Thursday, November 22, 2012 at 9:00AM
Chuck DeLaney, NYIP Director - Perhaps it’s just me, but interspersed with the ever-more-rapidly spinning news cycles, I’m noticing that the feature content seems to be headed the opposite direction. As presidential races, Middle East rocket attacks, and national uprisings change minute-to-minute, advice for how to cook a turkey for Thanksgiving and what vegetables to pair with that bird have been regular media fodder for several weeks. I even heard a long dispatch on NPR regarding the anticipated state of New England cranberry bogs 50 years in the future.
Much of the pre-Thanksgiving commentary seems to center on the presumption that people approach preparing the Big Meal with apprehension. Yesterday, the burning question came up (again on NPR as I was administering breakfast to my dogs): “What would Julia do?”
It seems in this centennial year of Julia Child’s birth, an acolyte of the late Ms. Child, explained Julia’s somewhat unusual approach to cooking the Thanksgiving turkey. She dismembered the bird first to allow more cooking time for dark meat without overcooking the white meat. All very interesting, and then, when everything was cooked just right, he explained that Julia reassembled the turkey so “you can still have the Norman Rockwell moment.”
I’d never heard the phrase turned just so, but we all know what the fellow was referring to – the iconic Saturday Evening Post cover of the “typical” American family of yesteryear seated around the table as Ma (or Grandma) in humble dress and crisp white apron, lays the Big Bird on the table.
It’s a very hard photo to take. If you study Rockwell’s art, you can see he was able to exercise far more control over the people seated around the table than a photographer can. Having taken many wedding table shots, I can also attest that things on a dining table are rarely as neat and simplified as in Rockwell’s image.
On the NYIP website right now, we have an article that explains the true opportunity of Thanksgiving, How to Capture Thanksgiving with Your Camera, and the chance to make casual family portraits that can then be turned into the most meaningful of Christmas presents. I urge you to read it, and I wish all our readers a peaceful Thanksgiving and a brief respite from the troubling world around us.
What would Julia do to solve the impending fiscal cliff? Happy Thanksgiving from the faculty and staff of NYIP.