Quest for Turkey Perfection

Thanksgiving Turkey TossOh, Thanksgiving.

You should be one of my favorite holidays with your legendary link back to my Mayflower ancestors, the opportunity to gather with family, all of my favorite fall colors, and what may be one of the greatest excuses to bag the diet for the day EVER!

But, sadly and inevitably, when it came to my production of a perfectly browned, succulent turkey for that important day, the answer came back from fate with a resounding “No.”

My fortunes changed a bit after I married my husband and discovered that he had a deft hand in the kitchen and was not only willing but interested in making the turkey for our Thanksgiving feast.  Yes, he IS the perfect man.

However, no matter how hard he tried, his turkey was just good. I finally realized the problem was me. I find turkey very tasteless. It is one of those meats that cries out to be smothered in something, anything, with even just a shred of flavor in it.

Time and holidays went by and we did our best. Then, we stopped in at a small Bar-B-Q restaurant here in Austin called Pok-e-Jo’s that we had actually frequented for many years when my husband was with IBM, (usually chicken and sausage) and just for a change, we ordered the turkey.

Oh. My. Heavens. It was mind-blowing and life-altering. Smoked lightly, succulent, and so flavorful you didn’t need sauce at all…and this was the turkey breast. That piece of meat I would not usually touch in regular turkey since it was often dry, chewy, and tasteless all at the same time. I couldn’t believe it.

My husband and I looked at each other and then at the little placard on our table that said, “Need Turkey for Thanksgiving? Just Order it Now!” and started nodding at each other.

This was decades ago, and Pok-e-Jo’s has grown to a group of several restaurants, catering, and even an upscale catering service called PEJ Events that our family hired for my husband’s 60th birthday bash and our older daughter’s local wedding this year! Everyone raved about the food and how tasty it was.

But back to the turkey, because Thanksgiving is right around the corner and even though we are celebrating at our daughter and son in law’s new home this year and participating in the start of their new traditions…

We are bringing the turkey.



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