Turkey in Limerick

In Eire you can now find a turkey

Those sides though can come off as quirky

If you bring on the kin

You must tell them when

Cause Thursday is still in the workweek

I don’t think I’m much better at the Limerick than I was when I tried one last Christmas!

Spouse and I have invited his cousins for an American-style Thanksgiving dinner, but since today is not a holiday, we’re going to host on Saturday. This will be our first dinner party post lockdown and the first big dinner in our new kitchen. And no, the painting is not quite done but it’ll have to work.

I wasn’t kidding about the sides: As I noted in Rayne’s thread, I’m going to make my latest Turkey Day innovation: Kung Pao Rutabega. I love the vegetable but during lockdown I wanted to do something other than another mashed root vegetable. So I tried this. Not only does the rutabega really complement the Szechuan flavors, but the nuttiness of it adds something as well.

Rutabegas here, by the way — Swedes, they’re called — are positively enormous. I cycle to the market so always have to pick the smallest one to fit in my bike pannier.

The one other trick of my first big Turkey Day with family here in Ireland is that the farmer from whom I’m getting the turkey is geared towards Christmas, not Thanksgiving. So when I passed by his stall the other day, he warned me that he won’t be around to pass off the turkey. He’ll be in Spain. He assures me the lady with the stall across the way will bring it for me.

Wish me luck!

I hope you are all deep in your holiday joy. Or, for those of you in Michigan, the yearly humiliation of watching the Kitties play.

Thanks for sticking with us here at emptywheel for another year!

Update: The turkey worked out without a hitch. Our farmer had a friend who gave the turkey to the baker who brought it to market, ah sure.

If you followed my debate about sides, we had mashed spuds (they’re gone, I had none), two stuffings, brussel sprouts, a lovely arugula, fennel, walnut, and dried cranberry salad, and the kung pao rutabega (Swedes). The latter was reasonably well received; the 17-yo had seconds.

32 replies
  1. Clare Kelly says:

    “Wish me luck!”
    Yet, I can’t think of a person less reliant upon “luck”.

    Your native intelligence, persistence, diligence, acute sense of humor and knack for laser-like precision in the use of expletives is a daily comfort to many.

    (Yes. I may or may not be nipping into the cooking sherry whilst I remove lumps from gravy.)

    I am grateful to all @emptywheel, particularly MTWheeler.

  2. xbronx says:

    I searched for a turkey in Eire
    The prospects of which were quite dire
    So I opted for ham
    Better option than Spam
    As the turkeys flew off in a gyre*
    (*apologies to Wm. Butler Yeats)

  3. dunnydone says:

    Thankful for you and the entire EW team. I’m from the Erie attached to a Great Lake but my Irish roots run directly to the Murphy’s law clan.

    And no matter how bad those lions are, at least they aren’t the browns.

    Let’s hope karma has a wonderful turkey day and she is ready to bend this arc of Justice toward the good guys.

    Cheers to the good doctor regardless of what side of the pond she’s sending truth common sense and clarity out unto the universe.

    • Clare Kelly says:

      “Cheers to the good doctor regardless of what side of the pond she’s sending truth common sense and clarity out unto the universe.”

      Well said.

      And cheers to you.

      I spent two years at Mercyhurst Prep in Erie.

      • Clare Kelly says:

        I’m also familiar with Eire, however I was replying to this:
        “ I’m from the Erie attached to a Great Lake but my…”.

        Thanks for the well wishes after the misplaced pedantry though.

  4. Alan Charbonneau says:

    Since you are in Ireland and are an analytical thinker, you might enjoy the RED Gardens YouTube channel. The farm is located in Tipperary and the farmer is a Canadian transplant who describes his approach to gardening and the challenges he faces each year.

    “Based on the explorations and discoveries of a series of food growing spaces, located in the Cloughjordan Ecovillage, Tipperary, Ireland. This RED Gardens Project (Research, Education and Development) consists of 6 family scale gardens each one 100m2 (1000sqf) and following a different methodology, or approach, to growing vegetables. There is also a larger Black Plot, of about 1000m2 (1/4 acre) which is exploring issues and possibilities of an intermediate scale growing space.
    Bruce Darrell (he/him) manages all of the gardens and related research projects, as well as scripting, filming, illustrating, and editing the videos on this channel.”


    Happy Thanksgiving!

    • emptywheel says:

      Thanks. I know of the village but have never been — though it’s not too far — and didn’t know of this farm. I guess I need to truck down there?

  5. Chetnolian says:

    Rutabega = swede = neeps in Scotland. And for neeps you are two months early. They are to go with haggis on Burns Night!

    But have a lovely thanksgiving anyway.

    • P J Evans says:

      My brother grew rutabagas one year in our garden. They didn’t do all that well – too much sun, maybe, or too dry, but some did get eaten. That was a long time back, so “kung pao rutabaga” wasn’t yet thought of.

  6. AgainBrain says:

    Deepest thanks to Dr. Wheeler and the rest of the staff here, who work so hard to bring information, analysis, hope, motivation, levity, dread, and moral clarity to all of us readers week in and week out! I am eternally thankful I found Emptywheel and all it contains! Happy Thanksgiving to all here, whether celebrating or not!

  7. 90’s Country says:

    I once longed to visit old Ireland
    But the thought of it got me perspirin’
    Till my forehead was clammy
    My Davis, Junior was Sammy
    And my Tammy Wynette gland was firein’

  8. Legonaut says:

    Happy Thanksgiving to everyone! Just had the family depart after a wonderful meal (turkey & all the trimmings), some cutthroat Mexican Train dominoes, and watching the Lions blow it in the final two minutes (which is so normal I’m surprised by any other outcome).

    Mrs. Lego and I are now semi-comatose in front of “Goldfinger” and “Goldeneye”, because any Bond is better than no Bond (Except for maybe “Moonraker”).

    Thanks for everyone’s contributions to a wonderful site and a great community!

  9. Tom Kremer says:

    Thanks for sharing your work with us! Spend 2 weeks in Limerick this June, winning a world championship in Ultimate Frisbee

  10. punaise says:

    Limerick in Turkey

    I was once in Istanbul
    Where they do not celebrate Yule
    To my great surprise
    I opened my eyes
    To find a feast oh so cool

  11. jmac says:

    In Limrick the Wheelers are livin
    On Saturday they’ll have their Thanksgivin
    Just turkey with swede
    More sides do they need
    Surely in Eire, potatos are a given


  12. TimothyB says:

    I once celebrated Thanksgiving in Spain, with an after-work dinner that confused my colleagues there. A random Thursday in November? What bird is that? What is inside it???? Very enjoyable.

    Joining all the other voices here in being thankful for emptywheel.net

  13. jecojeco says:

    My Purcells are from Tarryglass Limerick, visiting Tarryglass is on my bucketlist. Rutabegas, potatoes, turnips… no wonder northern Europeans love to drink so much! (Not to mention haggis!)

  14. BSChief1 says:

    In Ireland the turkeys are few
    So what is an expat to do?
    Have a good backup plan
    Say, a nice Irish ham
    And make sure there’s enough Guinness, too.

    [Thanks for updating your username to meet the 8 letter minimum. /~Rayne]

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