If you're anything like me, turkey is more of a ceremonial food for the season. I take a tiny sliver of dark meat and move onto the rest of the stuffing, mashed potatoes, pomegranate kale superfood salad, etc. And if you're anything like the rest of America, y'all are still elbow-high in turkey. So why not give yourself a break and build a gingerbread turkey? It's a nice transitional piece to move you from too much pumpkin to too much gingerbread. And it's vegetarian. :P
This packaging reminds me of all the nice things I have enjoyed this year during the fall. Foliage. Pumpkins before the pumpkin spice. Lancaster. Gingerbread turkey. Nix that last part. I never thought I needed a gingerbread turkey, but how could I not? I thought I'd need something to do after the Thanksgiving meal was finished. But we all know productivity after Thanksgiving dinner is wishful thinking. That food coma hits hard. Instead, I did this on Black Friday night with some friends.
Pay attention to the instructions y'all because this baby requires assembly. A little too much for my liking if you ask me.
The end product is supposed to be edible.
This turned out to be a moderately frustrating experience. #1 pet peeve about this kit - icing assembly. You whip one egg white until stiff peak consistency and then add in the entire box of powdered sugar, plus some lemon juice or vinegar to make it sticky. Our problem? Either the egg we used was way too small or the product didn't require the entire box of icing sugar. Also, we [my friend Ifer and I] whipped took turns beating the egg white by hand because I didn't have a hand mixer. Nice workout for the forearms. Also, this powdered sugar was extra clumpy, which required extra beating/mushing to get it to mix. The end result was much too paste-like, so I added some water to thin it. Even then filling the pastry bag was still an ordeal.
Y'all gotta give the Germans credit for the thought they put into this feat of culinary engineering. Fortunately I read the directions but unfortunately I didn't read all of the directions...so we had to pick up things that had already been glued down and regalia them. Neither of us is going to have a career in piping or in the showstopper round of the Great British Bakeoff. The icing itself did not make the assembly any easier. I suggest working with a buddy when trying to assemble this because the icing has to sort of dry before the thing will stay erect.
The kit came with an assortment of m&m-type candies, gummies, and nonpareils. This is where you go to town with the decorations, but honestly the piping wore us out. It did turn out resembling a turkey, to Ifer's credit, but I probably won't be repurchasing this kit. Too much work for too little gratification. It's fun with friends but doesn't have that same "wow factor" as a gingerbread house. Also, this is supposed to be edible. Actually the gingerbread itself smelled quite tempting to me, but lest we forget that the icing has RAW egg white. Consume at your own risk.
At the end of the day this turkey doesn't really capture the beauty of the holiday season for me, especially not Thanksgiving. But I appreciate TJ's for trying. It helps to remind me of some of the many things for which I am grateful - my husband A, friends, family, and TJ's just to name a few. :P
TL;DR: Trader Joe's Turkey Kit. That stupid turkey. That darn icing. So much work. But not if you're highly motivated and not sick of turkey yet. 5 out of 10.
Related: Gingerbread Kit, White House Cookie Kit