This year we are getting a Turkey from Quic Pic Barbecue in Chinatown. It's the first tim ewe are trying this and we are pretty excited about it. Pictures to come.
For those who don't know, Thanksgiving is THE Chinatown Holiday. That is to say, in the old days, it was the only Holiday you would actually get. New Years (the Western one) is actually one of the busiest times for a Chinese Restaurant because of the White American tradition of getting Chinese food. But nobody usually goes to a restaurant on Thanksgiving back when everyone's mother knew had to make Turkey. So in the 90's Thanksgiving was definitely the time for restaurant workers to celebrate by going to the Casino. Eventually Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods started having big name (or used to be big name) Hong Kong singers in for concerts for Thanksgiving.
Growing up, my household wasn't big on Thanksgiving. it was just my mother and me, not enough for a Turkey. And I didn't care about College football. Thanksgiving was more something I saw on TV. Some years we got together with the neighbors. I vaguely remember eating around a mah jong table, and they made various Chinese dishes and my mother made side dishes.
I think one time at Kwong Kow we had a potluck before Thanksgiving and my mother made Mash Potatoes. The Chinese kids devoured it so fast and all the leftovers were these intricate Chinese dishes. My mother thought that was kind of strange. But the thing is, When you eat home cooked Chinese food everyday and you grow up in America you start to crave the mainstream American food.
When I lived at a Kung Fu school, a lot of the Restaurant workers would bring in Turkey. They would get a free one, but had no family to share it with. They would experiment trying to cook it like Char Siu. People would come "home" if they worked at a restaurant in Western Mass or Maine and would bring beaver meat (some hunter illegal trapped it and then sold it where he could, a Chinese Restaurant) During those years Thanksgiving was a feast of awesome secret dishes. I know some people would be upset about me eating beaver meat but at the time it was awesome. A gamy soup that heated me up in a room that did not have a good heating system.
I first heard about restaurants actually selling Turkey from my in laws.
"In New Jersey, you bring the Turkey to the restaurant and they cook for you." proclaimed my mother in law.
To her everything is superior in New Jersey.
A couple years I just got duck from Chinatown Cafe. Sometimes Grace just bakes a chicken. I mean who cares? Why does it have to be Turkey?
But this year again we are buying the Barbecue style Turkey. Correct me if I'm wrong but I think Quic Pic Barbecue is the only place that has this option of buying the Turkey around here right? It's pretty exciting.