, and holds in all the heat and steam, keeping in the flavor as it cooks.  Allow 15 minutes to the pound for cooking before removing the jacket.  Then brown the bird with the jacket off. ...
   Now about the gravy. ... Most families like to have the liver and gizzard cut finely and added to the gravy. ...

           Oyster Dressing.

   1 pint dry, small bread chunks,
   1 cup dry, small cornbread chunks,
   1 pint oysters,
   1 cup celery pieces,
   2 teaspoons salt.
   Mix these together, with enough boiling water to make soft.  Do not use oysters in the dressing if they are to be used for a cocktail or escalloped.

        Onion Celery Dressing.

   Use the same amount of bread chunks, celery butter and seasonings, adding one-half cup diced onion which has first been browned in the butter.

     Bacon Celery Onion Dressing.

   Use the same amounts as given above, only cut several strips of bacon in small threads, then brown both the bacon and onions in a skillet before mixing with the rest of the ingredients.

* In some places, including Tulsa, there was a third option. The City Meat Market, which sold live poultry, would "dress them while you wait."

** Remember, stoves and many bathtubs were still up on short legs in the 1920s, although some homes would have had a modern bathtub with no space under it.

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