Let’s Talk Turkey (and This Video from 1955)

If you think preparing a Thanksgiving meal for your family or friends is a bit overwhelming or stressful, imagine doing it in 1955 and having a woman named Marie Gifford tell you need to prepared the bird “New York-style” or something like it. Don’t know what New York-style is? Same here, friends.

If you want to learn all about Thanksgiving in 1955 or modern-day Thanksgiving prep, check out this somewhat ridiculous, somewhat wonderful video below.

Feeling extra inspired to go back in time with your turkey? Here’s Gifford’s turkey recipe:

  • 1 Beltsville Turkey
  • 3 quarts of bread cubes
  • ¾ cup of celery
  • ¾ cup of onions
  • ¾ cup of butter
  • 1 tablespoon of parsley
  • 1 tablespoon of salt
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • ¼ teaspoon of pepper
  • ¾ teaspoon of poultry seasoning
  • 2-3 toothpicks or skewers
  • String for lacing the Turkey

How to Defrost:
1. If you have time, let it defrost in your refrigerator food compartment. Allow 24 hours at least.
2. If you’re in a hurry, and don’t live in a drought-stricken state, let it sit under cool running water for 1 to 3 hours.
3. When the turkey leg is pliable, it is ready.
4. Don’t re-freeze after defrosted – thaw, and cook, and eat.

Roasting the turkey
1. Put the bird breast down in a V-shaped roaster rack so the juice and fat will run over the breast meat.
2. Brush the turkey all over with melted fat.
3. Halfway through the roasting turn the turkey breast up.
4. Now it’s ready to roast.

When Roasting your Turkey …
1. Take into consideration the overall weight of the turkey and the weight of the stuffing to determine the amount of pounds and thus the amount of time it needs to be cooked.
2. Use Marie Gifford’s Poultry Roasting Chart to determine the weight and cook time.
3. Keep the oven low at 325 degrees.
4. When ready, let rest, carve and enjoy!

For more vintage recipes from Marie Gifford visit

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