Turkey, Eggs, & Onions

This past Sunday was an early Thanksgiving Feast, a potluck at our Unitarian Fellowship. Husband is on the planning committee for that, so we ended up roasting two 12# turkeys. There is still some leftover turkey.

The next morning I woke up realizing “Oh, we get to have Turkey, Eggs, and Onions for breakfast!” This is a dish I learned about when married to Wasband, and living in and around New York City. He was from a Russian Jewish tradition, though I suspect this dish is more an East Coast thing than Jewish. (East coasters eat turkey all year round – a good inexpensive fowl to have any time.)

It was quite a learning curve when I arrived in New York with Wasband in 1974. I had absorbed four years’ worth of San Francisco and coastal California culture, and thought of myself as rather worldly. Ha! Within a couple of months I experienced living (briefly) in a household with completely different family dynamics from mine (and a strong Brooklyn accent); a new religion, though they mostly practiced what I call “Holiday Judaism”; and the death of Wasband’s father, with all the rituals and drama that surround that.  

A couple of months later we were living in our own apartment in Brooklyn, and I had found a job being messenger for a typographic firm in midtown Manhattan. As I ferried packages of type from one building to another, I was a pretender to a whole new set of cultural mores – riding the subway up and down Manhattan (from, i.e., Wall Street to Central Park); ordering “kwahfee” or buying a pretzel from a street vendor. At first, Wasband’s friends were my only social circle. Then one woman invited me to join her Ladies Poker Night, so I was able to have some of my own experiences with other “real New Yorkers”.

After two years, I left all that for the more familiar Midwest territory. But I’m very glad I was able to experience these other cultures. And once in a while I’ll do something that reminds me of that time, which makes me smile.

When have you adopted customs of a culture different from the one you grew up with?

What’s your favorite thing to do with Thanksgiving leftovers?

35 thoughts on “Turkey, Eggs, & Onions”

  1. Nice post, and timely, given where we are. I like to use leftover turkey in Turkey Chipotle Chowder or Turkey wild rice soup. Husband and I both adapted to a different culture when we lived in Winniog, although the differences were subtle.

    Liked by 4 people

  2. Rise and Shine Baboons,

    At this very moment, I am eating the Tapioca Fruit Salad for breakfast. That is the true meaning of Thanksgiving leftovers and bliss.

    Renee, I cannot wait to hear the tails of handbells and Rockettes!

    Liked by 4 people

  3. I love your intro BiR. Interesting question.

    The cultural shock I remember with a shiver was forced upon me when I began living with about 40 dorm mates as a college freshman. I had spent my teen years avoiding guys my age, all except my close buddies. That was easy. I ignored guys at school, then ran home and disappeared into the park we lived near. I was shy, reflective, somewhat pious and naive.

    Suddenly I had 40 roommates, and I could no longer hide. They constantly accused each other of being gay. They–or many of them–used vulgarities whose meaning I couldn’t guess. They farted, binged on alcohol and maintained a steady stream of “witty” insults. They seemed obsessed with sex, a topic about which I knew nothing and said less.

    Do I exaggerate? Probably. In time, I found kindred spirits and adapted. But at first I was bewildered. Whatever species they were, I was clearly something else, a confused alien dropped in a weird culture.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. I’m curious, BiR, what do you do with “turkey, eggs and onion” for breakfast? Just fry ’em up, and serve with a slice of toast?

    I can wholeheartedly endorse Renee’s Turkey Chipotle Chowder, it’s delicious. I love turkey leftovers, there are just so many ways to enjoy them. I usually cook up a big pot of Turkey Mulligatawny Soup on the turkey carcass in honor of my late friend Ken Olson who introduced me to it. My way of inaugurating the holiday season.

    Over the years I’ve adapted to, or adopted, a multitude of customs that I didn’t grow up with. It will come as no surprise that a lot of those customs have to do with food. That comes quite naturally, I think, when you live for extended periods surrounded by people of different cultures.

    When I first moved to the West Side in 1975, for instance, I had had very little exposure to Hispanic culture. I didn’t know a burrito from a taco or enchiladas, to say nothing of tamales. I’d go shopping at Morgan’s Mexican Lebanese Deli and marvel at strange items in their vegetable display: chayote squash, cilantro, nopales, even avocados and plantains were new to me.

    Also, when the first Hmong farmers appeared at the St. Paul Farmer’s Market, most of us were not familiar with many of the exotic vegetables and greens they grew. Now many of us have incorporated long beans, bitter melon and a whole host of colorful of greens into our culinary creations. How did we along before knew about ginger root, lemon grass and Thai basil?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. You’re right about the food bTurkey Eggs & Onions is pretty much a blank slate, PJ – just sautéd onion, chopped up turkey, and scrambled eggs poured over and cooked as you like them. I salt and pepper, and usually throw in some herbs and anything in the fridge – mushrooms are nice.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. When I first got involved in the community theater.
    There were cast parties! People drank alcohol and there were counters full of alcohol I’d never heard of. A woman ‘mooned’ us from the bathroom of a cool old house that had a little window overlooking the living room.
    I saw men kiss women who weren’t their wives!

    I literally was just off the farm.

    My parents drank 7/7. I’d never seen or heard of Vodka.
    Wait, you mean that guy coming into the theater with that volunteer lady wasn’t just there to paint at 10:00 at night?
    And passing around a joint???

    I learned a lot about a lot of things.

    Liked by 3 people

        1. They’re really just good fun. But, sometimes theater people get a little too- or maybe “more” real. No holds barred; everything comes out. (Alcohol May be involved). And that can be quite exciting for a 20 year old
          Farm boy.

          Liked by 1 person

  6. I feel like I’ve been lucky that at every turn of my life I’ve met another culture. Right after high school I spent two months in Mexico living with a family. That’s where I learned to love lime. They had lime trees in their court yard and we cut and squeezed lime on to everything.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Marrying a PK (preachers kid) also introduced me to a new culture. I would not have guessed that the life of a minister’s family would be so different from my own but it was. I will never get over how everything revolved around the religious life and the church. Everything.

      Liked by 2 people

  7. Going off to college introduced me to the world of vegetarianism. I had actually quit eating meat a couple of years before but had not met another vegetarian until I went off to school. That’s where I learned to cook and where I learned about all kinds of ingredients that had never crossed my mothers doorstep.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Is anyone using an iPhone to comment? I can’t figure out how to log in from the phone. It makes me log in to post, but it won’t let me “like” anything and I can’t figure out how to do it. Using the log in at the bottom of the page tells me I’m not authorized, whatever that means.


  9. Have the turkey carcass from yesterday – about to get that simmering to become something else.

    As for cultures I have adopted…um… probably many, but it’s almost more fascinating to me as i get older how much of my original culture I have retained – everything from the Norwegian treats I bake (thanks Grandma!) to going to the opera (thanks Mom!) or the open door and open fridge policy of our home (didn’t realize that might be unusual until a high school friend admitted that they liked to hang out at my house because my parents didn’t yell and there was always something to eat – and this was a friend I didn’t really realize until then might be what we now call “food insecure”…so I never second guess if Daughter’s friends ask for something to eat).

    Liked by 4 people

  10. We enjoyed curried turkey sandwiches so much we would roast a turkey just to get turkey leftovers that could be made into sandwiches. There are several recipes on the internet. Our version was: turkey meat chunks, diced green apple, diced celery, lots of walnut pieces whipped together with mayonnaise and curry powder. Served on French bread with a big orange.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I’m not too adventurous with leftovers. Turkey sandwiches, turkey soup. Potato pancakes if the potatoes haven’t run out yet. And mock mince pie for breakfast.


      1. (Using the app now; at least it’s letting me ‘like’ things. We had pie for dessert again tonight. (French Silk from
        bakers Square has been tradition. But Rochester lost the Bakers Squares so Kelly made her own. And it is pretty darn tasty!)

        Liked by 2 people

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