Monday, November 21, 2011

Thanksgiving Traditions - The Turkey Platter

Besides the traditional meal of turkey, cranberries, sweet potatoes, and more, Thanksgiving reminds us of many things:

falling leaves

pumpkin pie

visits with extended family

eating too much

the kids' table

Christmas is almost here

Mom's retro platter.
Of all these, there is another Thanksgiving tradition that may be the most often overlooked:  the turkey platter.  You know, the special platter that is used to carry the beautiful bird to the table.  Everyone says oooh and ahhh and then the bird is carved to bits.  Just because the platter is covered with turkey meat doesn't mean it should be ignored. 

My mom has a beautiful Thanksgiving platter.  The tradition is, she never uses it!  It hangs on the kitchen wall, a retro holiday look available all year round!  Unless you go in Mom's kitchen before Thanksgiving dinner, you never see the whole bird.  Mom slices and delivers the turkey meat on an oversized white plate.  That's OK mom, we love you anyway!

My sister's turkey platter,
similar to Mom's.

My sisters and I have always loved Mom's turkey platter.  My sister Sharon managed to obtain a platter for herself that is quite similar to Mom's.  Very nice, and the colors are beautiful.

My own Thanksgiving platter is a lovely Johnson Brothers pattern called "His Majesty."  The turkey does look rather majestic; it must be because he's unaware of his future.  Unless, that is, that he's one of the guys who received a White House pardon! 

The platter was a gift from my husband in the early years of our marriage.  He was rather tickled because it was not too long after I received the platter hubby actually saw a wild turkey in our back yard, which is basically all woods.

Families have many traditions.  At this time of year, we revisit those traditions and recall why they warm our hearts. 

Whether your Thanksgiving platter is generations old or brand-new from WalMart, whether it's used all year round or never leaves the cabinet, in some way it is part of the family's scrapbook of holiday memories. 

Be sure to treat it as a treasured guest.


  1. I don't think I've ever seen a turkey platter I didn't like and all three above are just beautiful. I have often looked at those Johnson Brothers platters on eBay (the really old platters) and they sell for a pretty steep price. I imagine the new ones do too! I have five or six Thanksgiving platters including two big old enamel ones. Do I need as many as I have? No. But they are too pretty not to keep!

  2. I have a big turkey platter, and I use it all the time (not just for turkey!) Once a year we visit a restaurant at a turkey farm in Meredith, New Hampshire. It is decorated with hundreds of turkey platters collected by the family. The restaurant has been open since 1954, so that's a LOT of turkey platters (all different, too!) If you are ever up in New Hampshire you should visit!

  3. Thanks ladies! I enjoyed writing this one. Yes, I too have more platters than I need. Is there such as thing as being a "platter person"?!!! If so, I fill the bill.

    I will add the turkey farm to my list of places to visit, sounds like fun. Thanks for reading!

  4. What a unique focus for a Thanksgiving Traditions article! I love your mom's platter--it does seem almost too beautiful to use!

    Funny you mention the wild turkeys. We've had a few wild visitors over the years, too...make our outdoor cats start dreaming about bagging their own Thanksgiving dinner. They never have, though. Those critters are quite large.