Sunday 30 November 2008

impromptu thanksgiving

one of the nice things about living in england is that it is relatively easy for me to find comfort food.


when i lived in japan, i missed the simplest things: bagels, macaroni and cheese, burritos, deep dish pizza. when thanksgiving rolled around, the expat community would chip in together to buy a turkey that cost around $200 to import. then there was the scramble to find an oven, which is not a standard appliance in japanese homes. normally we ended up at someone's school's home ec classroom. we had some fun thanksgivings improvising in japan, but sometimes it's nice to walk into your local supermarket, get a turkey and some cranberries, and enjoy a feast mere hours later.


i hadn't planned to do thanksgiving this year, but i had a massive turkey craving on thursday combined with a twinge of homesickness for my family. c and k came over and we had a lovely time cooking, chatting, and watching casino royale. i used the rotitherm setting on the new oven to cook the turkey - it took 2 hours for a 3.5kg turkey and it came out nicely browned and still moist.

the menu:

  • k's crudites and houmus
  • roasted turkey with rosemary, thyme and paprika
  • cranberry sauce (made with apple chunks and lemon)
  • roasted carrots, mushrooms, red and yellow peppers, baby tomatoes, red onions
  • roasted mayan gold potatoes with red onions and herbs
  • mashed maris piper potatoes with the skins on, naturally
  • c's green beans and leeks from 101cookbooks
  • sage and onion stuffing from a box
  • bisto onion gravy

very satisfying (even if i took a few shortcuts)! for dessert i made lemon cupcakes with lemon buttercream frosting. i know it's not a traditional thanksgiving dessert, but i have never liked pumpkin pie.

after dinner, c commented that she was surprised to find so many out-of-season ingredients in a recipe from 101cookbooks. the author usually makes a conscious effort to promote locally available, in-season produce. i mentioned that it was probably because, for whatever reason, many americans expect to eat green beans at thanksgiving. this prompted a discussion about traditional thanksgiving dishes. perhaps my own aversion tainted the opinion, but no one was too impressed with the concept of mashed sweet potatoes with marshmallows. despite getting a 4 fork rating on epicurious, i think everyone was grateful that i did not inflict such horrors upon our table.



thanks for coming, k & c!


Sara said...

sounds like a great thanksgiving!

Anonymous said...

Wow, the turk looks great.....looks like the dinner I'll be having here at home in Colorado for Christmas.........!