Friday, November 25, 2011

Thanksgiving Dinosaurs!

Turkey, from Wikipedia
Happy Day-After Thanksgiving, everyone!

This year, Cynthia and I hosted a bunch of writers and illustrators for Thanksgiving dinner.

What does that have to do with dinosaurs?  Well, birds are dinosaurs (check out this nifty page at the University of California Paleo Museum), which means that our main course (Meleagris gallopavo) is, as well.  In particular, it is a saurisichian, theropodan, tetanuran, maniraptoran dinosaur.  Check out this graphic for even more Thanksgiving turkey paleo-geekiness.

Chris Barton (THE DAY GLO BROTHERS, SHARK VS. TRAIN, and CAN I SEE YOUR ID?) and I joined Don Tate (dinosaur post)(DUKE ELLINGTON'S NUTCRACKER SUITE, IT JES HAPPENED: WHEN BILL TRAYLOR STARTED TO DRAW, and many more) for the annual Turkey Trot.  Now, I'd never done the Turkey Trot before, but I usually sneak in a three-mile run the morning of Thanksgiving, just because it makes me feel better :-).

All in all, it was an enormously fun event -- well organized and a picturesque route up and around downtown and near west Austin.  I discovered, however, that I am woefully out of shape :-).  

After the race, it was time to stuff the turkey! 

I do a traditional giblet and bread stuffing and cook the thing in the oven.  On occasion, I've been tempted to try frying it or even grilling it, but we're still under a burn ban.  And, besides, this way I get stuffing, which is almost my favorite part of the meal.

The bird was from Whole Foods and the bread was from Randall's.
So here's the rest of the menu:  to accompany the traditional turkey and stuffing, I made potato salad (this is my mother's recipe and I haven't made it in years), spinach dip (for pre-dinner vegetable snacking), and cheese spread (an approximation of the Win Schuler's Bar Scheeze (alas, without the stone crock)).  Once the turkey came out of the oven, Cyn made green bean casserole, and I made cauliflower mashed potatoes.  We also had frozen sweet corn (off the cob).  Traditionally, Cyn likes shoepeg white corn, but you apparently can't get that here. 

In addition, folks brought the following:

Chris Barton brought corn bread.

Author-illustrator Salima Alikham (THE PIED PIPER OF AUSTIN) and her husband Sam brought some thin sweet potatoes.  We never had these when I was growing up, so I never make them, but I like them and they're a nice tradition.  They also brought a decadent pumpkin cheesecake. 

Author Jenny Moss (WINNIE'S WAR, TAKING OFF) brought a vegetable platter to go with my spinach dip. 

Author-illustrator Divya Srinivasan (LITTLE OWL'S NIGHT) brought oatmeal cookies.

Author Anne Bustard (BUDDY: THE STORY OF BUDDY HOLLY) came with her family's traditional and also awesomely-decadent macadamia nut pie (which is like pecan pie, but with macadamia nuts). In honor of her providing the dessert, here's a link to a great article about the Great Bustard (also an avian dinosaur).

Inasmuch as birds I dinosaurs, I was going to post a few pics of our intrepid guests and our dinner.  Unfortunately, those pics did not turn out.  Sigh.

So here's a shot of a dromaeosaurid and some birds at the Houston Museum of Natural Science:


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