In praise of the Jenni-o Turkey Log...
I do most of my grocery shopping at the local Target, which is easy since my bachelor diet consists mostly of pasta and Diet Mountain Dew. But every now and then I want or need something from an actual grocery store, which is why yesterday afternoon I found myself frantically running around my local Weis looking for an item I feared may finally have been discontinued or dropped. Luckily, after my third trip through the frozen food freezers, I finally found it, on a bottom shelf under a bunch of various forms of frozen breaded formed chicken by-products - the Jenni-o Turkey Log.
The Turkey Log is a piece of frozen, salted, history. It's a throwback to the 50's and 60's - to a time after frozen food had been invented, but before the microwave was. It harkens back to the days when families still had the time to wait 2 1/2 to 2 and 3/4 hours for dinner to be ready, and then sat around the family dinner table as Mom carved the lump of turkey log.
Basically, what the Turkey Log is is a large log of raw pre-formed turkey meat, with gravy, frozen in an aluminum pan. You set the oven to 350 degrees, throw it in, and in a little less than three hours you have a reasonably palatable turkey dinner. Serve with microwaved stovetop stuffing and your favorite frozen or canned vegetable for a meal that's at least 50% as tasty as your Thanksgiving dinner but takes 5% of the work.
So why do I like this lump of turkey enough to write a blog post about it? It's a cheap way for a lazy single person like me to make a pretty tasty dinner - I think I paid $5.49 for my turkey log, and I get three generous meals out of it (it's technically 6 servings, but I'm a growing boy). But I also love that it's a piece of history - an item that's survived unchanged for decades in a changing market. It's like Pabst Blue Ribbon, except it actually tastes better when it's warm.