This time of year naturally starts me pondering religious matters. I was raised a Christian but through the years I have expanded my tolerance and my belief in other Beliefs. Take reincarnation. I’m open to the possibility that some creatures return to this world in other guises. I’m not sure if humans can come back in another form - but I know for sure turkeys practice reincarnation.

You must become one with the bird

The week following Christmas is dining deja vu - at least until the last of the turkey’s earthly remains have flown the fridge. Each day we say grace over an altered (and lesser) version of its previous life. Then we eat it. Sad. And a bit creepy when you think about it. It gives a whole different meaning to the phrase ‘soul food’, doesn’t it?

I used to feel sorry for vegetarians at this time of year. But not any more. Not since I found out about tofurkey. Tofurkey is sorta like eatable playdough. That’s right, you can now buy kits that teach you how to sculpt tofu to look like a turkey.

I can’t figure out WHY anyone would want to do that. If your moral principles won’t allow turkey consumption, where does the desire to mold and eat something that looks and purports to tastes like turkey fit in? And why does that scene from The Ten Commandments when they built the Golden Calf spring to my mind?

Ponder that while you pause for this delicious musical interlude:

The tofurkey idea is being served up by PETA, the same folks that brought you legislation to ban animal acts from circuses and once accused the Girl Scouts of torturing and murdering beavers. There are some issues on which PETA and I can sit down and talk turkey, but not this. PETA is calling for the total elimination of turkeys on Thanksgiving and Christmas. Not elimination as in kill them, silly - elimination from the holiday menu.

PETA promotes going cold turkey on turkey, and urges teaching your kids the same. There are now children’s books advocating universal support and empathy for “poor defenseless turkeys everywhere”. What? Turkeys are geeky-looking, dumb-witted animals without social skills or any recognizable sense of humor. No wait - that's my definition of I.T. guys. No don't wait - I.T. guys ARE turkeys, human turkeys.

PETA has put the issue, if not the bird, on the front burner with an all out PR campaign. Tofurkey Thanksgiving slogans included “Don’t Eat the Mascot”, and based on the tongue-in-cheek traditional presidential pardoning of one turkey each year, there are billboards featuring two turkeys (one feathered, one human) with the caption “If he can pardon one, won’t you?” Pa-leese. Like the bird in question, the idea just doesn’t fly.

Pardon me, PETA, but I will pass on the tofurkey movement. Instead I will pass the giblet gravy down to my end of the table – right after I bow my head to once again humbly give thanks for reincarnation. Amen.

We tried a turducen once which is a boneless turkey stuffed with a boneless duck stuffed with a boneless chicken. Naturally it’s a very flexible dish but I found it lacked a solid backbone of flavor.

If good turkeys come back as elegant tetrazinni, what do bad turkeys come back as? The worse leftover recipe I found called for combining turkey, sliced apple and feta cheese on rye bread sandwiches.

Fool your Family with Fake Food
A DIY Tofurkey Recipe
Mash tofu or mix well with hands. Be sure that all of the lumps are out. Line a colander with wet cheesecloth and add the mashed tofu. Cover the cheesecloth with a plate that fits inside the colander and place a 5-pound weight on the plate. Refrigerate for 2 to 3 hours. (I’m sure your mouth is watering already – read on, here comes the fun part).

Remove the congealed mass of tofu from the fridge. Hollow out the tofu to within 1 inch of the sides and bottom, placing stuffing inside the shell. Pack in firmly. Gently press on sides of "turkey" to achieve a more oval shape. Mold "drumsticks" out of one pound of leftover tofu, and place on each side of the "turkey". Bake.

To lazy to roll your own? Order a pre-packaged soy-bird kit complete with plastic wishbone here Be sure to dig around this site’s fun stuff for more hilarious vegan humor.

My Limerick: Turkey in the Flaw
A misguided veg-head from Berkley,
Turned up his nose at tofurkey.
“I’d feel like a cannibal,
‘cause it looks like an animal”.
Based on that he should eat some beef-jerky.