Thanksgiving In Parts

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Back in America we would host Aliens Thanksgiving.  Every year, Seattle has a lot of foreigners wandering around on the fourth Thursday of November wondering, “where the heck is everybody?”  We’d turn on a little turkey beacon and invite them in.  I was usually the only American at the table and was forced to explain the meaning of thanksgiving.  I’d mumble something about crazed European nutters taking over other people’s land in search of help from the locals to get up and running while simultaneously killing themselves and the natives with disease, laughing it all off at the end of the day with some corn on the cob.  Now please, pass the stuffing.  No, but really it’s a feast of brown and good friends and warming up the imminent cold, dark days.
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Lucy sets the table for everyone.  She refused to do a “kids table.”

Now that we’re in France, I’ve missed our cloud of aliens eating, drinking and giggling.  Each year we’d meet new people as the aliens would get married, have children or bring other aliens.  One dude married an American who increased our native count to two (love ya Kris!!).  Brent did most of the cooking, Kevin played sous chef and I picked up the rest.  Kevin caught a moment during 2002 when Brent, dressed in chef wear, had just pulled out the Turkey.  Bassam is playing the role of restaurant owner.  This photo is in my kitchen and I cherish it.

The dust of our new life in France has settled a bit and we’ve managed to put on a proper American feast.  Brent is officially American now so as a family, we are the aliens.  We had British and Australian representation as well as a lovely Scottish accent and a Swede at the table.  I cooked as much as I could the day before and prepped the rest the morning of.  It was a little difficult because I burnt the crap out of my hand two nights ago.  Not unlike Mr. Toht from Raiders of The Lost Ark, I felt I should model a replica of the scar and see if it will lead to forgotten treasure.  Instead I prepared the turkey with the fat-salt-pepper routine and learned first hand what salt does to an open wound.  With thanksgiving dinner locked and loaded, I could relax and giggle with our guests. It was an enjoyable evening.

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Tosca rests up for an evening of dropped Thanksgiving bits.

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Having Thanksgiving in France forces a few tweaks in a traditional meal.  The main difference is in our part of France we can’t buy a whole turkey to roast.  I had dreams of raising a turkey for this day, but other important things took priority.  Instead, I went to the shop to pick up a small collection of turkey parts.  I managed to locate four turkey legs and two turkey roasty ball things.  So we had a four-legged, two-balled turkey.    I did a few turkey part roasts in the past and I’m starting to prefer this way of cooking turkey.  You can pull the legs out early and let the thicker breasty-ball-roast keep cooking.

The other Thanksgiving tweak is we eat on Saturday.  France is alive and working on the fourth Thursday of November.  Our giant meal doesn’t fit with school the next day.  The cool thing about having Thanksgiving on Saturday in France is that the next day is Sunday.  On Sunday in France nothing is open.  This means you are not enabled by giant money-saving super sales preying on your trypto-coma to spend your money.  It’s a “spend nothing” day.

I wish all the Americans, Aliens and European nutters out there a Happy Thanksgiving.
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Otto plays with the plasma ball

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10 thoughts on “Thanksgiving In Parts

  1. Mike Williams November 27, 2011 / 11:51 am

    …and Swedish representation!

    And a fabulous night. Thank you again.

    • Jean Curtis November 27, 2011 / 12:04 pm

      OMG!!! how rude of me! and he made the only non-brown item! Sorry, G!

      • Jean Curtis November 27, 2011 / 12:06 pm

        … k. updated.

  2. bizzyella November 27, 2011 / 1:11 pm

    Jean, how do you get those visitors to ever come back? Americans love my Thanksgiving dinners, so I was kind of hurt when my French friends came once, to be polite, but the next year begged off; they said they just couldn’t eat the food. Well, okay, pretty hurt. We have wound up going to expat things, something I never thought I’d do.

    Do you make the food less sweet? Less rich? Anything different?

    • Jean Curtis November 28, 2011 / 11:48 am

      well, this was our first year, so I suppose I’ll see if anyone can take the spread next year. I didn’t invite any of our French friends mostly because we are not at the dinner part of our friendship. We’ve done some Aperos, but not dinner. Next year, we’ll see how it goes. I think the Brits will come back. The food in England can’t be much worse than my first Thanksgiving dinner :).

  3. Kris November 27, 2011 / 5:56 pm

    Happy Thanksgiving Jean! Geoff and Lydia and clan came over this year but it’s not the same. Miss you guys!

  4. ceciliag November 27, 2011 / 11:18 pm

    I loved your compilation turkey and I am with Lucy, i refuse to have kids tables too! And the table with all the food looked glorious Jean.. c

    • Jean Curtis November 28, 2011 / 11:49 am

      ah. thanks!

  5. sheri November 30, 2011 / 1:19 am

    Happy Thanksgiving Jean!!!! and thank you for recounting these special meals.

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