The Last Windrow: Buy that turkey and enjoy a Thanksgiving Day dinner

I've heard there is a "shortage" of turkeys and the prices will be sky high. I'm wanting to take a look at this seeming frenzy of the perceived "cost" of this annual festive meal.

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No turkey for Thanksgiving??? What??? You've got to be kidding me!

From many media reports, turkey will be missing from some Thanksgiving Day tables this year. I've heard there is a "shortage" of turkeys and the prices will be sky high. I'm wanting to take a look at this seeming frenzy of the perceived "cost" of this annual festive meal.

I've done some "internet shopping" for Thanksgiving dinners this year and the following is what I've found.

The highest priced turkey I could find is called a "Heritage Turkey" and is listed at selling for $165.99 for an 8-pound bird. That equals $20.75 per pound. If the average human being placed 8 ounces of turkey on his plate, that equates to around $10.38 per serving.

I have no idea of how you get $165.99 for a turkey, but evidently someone pays this. Not me.


Cranberries are also said to possibly be in short supply and the cost is said to be "high." A 12-ounce bag of cranberries will run you around $2.49 a bag. An average human being will eat around 3 ounces of cranberries. That equates to about 62 cents for the cranberries on your plate. So far so good.

Then let's toss in a serving of green beans. I love green bean casserole! I found that the average price for green bean casserole is $5.75 for 10 ounces. If a human being puts 2 ounces of green bean casserole on his or her plate, the cost is $1.14. Are you hungry yet?

Let's toss in some honey coated sweet potatoes. The price per spud is $1. OK, so you eat a whole sweet potato, you've downed a dollar's worth.

Sometimes we have deviled eggs on the table. Toss in another 60 cents if you eat a whole egg.

The mess is in the making. All of these amounts do not include the labor of whoever is cooking the feast. I love my wife and daughter!

So, I might have a glass of wine with my meal. I don't buy the cheapest wine I can find (I do have some standards), so that glass of wine will cost me about $2.

Then we have dessert. I really like pumpkin pie at Thanksgiving. You can have all the rest. No pumpkin pie, no Thanksgiving as far as I'm concerned. So a big piece of pumpkin pie is going to cost me about nothing because my wife harvested our own pie pumpkins this year. But let's say my big slice is going to cost me $1.

I won't count the dressing, rolls or the toothpicks with my extended and final cost. All in all this meal has cost me a grand total of around $16.74! And I've got turkey on my plate, not hamburger or Hamburger Helper or Swiss steak or bratwurst. I've got turkey and all the trimmings.


And, I get to eat turkey sandwiches and turkey a la king for the rest of the winter!

To add more to the fire, the farmer or grower who puts these items on my plate gets about a dollar in return. And, don't blame your local grocer either, they are working on skinny margins as well. Someone in the middle is creating the gap. Somehow that never did seem right to me.

So, before you listen to all the laments from the newsrooms about the prices of things, just add them up and you'll find that your turkey Thanksgiving will cost you nearly less than a double cheeseburger and fries. That seems like a deal to me.

Now, go buy a turkey. Not necessarily a pricey "Heritage" bird. And toss in a little green pea salad beside. I forgot to add that in. Or if you choose to do so, dine at one of the many Legions or VFWs or other organizations offering a free turkey dinner to the public. I'd bet the turkey will show up.

See you next time and happy dining! Okay?

John Wetrosky - Last Windrow.jpg

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