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Sending the turkey to damnation

26 November 2015

drunk-turkeyThere have been the usual parleyings about the brandy for the turkey — the guajolote, the Indians sitll call him — the ancestral bird of Mexico.  The Aztecs ate, and continure  ot eat, him; and good cooks have the habit of giving him the following happy death: on the morning of the day on which you are to eat him, you generally hear him gobbling about.  Then, there is the demand for whisky or brandy “por el guajolote, pobrecito.” The unfortunate (or fortunate) bird is then allowed to drink himself to death. This is the effective way of rendering him chable, it being impossible to hang meats at this altitude. The flesh becomes soft and white and juicy. But try a gravel-fed guajolote that has not gone to damnation!

Edith O’Shaughnessy, “A Diplomat’s Wife in Mexico” (Harper and Row, 1916)

O’Shaughnessy was not just a diplomatic spouse who wrote on “safe” subjects like Mexican cuisine (and how to kill turkeys).   “A Diplomat’s Wife..” and “Intimate Pages of Mexican History” (1920) attacked Woodrow Wilson and argued for a “strong hand” in Latin American affairs.  One of the first women to write on political affairs for a popular press, she was a pioneering right-wing pundit who would have been at home today on Fox News.



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