Catholic Recipe: Roast Turkey III
In medieval times, a popular celebration of thanksgiving was held at the conclusion of the annual harvests in Europe. This feast was kept on the day of St. Martin ("Martinmas"). The traditional dinner on St. Martin's Day was roast goose.
When the Pilgrims came to America, they brought this ancient custom with them from Holland, where they had stayed a few years before embarking on their venture to the New World. On their first Thanksgiving they looked for geese. In fact, they did catch some wild geese, but not enough for all; so they used other birds as well, ducks and wild turkeys. This was the beginning of the American tradition of eating turkey on Thanksgiving Day. Later, the turkey dinner became customary also on other special feast days: on the Fourth of July, on Christmas Day, at weddings, etc.
The American turkey of the Pilgrims' day was a small, dry, tough bird. Its strain, however, was gradually developed and improved until it became the meaty delicacy of today, the golden center of our festive meals.
Heat 1 cup butter in large skillet. Add onion and celery. Cook until soft and transparent; set aside. Brown sausage in separate skillet; drain. Put bread crumbs into mixing bowl. Add seasonings, onion, celery, sausage, bouillon, and egg. Blend with fork. Fill turkey cavity with dressing. Sew up cavity. Truss legs with string. Place turkey in roasting pan. Brush with butter and continue brushing at intervals during roasting. Roast in 325° oven 18 to 20 minutes per pound.Recipe Source: Catholic Cookbook, The by William I. Kaufman, The Citadel Press, New York, 1965