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Also, I'm a pundit for the American Daily Herald if you'd like to follow my column: American Daily Herald--Vicki H. Moss

Posted November 18, 2012


It's Thanksgiving. A time to thank God for our many blessings. And a time of preparation. Turkeys abound. We've all been dieting since Halloween trying to shed at least 10 pounds because so many of us are going to eat turkey along with turkey trimmings. Fried turkey at that. I believe it's a man thing. Every real man wants to fry a turkey because frying a turkey involves danger--the possibility of burning down the house--along with a flirtation with serious health issues. Gout for one. Salmonella for another. It's the challenge.

And of course, every real man would like to boast he survived gout, the rich man's disease--if not salmonella. Doesn't matter if the real man is a transplant to the South. But if he is a transplant to the South and/or loves to fry turkeys--(Kevin, yes, I'm talking about you) all the more reason to fry something. In the South, we eat fried green tomatoes, fried mushrooms, fried corn on the cob, fried pies, fried frog legs, and fried pickles. The list is endless. If you can fry it, we'll eat it. That's why we drink sweet tea. It's to kill the grease aftertaste and the burp backwash. We haven't decided yet if sweet tea helps relieve salmonella poisoning and gout. Somebody should do a survey.

But here's something I just learned recently. That time I wrestled the Butterball Turkey all over the kitchen to wash it was for naught. It kept squirming around and I could have actually spread salmonella that way. As long as I cooked the bird at 165, all was good. Washing turkeys was a holdover from when they came to us with feathers et al, according to Elizabeth Weise's latest article in USA today.

Weise even addressed licking the beaters when making dessert. "According to the Food and Drug Administration, about one in 20,000 eggs are contaminated with Salmonella enteritidis, the most common type of illness-causing salmonella."

What a huge let down. I've been licking beaters all of my life. The only time I contracted salmonella was the time my aunt made homemade ice cream for a family get-together when I was seventeen. The fallout was several relatives ended up in the hospital. Some of us were treated at home with a doctor and a nurse making a house call because my cousin tried to climb up his grandmother's leg. In his delirium, he claimed a tiger was chasing him.

Also, I lost a boyfriend over the incident--I think it ruined his fishing trip. I later heard from a reliable source, heh-heh, that he kept having to row his boat to shore. And rumor has it, I dressed up in my fanciest nightgown to die. Not because I lost the boyfriend, but because I was trying to avoid the needle. I'd do anything rather than take a shot in the hip. And I wanted to look my best in my coffin so all of my friends could say, "Didn't she look like herself" versus, "she really looks dead." It's frightening amazing what you might say or imagine while delirious.

Tips gleaned from this story:

1) Fry your turkey at the magic number of 165--the temperature to kill disease causing bugs--and far away from the house, gas cans, and any overhanging tree limbs.

2) Do not lick the beaters when making desserts.

3) If you're overcome by need of a sugar high and lick the beaters anyway and come down with salmonella, have someone help you into the outfit you want to be buried in. Things can get confusing when there are 20 of you being chased by tigers and you could end up being on display in some musty funeral parlor in your great- grandmother's frayed housecoat. Not chic.

4) If you do get salmonella and live to tell about it, of course you'll want to write about it. Tigers, long needles, and deathbed oaths are great for ratcheting up conflict in a story.

5) If you want to ruin a guy's fishing trip…okay…you know I'm just kidding on that one. *GRIN* maybe

Happy Thanksgiving Ya'll!

Comments anyone?

If you would like to comment or have questions about this article, email me vmoss@livingwaterfiction.com

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