My Turkey-Free Thanksgiving

This is not a post about how to be a vegetarian at Thanksgiving. I just don't like turkey.

There. I said it.

I don't enjoy eating it. I don't enjoy cooking it. (Oh, the stress of the last-minute discovery that a table full of people will have to wait just a little longer for dinner.....)

I don't like carving it. 

And I most certainly don't like picking the carcass the next day for turkey soup. 

So, for the last few years I've served a gorgeous pork tenderloin with an autumn spice rub instead. The rest of the menu is totally Thanksgiving-traditional, but the main course is delicious, plus easy to make, serve, and enjoy for leftovers.

I won't lie. It takes courage to buck the turkey tradition.

Even Jonathan, no fan of the prepping, cooking and cleaning up of turkey, was aghast by my proposal the first year.  

He made me warn -- warn -- our guests ahead of time that we wouldn't be serving turkey. Presumably because such upsetting news should not be sprung on them upon arrival.  Or perhaps he thought they might not accept our invitation, and deserved to know in advance of making a decision. Oh, brother.

Since switching from turkey to tenderloin I haven't heard any complaints. And I've had more fun. One guest asked me to reassure her that I'd be serving pork again, not turkey this year, bless her.

You can see the full recipe for a 1-1/4 pound tenderloin from the Food Network, but here's the gist:

Mix together 1 teaspoon each garlic powder, dried oregano, ground cumin, ground coriander, dried thyme, and salt for 1-1/4 pounds of tenderloin. Doesn't that sound good?  It is.  

I figure half a pound of meat per guest. So do the math to determine how much of the rub to make for the size pork tenderloin you need.  Then gobble gobble.



P.S. Know a brave hostess who might want a new twist on Thanksgiving turkey? Please forward this to her!