The weekend for talking turkey is at hand. And the word from meat counters in the area is that the smaller birds are selling better.

That’s probably, as they say, because of the coronavirus plague and smaller gatherings planned for Thanksgiving next week.

Jeff Novak, general manager of L&M Meats Inc. has long been sold out of his supply of fresh turkeys. Now he says the smaller frozen turkeys, from 14 to 16 pounds, have been in demand at L&M Meats.

At Hugo’s meat department in East Grand Forks, Matt Johnson said the smaller turkeys, from 8 to 12 pounds, sell quickly. And he said turkeys from 10 to 12 pounds have been hot commodities.

At Hugo’s supermarket on 17th Avenue South and South Washington Street, small turkeys also have been leading the way in sales. Justin Muslemi in the meat department said a surprising number of turkeys were selling early.

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The store has a homemade country-style stuffing for the turkeys made with corn bread.

“It’s surprisingly good," Muslemi says.

Like the others, he believes more people are staying at home this Thanksgiving.

Meat dealers say their turkeys come out of a distribution point at Hopkins, Minn. There also is a turkey plant at nearby Thief River, Minn.

Meat marketers advise taking care and taking time for the turkey to thaw in the refrigerator. Novak likes to start the turkey in the oven – covered. He says a cooking bag makes a moist meat.

Restaurant fare

The Grand Forks Visitors Bureau has listed restaurants that will deliver or host Thanksgiving meals. Among the restaurants offering takeout turkey are Aaltos, Ely’s Ivy, Hugo’s marketplaces, IHOP, Perkins, Roadhouse, Tavern United and Texas Roadhouse.

Those offering in-house service also include the Blue Moose, Buffalo Wild Wings, Denny’s, Eagles Crest Grill, Ground Round, IHOP, Perkins, Roadhouse, Tavern United-Canada Inns and Texas Roadhouse.

Reach Marilyn Hagerty at mhagerty@gra.midco.com or by telephone at (701) 772-1055.