X

Create an account to continue reading.

Registered readers have access to our blogs and a limited number of magazine articles
For unlimited access to The Spectator, subscribe below

Registered readers have access to our blogs and a limited number of magazine articles

Sign in to continue

Already have an account?

What's my subscriber number?

Subscribe now from £1 a week

Online

Unlimited access to The Spectator including the full archive from 1828

Print

Weekly delivery of the magazine

App

Phone & tablet edition of the magazine

Spectator Club

Subscriber-only offers, events and discounts
 
View subscription offers

Already a subscriber?

or

Subscribe now for unlimited access

ALL FROM JUST £1 A WEEK

View subscription offers

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

Thank you for creating an account – Your subscriber number was not recognised though. To link your subscription visit the My Account page

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

X

Login

Don't have an account? Sign up
X

Subscription expired

Your subscription has expired. Please go to My Account to renew it or view subscription offers.

X

Forgot Password

Please check your email

If the email address you entered is associated with a web account on our system, you will receive an email from us with instructions for resetting your password.

If you don't receive this email, please check your junk mail folder.

X

It's time to subscribe.

You've read all your free Spectator magazine articles for this month.

Subscribe now for unlimited access – from just £1 a week

You've read all your free Spectator magazine articles for this month.

Subscribe now for unlimited access

Online

Unlimited access to The Spectator including the full archive from 1828

Print

Weekly delivery of the magazine

App

Phone & tablet edition of the magazine

Spectator Club

Subscriber-only offers, events and discounts
X

Sign up

What's my subscriber number? Already have an account?

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

Thank you for creating an account – Your subscriber number was not recognised though. To link your subscription visit the My Account page

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

X

Your subscriber number is the 8 digit number printed above your name on the address sheet sent with your magazine each week. If you receive it, you’ll also find your subscriber number at the top of our weekly highlights email.

Entering your subscriber number will enable full access to all magazine articles on the site.

If you cannot find your subscriber number then please contact us on customerhelp@subscriptions.spectator.co.uk or call 0330 333 0050. If you’ve only just subscribed, you may not yet have been issued with a subscriber number. In this case you can use the temporary web ID number, included in your email order confirmation.

You can create an account in the meantime and link your subscription at a later time. Simply visit the My Account page, enter your subscriber number in the relevant field and click 'submit changes'.

If you have any difficulties creating an account or logging in please take a look at our FAQs page.

Features Australia

Rondo à la Turkey

17 November 2012

9:00 AM

17 November 2012

9:00 AM

Ah, spring. That magical time of year when the clocks change, the leaves return, and the cranks come out to complain about Halloween. Close readers of the broadsheet letters pages and ABC opinion sites may have noticed a bumper crop of killjoys this year, unable to abide the annual spectacle of neighbourhood children dressed as fairies and superheroes going door to door, watchful parents in tow, looking for lollies on Halloween. The type was epitomised by RMIT professor and ‘futurist’ Stephen Alomes, who complained that the day is ‘an artificially created festival which comes to us firstly through the Trojan Horse of American TV series and films’ and urged ‘a reaction against Americanisation … Australians divide into those who are critical of Halloween and those who embrace and celebrate it’. Yawn.

To be fair, Halloween has its flaws: teaching kids to extort unearned treats from authority figures is a great way to raise future Greens voters or union officials. Instead, if Australians are to embrace an American holiday, it should be Thanksgiving.

[Alt-Text]


Thanksgiving would transplant far better to Australia than Halloween. Even Halloween’s backers must admit that all that oogly-boogly Day of the Dead stuff is a hard sell in a country as relentlessly secular as Australia. Utterly ecumenical Thanksgiving, on the other hand, would fit in nicely. The idea is no more complicated than the name implies: be grateful for what you have. And all that’s required is to front up for a meal.

Plus, it falls at the end of November. A big problem with Christmas in Australia is that by 25 December, it’s too damn hot and after presents the options are limited: stay inside, crank up the aircon and go the traditional roast, or do a Christmas lunch in the sun where everyone gets uncomfortable, sun-struck and drunk too fast. As one who believes that, at heart, God has a great and vicious sense of humour, the stress of Christmas shopping has surely been arranged as our self-inflicted punishment for bringing the money-changers into the temple and commercialising His son’s birthday.

But one need not spend a lot of money to enjoy Thanksgiving. Instead, all that is required is someone able to host a big meal: if needs be, or just for fun, everyone can bring a dish to cut costs. While in North America, oven-roasted turkey is the traditional main course, this doesn’t necessarily translate to Australia, where it’s getting past the time of year when anyone wants to spend much time in the kitchen. But there is an alternative: for many of the past several years I have hosted an annual Thanksgiving party in Sydney, and instead of roasting birds, deep-fry them: with a little investment in the right equipment, including a giant pot and a Chinese propane ring that goes like the afterburner on a Joint Strike Fighter, turkeys can be cooked for a crowd in rapid succession, about 50 minutes a pop. The best bit is that they stay moist (the oven-roasted turkey’s traditional downfall), and they can’t be that bad for you because, hey, most of the oil stays in the frying pot, right?

If all this is not enough to convince Australians, or at least Spectator Australia readers, to embrace Thanksgiving, then just think of the reaction of the Professor Alomes of the world. An entire November of outraged humanities professors could make great entertainment.

James Morrow blogs about food, culture, and politics at prickwithafork.wordpress.com.

Give something clever this Christmas – a year’s subscription to The Spectator for just £75. And we’ll give you a free bottle of champagne. click here.


Show comments
Close