Wednesday, November 27, 2013

‘tis the night before Thanksgiving

DSC01633 (1300x973)…and the cooking is well underway.

There are 22 people coming together for dinner at 7 tomorrow.  I was assigned the stuffing, cranberries, and Dutch cheese plate: I’m on turkey duty (24 lb) tomorrow: we’re guessing five hours to cook which means the bird goes in at noon.  I got a meat thermometer so that I can check whether it’s done through; several friends have weighed in with suggestions for keeping it moist. 

DSC01634 (1274x1300)I made a quick double batch of my cranberry relish recipe: it has never failed to set.  I added a bit of lemon juice / zest to tart it up and used British brandy in place of  cranberry liqueur: one has to make accommodations for place.  Tiny taste tests suggest we nailed local tastes.

DSC01637 (1300x843)The stuffing is trickier.  We always used my grandfather’s recipe, but it has failed to set for man years after he passed away.  Then Saveur published a ‘classic recipe’ that was virtually identical, so I decided to give it another go.  Finally, the night before cooking, the gang voted for an alternative ‘low carb’ stuffing for the bird, so I made the Classic on the side. This may be good or it may be awful: I can’t judge from the outside.

DSC01636 (1300x873)Both the Times and the Economist have featured good stories this week about expat Thanksgiving experiences, worth reading if you feel nostalgic for home.

And remember, in the end, it’s about the people, not the DSC01638 (1300x1017)food.  Bottom line: make guests feel welcome, appreciated and a little special: good advice from the NY Times.

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