Thanksgiving Day Dinner at Oliver Wight Tavern, Old Sturbridge, MA
This past Thanksgiving I had many things to be thankful for. I was thankful for the election results; I was thankful for the fact that for the first time since I was a child I can hear out of my right ear due to a successful surgery. There are so many things to be thankful for.
However, there is one thing that I cannot be thankful for, Thanksgiving dinner at the Oliver Wight Tavern in Old Sturbridge Village. Two years ago, I had a pleasant experience there. This year, I looked forward to a similar pleasant experience as well.
Unfortunately, it was not to be. After finally getting seated at 3:45, we ordered wine and I eagerly took a plate and explored the various offerings. To my horror, when I went to the carving station to get a plate of turkey, I saw the carver slicing not fresh turkey, but a processed turkey roll. Under the bright heat lamps, the processed roll glistened; sweat drops of what seemed to be sodium and a variety of nitrates and other chemicals oozed from the round breast.
The bird looked as if it had been sitting under heat lamps for quite a long time. I tentatively took a slice or two. The blandness of the pasty, processed food counterbalanced the acerbic taste of the chemicals.
The giblet gravy—what little there was of it—had enough flour in it to clog up the Erie Canal—the entire length. Scorched vegetables had to be pried away from the bottom of the serving bins with serving spoons that still had remains of previous servings stuck to them.
Come on folks! You people can do better than this! At a price of $48 dollars a person, I would at least expect fresh turkey. Processed turkey? Flour-laden gravy that was so thick one had to use a steam shovel to pour it on one’s food?
I do not know who Oliver Wight was. Perhaps he was a tavern owner; I do not know. Perhaps he was a farmer; I do not know. But I do know this: that Oliver Wight is tossing and turning in his grave. Torn and tormented by the travesty inflicted on his name he is resting in an uneasy slumber. Perhaps he is troubled by the sacrifice of a poor turkey whose sad end was to be processed into a bland pasty processed turkey roll.