Tag Archives: Thanksgiving

Turkeys are smaller now and Butterball doesn’t know why


The time for Americans to clean out some fridge space before Thanksgiving may have come a little early this year. Butterball, the US’s top maker of Thanksgiving turkeys, is having some problems delivering the bigger birds to stores around the country.

The company told retailers that their orders for fresh turkeys 16 pounds (7.3 kg) and bigger have been cut by 50%, according to a press release from Big Y, a grocery chain in Massachusetts and Connecticut. Butterball, which produces around 20% of the US’s turkeys and 1.3 billion pounds of turkey meat a year, has confirmed in a emailed statement that “there may be limited availability on some larger sizes of fresh turkeys” and that the shortage is nationwide.

This is a big worry because 16 pounds is the average weight of turkeys eaten at Thanksgiving, which 88% of US households celebrate, according to EatTurkey.com, an industry site. According to Butterball’s handy calculator, a 16-pound turkey would feed a dinner party of six adults and six children.

Mind you, that doesn’t mean there’ll be no big turkeys to be had. It’s only fresh turkeys from Butterball that are affected; the company sells frozen ones too, and there are several other manufacturers who will be only too delighted to fill the gap. But what might be more reason for panic than a turkey shortage is what’s causing it.

“We experienced a decline in weight gains on some of our farms causing a limited availability of large, fresh turkeys,” said Butterball’s statement. Translation: Its turkeys aren’t growing as fast as they used to.

This is odd because the industry has cranked out steadily heavier turkeys with each passing year. In 2011, the average turkey weighed some 57% more than in 1965, according to the US Department of Agriculture. And though it’s the most popular size, a 16-pound turkey isn’t even that big. The birds raised for processing average 28 pounds.

Odder still, though, is that Butterball, the US’s turkey-farming powerhouse, isn’t sure why its birds stay svelter than usual—or isn’t yet saying. “While we are continuing to evaluate all potential causes, we are working to remedy the issue,” says the company.

2009 Christmas Gift Ideas

Since many of you are starting your Christmas shopping today (they call it Black Friday for a reason), I thought I would post together my Christmas gift ideas here and hopefully you find what you are looking for.  Good luck out there, you are going to need it.

We also took some time to look at Christmas Gift Guides from yesterday.

Turkey, turkey, and more turkey

It’s Thanksgiving around here and to celebrate it we had planned to spend it at the lake.  That didn’t work out so well as Lee got sick and needed a day to sleep it off and so we planned to go south today to the lake but then we heard of a massive snowfall warning.  So we ditched Lee and we went to the cabin yesterday and spent a couple hours there and closed it up.  Wendy blogged about the trip here and the highlight of the day was making some plans for next year with her.  (Wendy also posted some of the cabins we used for inspiration for the deck)  We may head up again in about 10 days when I have some vacation days but if it doesn’t happen, we don’t need to return to close up the cabin this winter.

Today Lee is feeling better and is coming over as we eat turkey together and give thanks that we are not snowed in at the lake.  When the eating is done, we can warm up the guitar and the PlayStation and see who is the Guitar Hero in the house.  Tomorrow I will do some more serious writing and posting here.

Thanksgiving Weekend

Hope yours was a decent Thanksgiving weekend. Around the Cooper family compound, it was busy with Wendy and I both working all weekend as well as the holiday today. I worked the graveyard shift Sunday so I got to cook the dinner. Wendy enlisted Lee’s help who managed to turn on the oven by himself and place the turkey beside the stove before wandering off. After that I just kind of took over with Mark and we cooked up a fine dinner. After watching Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares, I rediscovered my love for Yorkshire pudding and of course have joined the Campaign for Real Gravy.

Later last night, the Reimer’s came over and Mark gave Gloria a karate lesson, we ate some pumpkin pie and all was good.

Happy Thanksgiving

It’s Thanksgiving in Canada this weekend which for us means it is never ordinary. In the past Thanksgivings have been marked as travel days to Soularize or just getting back from it. A couple of years ago I slept through Thanksgiving, having spent the night before “sleeping” in a Boston airport and enduring a long flight back to Saskatoon. This year was to be really ordinary and a relaxing couple of days off. When I was at work yesterday evening, I found out a co-workers sister had passed away and so I am now working Sunday and Monday. It should be pretty quiet at the shelter and half-way house this weekend but everytime they tell me it should be quiet, I get swamped. Of course I was looking forward to a big Thanksgiving Turkey dinner at work but that is at the Friendship Inn.

For the Thanksgiving meal on Sunday, we are having over Jerry and Becky along with Lee. As long as I get some butter soaked mashed turnips, I shall be happy.

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Happy Thanksgiving

So we had Lee (from the room downstairs), Mark (from the bedroom upstairs), Jerry, Gloria, Kristy, and Becky over for Thanksgiving dinner. A lot of bird was consumed, some arguments over the shootout were made, and some turnips were eaten. It was a nice time of friends, foes, and family. One thing that came up was about Francis Shaeffer as Becky called him scary in relation to his fundementalist Orthodox son Franky Schaeffer. I had to ask why is Francis Shaeffer scary and she responded with that his writings helped form dominionism. I had never heard of dominionism (but almost everyone else in the room had). Wikipedia has this

Dominionism is a term used by some social scientists and critics to describe a trend in Protestant Christian evangelicalism and fundamentalism that encourages political participation in civic society by Christians through appeals to their religious beliefs. The term Dominionism is used to describe a full spectrum of such appeals, ranging from a duty as stewards to vote, to the desire to subjugate the political system for a Christian religious cause. Politically active conservative Christians rarely use the term dominionism as a self-description; many feel it is a loaded or pejorative term. Use of the term is primarily limited to liberal and left critics of the Christian Right. The term emerged in relation to the Christian Right in the mid-1990s, but became more widely known due in large part to the U.S. presidential election, 2004 where the media attributed Republican wins to “Evangelical voters in “Red states” who voted for “moral values;” although most poll analysts call this claim oversimplistic.

Schaeffer‘s writings contibute to this as

Schaeffer is sometimes called one of the founders of the Christian Right movement, which some have labeled a Dominionist movement. Schaeffer was influenced by the writings of R. J. Rushdoony, the intellectual founder of Christian Reconstructionism, a postmillennialist form of Theocratic Domininism. Schaeffer and Rushdoony read each others’ writings, and even met. Schaeffer led a study of Rushdoony’s writings at Schaeffer’s institute in Switzerland. Schaeffer and other premillennialists picked up themes of dominionism from the postmillennialist Rushdoony, and adapted them to premillennial theology. Some commentators emphasize Schaeffer’s differences with Christian Reconstructionism, and with R.J. Rushdoony. A systematic difference was his rejection of theocracy. In the book, A Christian Manifesto, Schaeffer writes, “There is no New Testament basis for a linking of church and state until Christ, the King returns.” Critical writers however, emphasize the similarities and overlapping influence of Schaeffer and the Reconstructionists, on the formation of the Christian Right.

Wikipedia does defend Schaeffer…

Christian Right leaders such as Tim LaHaye have credited Schaeffer for influencing their theological arguments urging political participation by evangelicals (LaHaye, Battle, p. 5). But it is possible that LaHaye and others who cite Schaeffer’s influence are extending their ideas well beyond what Schaeffer himself suggested.

This has nothing to do with anything and definately not Thanksgiving but I thought it was interesting and worth posting, if only to expose my own ignorance.

Back to Thanksgiving. Too much turkey, I defended Grant Devine, an admission that
Janice MacKinnon may be the greatest leader in Saskatchewan, I bashed Peter C. Newman, we complained about the NHL shootout, Gloria ignored the conversation and read Kester Brewin’s book, The Complex Christ, and there was some turnips. We also all found out that Becky was smarter than I am.


Got off work last night and went for dinner with Wendy and Mark which was an experience in itself. We have never tried the Spadina Freehouse and have always wanted to go but was told by several people that the food is not that good and is a better bar than restaurant and not to go. Fair enough. We drove around town and didn’t find much open that really excited us so we ended up at Boston Pizza. John Campea, Jeb, and I used to go here all of the time and John and I watched a lot of football and hockey games here. I will say that I don’t think a restaurant in Saskatoon has been improved as much as Boston Pizza by the no-smoking by-law. It actually smelled like a restaurant which was nice.

Today is going to be quiet. I have some reading I need to do as well as this back-log of e-mail which is never, ever fun. We had some opportunity to be around some people today but today I need a day off from people to prepare for another long week ahead which has some bad days already scheduled.

Being in Spiritwood yesterday was good. I miss it when I am away for a week. The service was great and the worship was theologically brilliant. I just wish I didn’t have to work in the afternoon in Saskatoon (doh).

Happy Thanksgiving

  • Am off to Spiritwood to preach and then am working this afternoon at Safeway so church people can condemn for working on Thanksgiving Sunday. Am off this evening and will be home by 7:00. Wahoo! Thankfully Wendy is driving today. I can sleep.
  • Notre Dame won. Win #800.
  • Am spending a quiet Thanksgiving this year. Am just too tired to do anything and am bagged from working this weekend. Am going to spend tomorrow doing some writing and catching up on a couple hundred unread e-mail.


I realized today that I missed Thanksgiving this year. Well I didn’t miss it. Wendy and I had some turkey and rice on Monday night. as we kind of hung out while Mark was napping. It was good to sit and talk. It has been a stressful year but not a bad one. I was so tired during dinner that I kind of forgot what was happening around me.

I went job hunting today. Was twice told I was overqualified. The dude interviewing me seemed intimidated by my resume and both times said that they didn’t want to hire someone that wouldn’t be there long. In the end, I want to be someplace where I can use my mind, deal with people, and not have to take my job home with me. We’ll see what happens. If you are in Saskatoon and got a lead, let me know at coop@jordoncooper.com