Jive Turkey

It's a dinner, not a status symbol.

Jive turkey

Illustration by Michael Cho

About five years ago, turkeys changed. The hard and humble, shrink-wrapped lump was deemed too artificial to anchor the Thanksgiving meal. Instead we sought free-range, organically fed heritage breeds that haven’t been seen since Ben Franklin was around. Stillman’s turkey farm in Hardwick started parking a truck in Copley Square with a payload full of both heritage and regular turkeys. A melee ensued: shouts, pleas, and attempts at bribes from last-minute shoppers desperate to score.

Back at home, our guests marveled at the bronze mound of Thanksgiving glory, nestled as it was amid Swiss chard and sweet potatoes from the CSA. But as we dug into our feast, everyone silently wondered: What happened to all the white meat?

Not that we’re going back to Butterballs — heritage turkeys taste better, if you like dark meat and have $115 to spend. But let’s forget about impressing the community-garden set this month and celebrate a family holiday. And yes: Let’s top the CSA sweet potatoes with marshmallows.