One of my favorite Thanksgiving traditions is the annual turkey dance. The first time that I cooked a turkey, I just couldn’t help myself. I defrosted the turkey, cleaned it out, and started a new tradition of the turkey dance. This was back in Colorado in the townhouse. Each year, I did a little dance for each turkey. In 2004, Jason videotaped it for the first time. Since then, I unveil a new turkey dance each year on Thanksgiving Day and it becomes the Turkey Dance for the entire year (the song/dance I sing each time I cook a turkey). I couldn’t break tradition just because I was at the South Pole (and a Galley Staff was doing all the cooking). (http://www.stauchy.net/videos.html)
I’ve been putting the bug in James Brown’s ear for a while now, in preparation. James is the executive chef at the South Pole (and as you will read about later, our Bingo-caller). He assured me that he didn’t want to see tradition broken either (although, he wasn’t sure that he wanted to see the tradition). He told me last night that today was the day, if ever there was a day. We set up a meeting time and I began thinking about what song/dance the turkey and I would do this year. At 0900 this morning, I was still at a loss.
Luckily, I have a wonderful husband who always likes me to be an idiot on film . He did some research (wikipedia is great) and found that in the early 1900’s, people used to dance the “Turkey Trot”. This was a “forbidden dance” to a ragtime tune. It was commonly linked to Scott Joplin’s Maple Leaf Rag. Since this is 1 of Jason’s 3 songs that he used to “Get the Girl”, I thought it was perfect! With that, I asked James Brown if I could take the turkey out for a “forbidden dance” with the ceremonial South Pole. I assured him that I would wear clean/new gloves and not let it touch any other surfaces and he agreed. With that, Jason took the camera and set up at the Pole to watch my long walk with the turkey to the South Pole. Frankly, I was exhausted by the time I got there. You try walking down about 5 flights of stairs and approximately ¼ of a mile in sub-zero weather with a 20lb+ turkey on your arm after you just ditched crutches and began healing from a torn calf muscle. I know, I know. Like I said before, I sometimes like being an idiot and my husband likes catching it on film.
We danced around the Pole (with an audience from the Galley windows) and made our way back to the station. By the time I hit the beer can, my hand was freezing and my biceps were killing me. I convinced Jason to take my extra glove and shove his hand up the bird for the trip up the beer can. I wish I had gotten THAT on film . With his help, I avoided much fatigue and any frost nip/bite on my hand. It was fun – and I think perhaps the first time a turkey has ever done a pole dance on the ceremonial South Pole!
With that, the turkey was returned to the galley and prepared for its day of being smoked. I returned to some cheers and a lot of weird stares from the galley staff. Many were amused and many just didn’t know what to think. I think I might have officially scared 1 of the cooks in the galley. Good times.
Our Thanksgiving celebration is on Saturday and we are pretty excited! Hope everyone enjoys a great turkey day in the states!
Here’s the link to our videos page, where the Turkey Dance can be found (including the 2004 and 2005 versions):