Turkey Talk

11/22
2011

Thanksgiving has been a turkey-free holiday for us for the past 4 years.  I mean, we found delicious substitutes and created our own olfactory and gustatory memories but none of them included turkey.  I have avoided decorating the house with the perfunctory turkey pinups, cringed at the thought of making hand-traced turkeys out of construction paper, and avoided referring to the holiday as “Turkey Day”.  Not because I feel disdain for the bird itself, but we avoided turkey on Thanksgiving because we always avoided turkey.  Gino was allergic to turkey.  He would eat a few bites and quickly develop hives all around his mouth with an accompanying severe stomachache.

About 6 months ago, Gino’s blood test numbers fell to a value that my allergist felt comfortable recommending home introduction.  We held our breath but we did introduce it and for the first time in years, he ate turkey with no reaction, not a single hive, not a hint of tummy rumbling.  He wasn’t crazy about the flavor but we have managed to keep him eating it fairly regularly – mostly because we have been masquerading it in breading and bacon!

This Thanksgiving has been different. I have traced a thousand turkey-hands and bought a big turkey decoration for the entryway.  Gino is thrilled that he can eat turkey this year.  I am, as I am sure you can all relate, still a little nervous.  We haven’t actually eaten a whole cooked turkey.  The turkey we have eaten has been highly processed, I’m sure, so I cross my fingers that we make it through this holiday meal without any problems.  It should be fine but there is always that worry that eats away at you.  There are few things worse than spending a holiday in the emergency room.

So this Thanksgiving, we still won’t eat creamed corn or cranberry sauce or warm wheat bread dripping with butter, but we will eat a turkey.  I ordered it this morning and when I told my dad, he reminded me that I will need to take the insides out of the turkey before I cooked it.  I nearly changed my mind on the whole turkey thing altogether.  Seriously?  They leave organs inside the turkey?  Why?  Well, I guess I will make myself do whatever needs to be done to get this turkey cooked and carved and placed in the center of our Thanksgiving table.  It will be a symbol of hope and something for which we can be truly thankful.

So for those of you who don’t eat turkey, Happy Thanksgiving!

And for those of you who do, Happy Turkey Day!

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15 Responses to Turkey Talk

  1. Dani says:

    I can’t wait to come visit you on your first Turkey Day! Lots of love!

  2. Christine says:

    I know this might sound silly, but I’m glad I have found someone that had to deal with a turkey allergy at Thanksgiving! Everyone I tell says “really? he’s allergic to turkey too?” and their mouth drops open like they can’t believe it. And then the obvious next question of “well then what do you eat at Thanksgiving?”. My son is 4, so he is still a little young to really understand that most everyone eats turkey at Thanksgiving. But I am happy to know that others have dealt with this allergy too. And my fingers are crossed for a happy and safe thanksgiving for you and your family :)

    • Sarah says:

      Hi Christine, I never really cared too much that my son was allergic to turkey, we had great alternative meals! But boy, other people cared! We got the same response, like, you can’t be serious… But of course, we were. I hope that whatever you are having for Thanksgiving that it turns out delicious and that you have a wonderful day.

  3. Diana says:

    That is such exciting news! Congrats on your turkey Thanksgiving. I pray everyday that my son will out grow his peanut allergy. It’s so nice to hear a story like this!

  4. Renata says:

    While my son still cannot eat turkey, he is trying pumpkin for the first time this Thanksgiving. He tried a few bites of pumpkin cupcake today and so far, so good. Every new food that gets added to the “safe” list is a great reason for giving thanks.

    • Sarah says:

      Renata,
      There are few better feelings than adding a food to the safe list. I hope that one day your son will be able to eat turkey, that turkey will be part of the safe list! In the meantime, I hope he loves the pumpkin cupcake! Happy Thanksgiving!

  5. guiseppina says:

    HURRAY! Whether you eat the Turkey or not, it is just so exciting that you don’t have to avoid it all together. One more reason to be Thankful this Turkey Day!

    • Sarah says:

      Guiseppina, It really is so exciting. My son was just helping me make the stuffing and he kept talking about the turkey! I hope that you and your family have a wonderful holiday! Sarah

  6. Charlene says:

    It was confirmed that our daughter had outgrown her egg allergy shortly before Easter this year, just in time to dye eggs! It’s amazing how many dietary possibilities were gained with this one added food, and I still feel indescribable gratitude every time she eats egg (which she now loves).

    • Sarah says:

      Charlene, It is just so exciting, isn’t it? I am so happy for you and fingers crossed that it keeps going your way! Sarah

  7. Glad to read this blog! Keep it going!

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