How was your Thanksgiving ? Hope you had a good one . We had a very good Thanksgiving ourselves, thank you. At one time , I used to wonder why people made such a big deal about Thanksgiving but now , as I grow older, I understand. Thanksgiving is the one time in the year when the children come back to visit and consequently , one is transported back in time.
So it was with us this year. In addition to my son , we had a nephew and his wife ,and another niece staying with us and at the Thanksgiving table we had more cousins and nephews and nieces , a total of ten. As I remarked to the others it was a strange , a wonderful feeling to have the house full once again . Naturally , at such times, one’s thoughts go to the ones who are not there and I couldn’t help thinking of my daughter who has been posted abroad. How we would have loved to have her there and how much she would have loved to be there for the festivities !
Until this year , we’d always cooked the Thanksgiving meal ourselves , sharing the work of preparing the dinner with my brother-in-law and his wife who live down the street. They usually cook the turkey, the children prepare the appetizers and my wife and I do the rest.This year was different because all of us had been busy and we were not in a mood to cook. My wife ordered the turkey and fixings from a Texas firm and we are glad we did . It was so relaxing not to have to do all the cooking.The parcel arrived on Thursday morning and all we had to do was unpack the various items and warm up the turkey in the oven. The goodies included a 12 lb. turkey with gravy, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole , crawfish etoufee’ and bread pudding. We added store-bought creamed spinach and cranberry sauce and ( by popular demand) my wife had cooked a Hyderabadi Goat Masala. The youngsters insist on a traditional Thanksgiving , complete with turkey and trimmings , but they also crave certain favorites that they haven’t had for a long while.
That doesn’t even begin to tell the whole story …
Leading upto the meal , we usually have a round of appetizers with drinks . This time , my son had brought some cheeses from New York along with a pate’ , crackers and two jams /spreads. To this we added an assortment of olives and a tub of roasted garlic. They went over great with the wine and beer of which there was a plentiful supply.
About the turkey … When we took it out of the oven after reheating it ( 5 minutes per lb.) , it wasn’t as browned as it normally is when we cook it at home and I wasn’t sure how it would taste. I needn’t have worried…. we’ve never eaten a moister , more flavorful bird. It was not dry in the least, the Cajun seasoning was just right and it was perfectly cooked.The green bean casserole was disappointing but the mashed potatoes and the crawfish etoufee were winners . There were less leftovers than usual and that is the best indication of how good the food was. The Goat Masala too was a huge success and it went over well with crusty artisanal bread that we’d got from Wegman’s.
That’s not the end of the story either…
Our nephew’s wife had cooked three delectable pumpkin flavored flans and we made short work of two of them . Our niece from Washington D.C had contributed two dozen assorted cupcakes from Baked and Wired , an iconic D.C store. I am at a loss to explain why cupcakes are better than cakes but they are.Perhaps it’s because they are daintier , perhaps because they come in so many different flavors and toppings , perhaps it because they are so personal… whatever the reason , I can tell you , without reservation , that I am a cupcake fan.Those cupcakes were s-o-o-o good.The flan was too we did a number on both of them.
Thanksgiving is a time of excess and I usually feel guilty that we have such a tableful of goodies and that we make such pigs of ourselves. The one thing that mitigates my guilt is that we try not to waste anything. Each year we try to refine the quantities and reduce the excess. This year continued the trend. It is the Tuesday after Thanksgiving and the refrigerator, which was filled to bursting, is almost back to normal. The bread pudding is in the freezer but almost everything has been consumed or given away.
Speaking of which I have to tell about the leftover turkey. ..
Usually , we chop up the leftover turkey and make a turkey hash with sautéed onions , green chillies and spices , sometimes a dollop of BBQ sauce. This year my wife had an inspiration. She made a soup with the chopped turkey and the other leftovers : the green bean casserole , the creamed spinach , the mashed potatoes and the roasted garlic . Surprisingly , it was good, very good . In fact , it was even better than that ; it was great ! Mario Batali would have been proud to say that he had made it ! Too bad it can never be replicated !! ( LOL).