Bird up! Win four-course turkey dinner for six at Switch! Grill

UPDATE: We did a random draw for this one. I asked Ivan Matic of Moment Cafe to witness the process and make the pick, under the watchful of the even helpful Linda.

And the winner is: sarahplusone.

Congratulations to her and thanks to everyone entered and to Switch! Grill for providing the prize. Switch! will have turkey dinner for four straight days at its grill and cafe locations. Check out the menu below if you’re hankering for some turkey.

Who you calling ‘chicken’? (johnkstuff.blogspot.com)

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Got a personal turkey-related story from Beijing? (And, honestly, who doesn’t?) Share it here and get into the draw for a four-course turkey dinner for six people at Switch! Grill — see menu below — from November 22 to November 25.

Maybe it is an anecdote from a past Thanksgiving or Christmas in Beijing. Maybe it is from that Halloween you dressed up as Foghorn Leghorn (yes, he’s a chicken, but I’ll count that). You know what? I’ll even accept entries about Wild Turkey.

This is the fourth straight year I’ve teamed up Debra Lykkemark and Billy Kawaja at Culinary Capers, which owns Switch Grill and Switch Cafe, for a Thanksgiving contest. And this year’s four-course meal includes butternut squash soup, arugula salad with candied hazelnuts, dried cranberries and more, turkey with gravy, stuffing, chutney, potatoes and more, and some fancy pumpkin pie to finish. Both the grill and cafe will have two seatings per day, from November 22 to November 25, at rmb220 per person.

Contest details:

  • Leave a comment with your Beijing turkey-related story. All reasonable entries go into the draw.
  • Deadline for entries is 6:22 PM on Tuesday, November 20. We will pick the winner that night.
  • The winner gets a four-course dinner for six people at Switch! Grill.
  • You can enter multiple times — some people have a near-limitless supply of turkey stories — but please leave each entry as a separate comment.

See also:

14 thoughts on “Bird up! Win four-course turkey dinner for six at Switch! Grill”

  1. When I was around 6 or 7 years old, my grandpa took me to one of the neighbor’s farms to get stuff for Thanksgiving dinner.

    The farmer, Cooter, took me over to a pen full of Turkeys and told me to pick one I liked.

    After looking for a bit, I saw a really cute one with an adorable little walk and cried, ‘Him!’

    Before I could even put my arm down, Cooter yanked the poor bastard up by the neck, and slit him from beak to belly. Blood, feathers, guts and gore spilled all over the ground, splashing my shoes and ensuring therapy for the next few years of my youth.

    Up until then I didn’t even know where meat came from – and now I’d sentenced that poor turkey to death…

    (Thanks SS)

  2. Well, I definitely deserve this dinner! Last year’s was kind of a disaster…

    My best friend and I planned a massive Thanksgiving dinner! I spent two days making sides and desserts, and spent several days tracking down the biggest, juiciest turkeys in Beijing. We had a ton of people coming, so we got two, which probably weighed in at around 40 plus pounds. Not optimal for a Beijing oven. The day of the feast, we loaded everything into the car, made a trip around town to pick up pies, wine, etc, and rolled in feeling immensely proud of ourselves! It was a mind-blowing spread!

    The only problem was, that all of our coupled friends were off doing their own thing, and only a massive of flock of our very favorite gay guys turned out – our fabulous, super-skinny, gorgeous, and all dieting to get in shape for their winter holidays – best friends. Everyone had a bite, told us how fabulous it was, and proceded to mingle and starve until the whee hours of the morning. Out of 30 people, only five of us (including my friend and I!) ended up in a food coma, and what’s more, we had to pack up all the leftovers in our comatose state, haul them back home, and eat turkey for the following month! Luckily, I’m a big fan of the bird and invented numerous new turkey recipes, so there was a silver lining. And what’s more, I slept like a child until it ran out.

    The turkey-induced tryptophan withdrawal period was not so nice, but that is another story…

  3. OK, since Mr. Hao gets to post a non-Beijing turkey tale, I’ll follow suit!

    When I was a young girl growing up in a small village in Germany, they used to call me the chicken thief. But this story isn’t about chickens, it’s about turkeys, which much like the Chinese, the Germans don’t really think are worth eating…

    But don’t tell that to my mother – an all American girl from Detroit city – who went abroad to find herself and married my German dad, and thus doomed herself to many years of Thanksgiving hardship. After many years of itty-bitty, scrawny, not worth the heat it takes to cook them turkeys, so she gave my dad an ultimatum: get me a real bird, or we’re taking the kids to America next year.

    So in spring, my parents set out of a journey to find the largest turkey they could. They were laughed at, scoffed at, and even shunned, until one gentle farmer agreed to breed them a bird! Just come pick it up a few days before Thanksgiving, he said.

    Well, the day finally arrived, and my father set out to fetch the bird while my mother prepared numerous pies… When my father finally retuned home, the look on his face said it all – something had gone terribly wrong.

    Instead of a plump 20 pounder, like my mother had imagined, my father came home bearing a 30 plus pound behemoth bird, one that our family couldn’t eat, let along fit in the oven!

    But being the craft German my dad is, he spent half a day creating an oven extension, doing his calculations, and after nearly 30 hours cooking time, we were greeted by a huge, wonderfully tender bird. Once we saw it, we didn’t even remember the near-divorce-inducing drama of Turkeyzilla, but happily munched away on endless turkey, stuffing, pies and more!

    It’s the day that I always remember as my first real Thanksgiving.

  4. Seeing “Turkeyberry Sandwich” listed on the menu at the former Sequoia Cafe, thinking “WTF?” and then being told it was the place’s top seller! Turkey, cranberry sauce, and who knows what else betwixt two pieces of bread. I’m more of a BLT guy but kudos to Sequoia for making turkey accessible all-year round.

    Boyce

  5. When I was around ̶6̶ ̶o̶r̶ ̶7̶ 40 years old, my ̶g̶r̶a̶n̶d̶p̶a̶ Chinese friend took me to one of ̶t̶h̶e̶ ̶n̶e̶i̶g̶h̶b̶o̶r̶s̶ a Beijing farm to get stuff for Thanksgiving dinner.

    The farmer, ̶C̶o̶o̶t̶e̶r̶ Mr. Li, took me over to a pen full of Turkeys and told me to pick one I liked.

    After looking for a bit, I saw a really cute one with an adorable little walk and cried, ‘Him!’

    Before I could even put my arm down, ̶C̶o̶o̶t̶e̶r̶ Mr. Li yanked the poor bastard up by the neck, and slit him from beak to belly. Blood, feathers, guts and gore spilled all over the ground, splashing my shoes and ensuring therapy for the next few years of my youth.

    Up until then I didn’t even know where meat came from – and now I’d sentenced that poor turkey to death…in Beijing.

  6. I was visiting Beijing a few years ago for the first time and the trip coincided with Thanksgiving. I love preparing huge thanksgiving dinners with family and thus felt a bit sad not to be back home with them. However, I decided I would not just mope around feeling sorry for myself, but since it was in no way possible, I woulnd’t even try to replicate “authentic” thanksgiving in anyway. What I wanted though, was turkey. Had to have it in some form. I did some research on the Internet and fould a place that promised a turkey sandwich “to transport you back home” or something to that effect. Unfortunately I can’t remember the name of the place anymore, but they fulfilled what they promised. Having a turkey sandwich in a Beijing locale, my most original thanksgiving memory. :D

  7. Working in preschool I was quite surprised one day as my local coworker had very confidently prepared and labeled a series of holiday related flash cards including that Canadian seasonal favourite… The Fire Chicken.
    Sometimes direct translation is hilarious.

  8. Since I posted a photo Foghorn Leghorn — a chicken, not a turkey, I know — I can’t help but post a few choice quotes from him….

    - “The snow, I say, the snow’s so deep, the farmers have to jack up the cows so they can milk ‘em.
    - “This is going to cause more confusion than a mouse at a burlesque show.
    - “Subtle as a hand grenade in a barrel of oatmeal.
    - “It sure, I say, it’s sure quiet around here. You could hear a caterpillar sneaking across a moss bed in tennis shoes. Sneakers, that is.
    - “He’s smaller than the little end of nuthin’ sharpened.

    Cheers, Boyce

  9. Last year my friend hosted a joint house-warming/Thanksgivng party at her and her husband’s apartment close to Tuanjie Hutong. Normally I’m just in that area to go to Sanlitun, so it was nice to see the place that lends its name to the subway stop. Now my friend is actually from Singapore, so I found it really odd that she was throwing this party, but she prepared all the traditional fixin’s. She also bought some doughnuts from Mr. Doughnut so I must have gained– well, that’s nobody’s business how much weight I gained, and I’m not counting calories so it doesn’t matter.

    So when all the guests arrived she turned to her husband and asked him to carve the turkey. Honestly, we’re all still new at playing house. I’ve never thrown a Thanksgiving party myself, but they had obviously over-looked this minor detail of who was going to cut the bird cause no one, not even the guests, knew how to cut a turkey. And I’m sure pictures still exist of how mangled the remains of that poor poor animal ended up.

  10. I love Thanksgiving. It’s my favorite holiday. There’s nothing better than dark meat turkey, gravy and cranberry sauce, and I completely buy into the romantic notion that on this one day of the year your friends and family come with the best of intentions (intentions, not behavior!) for a meal of thanks. Turkey-day stands uncorrupted despite the efforts of Christmas, a holiday with a hidden agenda, reaching out with his grubby Black Friday claws to spread his taint – as if all of December wasn’t enough, you narcissist.

    Thursday will be my first Thanksgiving in Beijing. In the summer delirium of packing for China, I was (naively) determined to be fully prepared when I got here. So very first thing, I packed a turkey brining bag. Oddly enough I didn’t pack that many warm clothes. Hey, at the time, it made perfect sense! I figured China of all places would have clothes, but probably not a lot of turkey supplies. How can you fault that logic? Now that T-day is upon us, it turns out that the turkey, oven and friends can’t all be in the same place at the same time, so I remain the proud owner of what could be Beijing’s only turkey brining bag and smallest collection of sweaters. Maybe next year…

  11. This story starts back in the early 1990′s as a young Canadian university student in Beijing.

    I was riding a bike from Peking University to meet with a Canadian Thanksgiving Committee at BLCU when I got into a serious bike accident. It was my fault for being Speedy Gonzales, as I ran right into a pedestrian who stepped out too soon. I literally flipped off my bike and onto the pavement. Fortunately no one was seriously hurt but of course trying to ride my bike to that turkey meeting meant I would be limping the rest of the way there.

    To make a long story short, I survived and was able to enjoy Canadian Thanksgiving with my fellow Canucks that year, but I don’t think we even had turkey back then.

    I think we were just happy to share in the real Thanksgiving Tradition of giving thanks during the REAL THANKSGIVING (of Canada!), having a nice hot meal together with friends and classmates, and also that the Canadian Embassy gave us all free tshirts with the Canadian flag on it, which probably got my Canadian patriotism going ’til this very day. Go Canada Go!

  12. Most memorable turkey dinner was our Canadian Alumni gala dinner at the St. Regis, which put on an amazing turkey buffet, with all you can eat turkey with all them fixings, and maple-glazed ham, and tons of other food on top to gobble down, which made up for being away from Canada for so long, and that bike accident from years before!

  13. My very first Beijing Thanksgiving, of course! Kuntai Hotel on Chaowai, November 1998. I was there with classmates and I remember having a ball! It was a very fancy affair; we all got dressed up and got on a bus to the Kuntai Hotel…which was fancy at that time. The Turkey was served as part of a buffet.

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