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*Foot Notes

November 20, 1998|JAMES E. FOWLER

In this week's *Foot Notes:

Thanksgiving traditionally means family and friends, turkey and friends, turkey and family, turkey and turkey and turkey and more turkey for the entire next week. No dish is considered more American. Your grandmother may have told you, "Eat your turkey, because people 1) in China, 2) in Africa, 3) in Europe, 4) next door (choose one) are starving." But . . .

* Not everyone eats turkey. That does not mean vegetarians have to miss out on Thanksgiving. The Whole Food Market and other stores offer "Tofurky," a tofu loaf complete with dressing, gravy and drummettes made of soy protein. A 3-pound, 4-ounce "Tofurky" sells for about $20, and additional drummettes can be had, four for $3.50.

* Not everyone wants to slave away in the kitchen for eight to 10 hours. For them, it's possible to buy a precooked Thanksgiving dinner from a grocery store, caterer or restaurant. For example, Gelson's and Ralphs both offer dinners that include the bird, dressing, cranberry sauce, vegetable, mashed potatoes, gravy and dinner rolls. Prices range from $39.99 to $100.

* Not everyone knows when to stop. Overeaters Anonymous of the San Fernando Valley will hold its annual Thanksgiving Day Marathon from 10 a.m.-10 p.m. at their headquarters, 7133B Darby Ave., Reseda. (818) 895-1118.

The Northridge Hospital Medical Center emergency room folks say that major holidays typically bring at least two or three people into the emergency room who have eaten themselves to the point of a heart attack scare. Hospital folks usually do a cardiac work-up as a process of elimination, and then release the revelers to home--and leftovers.

* Not all good-tasting food is good for you. The Los Angeles County Department of Health Services cautions that the bacteria listeria, salmonella and campylobacter can infect people who eat undercooked poultry. Health officials recommend poultry be cooked to an internal temperature of 180-185 degrees Fahrenheit. Stuff the bird just before roasting, not the night before.

*

As the story goes, Benjamin Franklin wanted to make the turkey the symbol of our new nation, but the other founding fathers opted for the bald eagle. It's said George Washington's feathers ruffled at the thought of marching tnto battle under the standard of the combative fowl. Turkeys were instead relegated to the serving tray.*

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