Our local bear has been having her Thanksgiving a little early. Maybe she’s just tired of soggy vegetation, preferring, as she seems to do, the ammonia-doused bag and bin alternative. Ever notice that while there are many advertisements for squirrel proof feeders, there’s nary a one that claims to discourage our neighbor the bear? Now that would be something to be thankful about.
Around here, checklists are being prepared, staples are being checked, chairs are being counted and tried and true recipes evaluated for replacement by something new that might perk things up. One can seek perfection repeatedly without being discouraged. Annually, I find a solution for one vexation, incorporate some useful and novel kitchen hack only to stumble over new dilemma. I would be most thankful if it is only one time.
In addition to getting stuffed ourselves, we serve stuffing. If there’s an opening or a cavity of any kind, cooks like to fill it up. Our old friends, the Romans, were especially fond of the process. Among the things that they stuffed for their tables, number a small furry-tailed rodent called a dormouse. I am grateful that this particular stuffed morsel did not get incorporated into our November festivities. Where there are cooks, there are debates. Some concerning the stuffing of turkeys. One consideration is that of cooking the stuffing thoroughly given its incarceration within the bird. Another is the limited amount of stuffing available if one uses the size of the turkey as the determinate. We’ve collected the recommendations and solutions of many celebrated chefs (to whom we are grateful) which are available on the website under Roast Turkey.
One of Johnny Carson’s funniest quips about these festivities was when he said “Thanksgiving was an emotional holiday in which people traveled thousands of miles to be with people they only see once a year. Then they discover that once a year was way too often”. What he didn’t say, was that no matter the differences or the difficulties, they would all do it again the following year. Ritual holidays are just that, rituals to be indulged in, rebelled against, added to and let slide into oblivion. What would you nominate for oblivion? I fully understand that it is heresy in some places, but marshmallows would be high on my list.
As you might expect, there are slews of recipes suitable fr a Thankgiving table on the market website. Give it a try and you’ll find the likes of: Roast Turkey (complete with a list of shortcuts, and hints to managing the big bird.), Maple Pumpkin Pie, Farro Stuffing, Vanilla Bean Whipped Sweet Potatoes and at least a dozen Cranberry Sauces. In hopes of adding to my list of things to be thankful for this year, we’re sharing a recipe for Green Beans with Lemon and Pine Nuts, one uncomplicated dish for this year’s table. Happy Thanksgiving.