Bachmann’s turkey, King’s prime rib and 
Quigley’s oyster dish

ITK caught up with a few lawmakers before the Thanksgiving recess to find out what they’re planning for Turkey Day:

Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) said she bought all the ingredients for her family dinner well in advance — except for the actual bird. 

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But it’s not a question of freshness, for Bachmann — it’s all about frugality. 

“I always wait until the very last minute to get the bird, because the price goes way down a few days before Thanksgiving,” she said. “Last week turkey was 38 cents a pound, but come Tuesday it’ll be a much better deal.” Bachmann also said she’ll cook with her daughters, and that she serves dishes that reflect her Norwegian roots and her husband’s Swiss heritage. 

Another chef in Congress, Rep. Paul Hodes (D-N.H.), is thrilled that his dining room table is finally long enough for the entire family — some 20 Hodes relatives — to gather around. 

He’ll be in the kitchen for at least part of the day, making his special stuffing with fresh cranberries and an original recipe for whisky gravy. Hodes may also have an extra guest: The lawmaker was last seen Thursday afternoon trying to convince his good friend and fellow Democrat, Rep. Steve Cohen (Tenn.), to make the trek up to New Hampshire for turkey. Cohen said he’ll most likely be with friends in Tennessee, but he didn’t entirely rule out a trip north.

At Rep. Steve King’s (R-Iowa) house, turkey isn’t the real star of the day. It’s prime rib, and King said he loves carving it at the table and doling out the beef. 

“I have the all-powerful final say over who gets a sliver and who gets a slab,” he joked, “so if you’ve been good, you’ll see plenty of slices. Bad? You might just get a few bites.” 

King, who hails from a pork-producing state, also noted that he’ll have ham, bacon and sausage for breakfast Thursday morning. 

Rep. Mike Quigley’s (D-Ill.) favorite Thanksgiving food is leftovers: in particular, he said, oyster dressing. He told ITK he’ll be at his parents’ house, where about 20 members of the family will spend the day. Quigley said that both of his college-aged children will come home for the holiday, and he said he looks forward to them “bringing home their laundry” and sleeping “till the crack of noon.” 

On a more philosophical note, Quigley had high praise for the turkey-centric holiday, observing, “Thanksgiving is, in many ways, what we all really want Christmas to be, but which Christmas isn’t anymore.

“Christmas is so commercial nowadays, and that detracts a lot from the meaning. I mean, when people say, ‘Did you have a good Christmas?’ these days, they mean, ‘What did you get?’ But with Thanksgiving, it’s about food, and family, and being together and being grateful.”