@warstrekkid Breaking from turkey traditions from my parents, I’ve been spatchcocking for the fowl some decades, to (i) accelerate cooking, and (ii) make turkey broth (and maybe soup) to be served with the dinner.  I got tired of staying up late to make congee, after spending the afternoon and evening on dinner.

Turkey and Wine at Canadian Thanksgiving

I first saw this done by Julia Child on television.  Subsequently, I’ve seen that Martha Stewart also advocates spatchcocking, and there’s a video (on a smaller fowl) by Jacques Pepin.

Comment on “Making Porridge Like My Mom” | Nov. 25, 2012 | kevinleung.com at http://kevinleung.com/archives/making-porridge-like-my-mom/.

I knew to save the turkey carcass for some purpose, and a few days later, I made rice porridge (congee) with it. That also required a phone call home, and although my result was much thicker than anything my mom ever made, I thought it turned out quite well. I also threw together a breakfast hash with potatoes, brussels sprouts, turkey, and more. There were the beloved turkey sandwiches, and the plates of reheated Thanksgiving meals as a whole as well.

The porridge remains the most remarkable leftover, however, because I now realize why my family always ate it the day after Thanksgiving: there’s a carcass to use as a base. My mom would likely make some vaguely patronizing sound were I to mention this directly to her, but I’m still impressed by the pragmatism of this tradition that I didn’t realize was a tradition. Every Thankgiving, there is a turkey. Every turkey will leave behind a carcass. Every carcass can make porridge. Tradition established.

A few years ago, my then-roommate Ben and I were talking, and I said, “Tradition and convention could just be the wisdom of many generations, refined towards best practices.” This gave Ben pause, since I think he bucks convention as he sees fit, and it gave me pause, because I was really thinking about what I was saying.