Buttterball Blast


Not many opportunities to secure a whole turkey here in France.  With special, secret connections, we were pleasantly surprised with a whole turkey for our Thanksgiving dinner.  It came from Rammstein, Germany from an American military base.  Such an amazing gift for our annual T-day event.

I haven’t cooked a whole turkey for years.  Brent was the whole turkey cooker last and he would brine and butterfly.  With a Butterball, it’s all set up for chuck-in-the-oven magic.  So I did.

I like to sous chef Thanksgiving the night before.  Everything ready to cook.  On the day, I can chuck meat in the oven while cracking open the bags of prepared yum to cook.  Sous chef kitchen below.IMG_0175

Minty prepared an American flag in Play-doh.  People ask us “what is this Thanksgiving thing about?”  To which I respond something to the tune of ” A time for family to get together, laugh, chat, giggle and talk about Christmas plans.”  This might not be all that true, but I believe this is what it is today.  The history of Thanksgiving is quite different.  I’ll let you google that.IMG_0172

As we live in France, there are some Brits about.  We invited a few to our humble dinner and one chariot arrived full monty.  Right outside our dining table … as Zelie described it, ” an ‘X’ and a thing like zis and another thing like zis.  I can draw it!!”  IMG_0212

So we retaliated with the only flag we have.  Thankfully large.IMG_0213

The pups were chucked outside because the pups like to eat off the counter top.  A useful skill brought in with older pup Chorale taught to younger pups Jiggy and Lumi.  Once the kitchen was pup proof, they were allowed back in.IMG_0210

A hat on MInty.  Helicopter and gold.IMG_0200

A hat on Zelie, pumpkin and orange.


To my surprise the bird was not dry and burnt.  The dishes arrived and people seemed fed and happy.  No Black Friday to follow.   We are completely removed from sales during this time of year.   I woke up the next day, cleaned up and took the kids to a Judo match.

Thanksgiving In Parts

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.

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.


Tosca rests up for an evening of dropped Thanksgiving bits.

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.

Otto plays with the plasma ball