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of wattles and beaks

Heins are cow people.
Dorrs are pig people. 
And turkey people.
And chicken people too. 
That is to say, we used to be. 
Now we're just pig people. 
Like the Heins are cow people.

I think we've been over this before. 

To the point: More than a few Thanksgivings ago, my grandfather sent one of his 20-pound turkeys to Washington, D.C., for President Roosevelt to eat for his Thanksgiving dinner. 

Because if you're not eating turkey Iowa-style, brother, you're not eating turkey. 

That's my grandpa on the left, admiring that fine specimen that's undoubtedly wanting to peck his eyes out. 

My dad raised turkeys for a while too. And while I was a chicken girl myself, my sisters vouch for the fact that turkeys have minds--and beaks--of their own. 

And they have wattles. 

Wattles, friends.

I think we're done here. 

Basically, the fact that this Iowa corn-and-milk-fed turkey made it to Washington, D.C.--via airmail no less . . . and with a pound of Iowa butter as a side--without pecking free in a Mitch Rapp-esque move to ditch the man delivering him to the president is somewhat of a miracle.

He could have done it too.
Check out that beak. 
It means business, folks. 

He's watching you. You know he is. 

The best part? 
This line: 
"'Iowa turkey, butter-baked with Iowa butter' should afford a dish fit for the president."

In a strange turn of events, no one melted down about the fact that there was butter involved! (See what I did there? Butter? Melted? It was . . . I just . . . ok then.) 

The media didn't start a new health initiative to ban butter or publish nightly news stories that the president's arteries were clogging as he digested or start a worldwide anti-cholesterol campaign. 

They just sent the man some butter and a bird on Thanksgiving. 

Iowa style. 

And so, with calories and meat (and wattles . . . let's not forget the wattles . . . ) on the brain, we pray the best for your holiday and look forward to hearing how you prepared the beef or pork you're undoubtedly eating tomorrow. 
(See lines 1 and 2 of this post. Cows and pigs, people. Cows and pigs.) 

And as we go, we leave you with a little Dave Barry, who has very little to do with Iowa or presidents but who is quite hysterical when it comes to all things turkey. 

And pretty much all things ever. 

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

(This classic Dave Barry column was originally published on Nov. 15, 1998, in the Miami Herald.) 
Get a frozen turkey at the supermarket. The Turkey Manufacturers Association recommends that, before you purchase a frozen bird, you check it for firmness by test-dropping it on the supermarket floor -- it should bounce three vertical inches per pound -- and then take a core sample of the breast by drilling into it with a ]-inch masonry bit until you strike the giblets. If supermarket employees attempt to question you, the Turkey Manufacturers Association recommends that you ``gesture at them with the drill in a reassuring manner.''
When you get the turkey home, you should thaw it completely by letting it sit on a standard kitchen counter at room temperature for one half of the turkey's weight in hours, or roughly 19 weeks. ''If you see spiders nesting in your turkey,'' states the Turkey Manufacturers Association, ``you waited too long.''
Once the turkey is defrosted, you simply cook it in a standard household oven at 138.4 degrees centimeter for 27 minutes per pound (29 minutes for married taxpayers filing jointly). Add four minutes for each 100 feet of your home's elevation above sea level, which you should determine using a standard household sextant. Inspect the turkey regularly as it cooks; when you notice that the skin has started to blister, the time has come for you to give your guests the message they've been eagerly awaiting: ``Run!''

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