Thanksgiving '08: In Pictures

My sister is like the poor woman’s Martha Stewart, except that every time you set a holiday table with unpressed linens, Martha pays a coolie to kill a Chow Chow.

Turkey leg confit, I have come to firmly believe, is the only way turkey legs should be prepared and served.  For a small administrative fee, I will issue a dispensation for deep-frying.

Mesquite-smoked turkey breast, resting propped up on his poor little wing-stumps.  A study in rich mahogany.

Turkey two ways, roasted sweet potatoes with maple-thyme glaze, and green beans with country ham and leeks.  Not pictured:  mashed potatoes; stuffing, with sausage and without; a veggie medley of parsnips, carrots and asparagus; yeasted dinner rolls; cornbread muffins and gravy two ways for the turkey duo (plain ole gravy for the smoked breast, gravy with green peppercorns, leeks, shitake and preserved lemon for the confit).

I guess we were out of harvest-colored sanding sugar, so the apple pie helped usher in the Christmas season.  Other pie selections included pumpkin, made from a recipe in the last issue of Cook’s Illustrated that is truly killer.

And then there was much lolling around on the sofa, complaining about our various levels of fullness (my personal level: “fucking stuffed”) and farting with varying levels of impunity and/or shame.  My sister had to contend with both farting (with impunity, without shame) and hot flashes, causing her to lunge out the front door into the chilly air (which she declared “really nice”) every 15 minutes, for which I am deeply sympathetic but maybe if you’d iron your damn napkins Martha wouldn’t rain this kind of vengeance down on you.

Then we went to bed and slept for TWELVE AND A HALF HOURS, and then it was nighttime again and time for leftovers:

My brother-in-law was concerned that frying slices of stuffing on a griddle was a sign that he’d been living in the south for too long, but it’s not like they were deep fried or anything.  Also on the menu: leftover turkey and gravy, everything-but-the-kitchen-sink vegetable bisque, and salad.  The salad was treading dangerously close to “healthy,” so he saved it with cheese and country ham.


My verdict: despite the presence in North Carolina of poisonous spiders that bite, causing you to have to rush to the emergency clinic in fear that you’ve developed a third nipple for antibiotics the size of horse tranquilizers, a most pleasant holiday.

These pictures are for Leigh, who couldn’t be here for Thanksgiving because she’s stuck studying abroad for a year in Florence.  If you here a faint whistle in your ear, that’s me playing the fuck out of the tiniest violin I could find.  I hope you can hear it, because I’m playing it as hard as I’ve ever played it.

0 thoughts on “Thanksgiving '08: In Pictures

  1. Tasty spread- that turkey looks amazing.

    I’m particularly enamored with the little green and red sugar sprinkles on the pie. That is how all holiday pies should be adorned from now on.
    Anything else just wont seem as merry.

  2. I’m so envious of that table! Martha and your sister would come after me with torches and pitchforks if they saw my blog with the wrinkled tablecloth.

    I’m envious of the turkey styles too. That was some impressive work.

    I have tons of leftover stuffing. I am now inspired with new ways to use it. Thanks.

  3. absolutely phenominal looking food
    great post, loved reading – as usual

    we’re here in nyc wanting to have dinner with you
    but nooooo… you’re “unavailable”

    ethel’s spread? she made the turkey, phoned in the rest.
    and then complained how exhausted she was for 2 days

  4. Maybelle I love the way you think and it would be worth the cost of FedEx. A case of “the vapors” was a small price to pay for the preceding feast. Perhaps it was the methane gas trapped in the tiny bedroom that knocked my sister and brother-in-law into unconsciousness until 3:00 p.m. the next day. Only so much can be blamed on tryptophan. A lengthy slumber (within reason) is testimony to a hearty feast.

  5. wow. the pictures of my thanksgiving dinner are completely comical in comparison. yes i hear your violin, but i’m still jealous.

  6. claudia, i love your mom. how much longer are you in NYC?

    kerry, touche.

    leigh, i’m amazed the violins are audible over your mom’s farting.


  7. for whats its worth… I do use recipes to suport ideas. the basis of the confit came from
    And I think I found the cider brined smoked turkey on the weber grill site a couple of years back. Ryan & I bastardized the recipes, of course.
    A word of caution: Do not be tempted to use the drippings after the first cooking of the confit, no matter how pretty & gelatinous it is. A rogue wave has less salinity!

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