Fuck Turkey

While Thanksgiving is now finished on both sides of the border, the spectre of Christmas dinner is looming on the horizon. What I love about Kristin Iversen’s Fuck Turkey is everything: tone, wit, anger, and relentless usage of everyone’s favourite four-letter word:

Turkey is not a good-tasting bird. Fuck turkey for not even tasting as good as fucking bland-ass chicken, which is a pretty low bar to begin with. Fuck turkey for not tasting anywhere near as good as duck, with its tender as hell breast meat which stays succulent thanks to being able to baste in its own delicious fat. And I’m not even going to talk about how good duck leg confit is because then I’ll just start getting mad at how mediocre the turkey leg confit was that I made one Thanksgiving in a last ditch effort to redeem it by making turkey finally taste ok and then after all that time prepping and cooking, guess what that turkey tasted like: just ok.

As someone who’s tried a few of the experiments below to middling results, I found myself nodding and chortling:

Fuck brining. Fuck a wet brine. Fuck a dry brine. Fuck a brown paper bag. Fuck butter under the skin. Fuck “turketta.” Fuck deep-frying. Fuck sous-vide. Fuck sous-vide before deep-frying, because how much fucking time do you have to spend to make something that doesn’t taste good, taste ok? Too much fucking time, that’s how much.

She forgot spatchcocking, which was fine when we tried it last year.

In Defence of Gift-Giving

I’m not much of one for giving gifts. I receive no great delight in the act of procuring or receiving them—especially not the shopping bit. If you find the “love language” system helpful, gifts are not mine.

I am also in agreement with the premise of Buy Nothing Christmas, which thinks that the spectacle of orgiastic consumerism during December sums up so much of what is patently wrong with our culture. We buy more and more, and it means less and less. And if this economic crisis we are currently waking up to is teaching us anything—Lord please let it be—it’s that building an economy on buying lots of crap we don’t need is fundamentally unsound.

But the anti-consumer-Christmas crowd tends towards shrillness rather quickly, and I fear that they’ve lost a bit of nuance in the midst of their crusading. What gets lost in translation is that the consumerism they are opposing has as much to do with actual gift-giving as the Pope and Richard Dawkins attending Easter Mass (which I would pay to see).

I want to defend gift-giving for a few reasons, one of which is theological. At root, gift-giving can be seen a mode of giving thanks to the One who has created the world and given us life as pure, unadulterated gift. If the universe and life itself are gifts that spring forth from the superabundant love of God, then gift-giving is a participation in the fundamental reality of the cosmos. 

We might also consider the Gospel, which proclaims that God was not finished with the giving of Creation, but rather that he in some way gave himself to his Creation as the God-man Jesus of Nazareth. Salvation for those who put their trust in Christ is but the culmination of a stunning litany of gifts.

Furthermore, the giving and receiving of gifts is a fundamental human activity that has governed economic relationships for most people throughout history. They would never be able to comprehend the ideas of contract, law and obligation that govern our economic relationships today. If they could, they would deplore them as dehumanizing and relationship-destroying. They would be right.

Let us then not grow weary with giving good gifts to one another merely because the notion has been twisted and abused by our corporate overlords. It might help to recall that a gift is something that cannot be purchased. To be sure, a gift may involve a monetary transaction, but this is not the gift. The gift is in giving freely of ourselves to those that we love. It aligns us with the grain of the universe, even if it goes against the grain of society.

For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given,
and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Isaiah 9:6, TNIV

Good Bad Singing

I’m probably not going to be posting very frequently over the next couple of weeks as I’m back home in Winnipeg over the Christmas holidays.

Here’s something to entertain you in the meantime. You’ll laugh until it hurts!



shalom pano2

I broke my Christmas blog silence today to bring you this. The one day of the year that big box developments are quiet, I decided to take advantage with this photo. The only good thing that can be said about Christmas’ adoption into culture is that it shuts down the idol of consumerism for at least one day.

Jesus, may your coming continue to subvert the powers of this age and teach us to live the shalom of your kingdom. Thank you for coming to us.

Merry Christmas

I’m going to just drop the humbug and try to reflect on Christmas. I have not been too “into” the season this year. I skipped the first two Sundays of Advent (end of term madness), the third was dominated by a cute but irrelevant kid’s program, and the fourth Sunday, today, I finally made it to a church with my in-laws. It was a bit of a shock to the system, being an Alliance church that is much more traditional than anything I’m used to.

And yet, all it takes is a few moments of reflection to realize, this is a big deal. God becoming a human being changes everything irrevocably. The coming of Jesus so upset the order of the day that Herod sent out a death squad to kill all babies of Jesus’ age in Bethlehem. The ones who truly saw the significance of Jesus coming were the angels,  the shepherds and the wise men. Well, and Herod of course, but he was unaware of Christ’s coming until the wise men clued him in. But the people in the first group were all outsiders, those who didn’t belong in the mainstream of Jewish life. The shepherds were the yokels on the outside, the simple folk unacquainted with all of the pressing concerns of the day. They would have been on the margins of society, much like an immigrant or a blue collar worker who performs menial tasks.
The wise men weren’t even Jews: they were eastern astrologers and practitioners of another faith. And yet they could read the signs of the times that nobody else could. They knew that something significant was afoot, and the only reason that Herod found out what was going on was because the wise men innocently shared the news with Herod. They assumed that Herod would be overjoyed. He should have been, had he been a good king. He was neither.

Why is the coming of Jesus so threatening to people like Herod? Why do those on the peripheries recognize the coming of Jesus sooner than those at the privileged centre? Maybe we in North America are too close to the centre and are blind as well?

Lord, give us eyes to see Your coming. Jesus, help us to continue your mission of making the world uncomfortable by your very presence, bringing hope, peace, joy and love like nothing we could imagine apart from you.

I wish any and all readers of this blog a blessed Christmas, since I will not update it for a time now. I’d invite you to go and read Scot McKnight’s various posts on Advent if you want some good meditations to centre your mind and heart on the meaning of Christ’s coming.