Thursday, October 06, 2005

Talking Turkey

In which I fess up that I do not like English food.

Well, that's not too much of a revelation. I participate in the feasting, but look forward more to the soup than the actual meal. Here's my rundown of Thanksgiving foods from least to most-beloved.

mashed potatoes - Is this glue? or babyfood? It seems like something that should be served by a tube, not with a fork. And gravy - I don't get that either - sauce that tastes like the stuff that you're putting it on? Hmmm.

gerkins - I love pickles, but gerkins are pickle wannabes. I'm urkin' about that gerkin. Sounds like a jerkin, which is a jacket, not a lewd act, by the way.

shrimp cocktail - Shrimp is lovely but I like it warm with spicy sauce, not in a cup on iceberg lettuce looking like a lab specimen.

stuffing - We always make a whole bunch and then we have a whole bunch left over, then we throw it away when it is fossilized (with the fossilized gravy).

buns - tend to be white and knobby at Thanksgiving for some reason. I really love bread, but with potatoes and stuffing it's overkill. Something for the kids I guess, who have the sense not to take the items that they don't enjoy. One consolation - real butter...mmmmmm.

any overcooked vegetable - beans, brussel sprouts, carrots, broccoli, cauliflower. The bounty of the season is a sad thing when it is boiled for 15 minutes. Ditto for frozen brussels sprouts which come out of the bag without a chance of yumminess.

turkey - which is kind of like coffee, smelling better than it actually tastes. And you get a plank of it on your plate. If it's dry you have to coat it in that gravy so it will slide down. Fortunately my mom and mom-in-law and even I know how to roast it so it is not dry, but still, it's yummiest moment is when it's still in the oven, or after it's done - turkey-picking is yummy - little bits out of the fridge, then the soup. Ah...the soup.

cranberry sauce - I think it's something to make the turkey go down better - like hiding a penicillin pill in a glob of jam. My mom used to do that when I was little. I love cranberries in muffins but not so much on the side of the plate with meat. Cranberry sauce is okay if it's the kind with berries in it. The strained jelly kind is in the same category with mashed potatoes.

pumpkin pie - with whipped cream - could eat a whole one. won't.

yams - whoever invented these had the right idea - sweet and flavourful and substantial. Makes the potatoes look like idiots.

brussel sprouts done right - just cooked not boiled to death

salad - some people think it's crazy to have a salad on top of all of this, but I think a salad is very good at Thanksgiving - like a summary of summer goodness. And if there's leftover you can put some turkey on it and take it to work. And use real good salad dressing - not gravy.

I once invented a lasagne from holiday leftovers - It had turkey and stuffing in between the layers of noodles, and white cheeses and white sauce and slivered almonds. It was good, but mostly because of the noodles and the fact that the turkey and stuffing was not so concentrated.

Heading into Thanksgiving I know I will enjoy the meal, and just wait. There will be soup.

Beautiful, beautiful soup.

question - how does the feast stack up for you? favourites? non-favourites?

mompoet - thinking about soup


Anonymous said...

From the Port Moody wannabe in Michigan: forget cranberry sauce. Try cranberry chutney instead. There are some fabulous ones on I make one every year with shallots and balsamic vinegar and it is wonderful, very savory and a nice kick in the salivary glands up against all that bland meat.

Mashed potatoes: my husband's very Irish family would have a fit if I overlooked them--though I agree with you, they seem born to be extruded. Here, I suggest mashing them with leeks sauteed in butter and some fresh chopped thyme. Very nice!

I'm going to brine a turkey this year. Apparently it makes it much much more moist--and you have a ready excuse not to make gravy from the drippings!


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