The old cliché holiday which boasts ‘so much to be thankful for’ was once upon at our doorstep. It was already Thanksgiving season and I was not at all prepared. In part, perhaps due to the fact that our son would not be with us, due to military commitment, and in other, my American family is 6,000 miles away. Their celebrations took place on the traditional day, while I extended our celebration to Saturday. The weather’s been dark, mistig, cold and wet here the past week, but the sun shone for us on Saturday. I worked in the kitchen and began preparing the day before, as many of us do. I decided to do the desserts on Friday, which would be the cheesecake, en de spicy pumpkin pie. Daarnaast, I made the cranberry salade too. I recruited some helpers from the family to peel the potatoes, and carrots, then I sautéed my green beans with bacon and the mushrooms for the gravy. Saturday (the day of), all I would need to do is the vulling, and the bird itself.
To most of us American’s, we’ve been fed the story of the Pilgrims landing at Plymouth and blessing the Native American’s with the basic presence of their arrival. Life would become easier, more tame and domesticated if the Pilgrims had any say to it. However since 1970, 350 years after the first Jamestown celebration, “The United American Indians of New England” have labeled this day a National Day of Mourning. With all the unwanted visitors arriving with small-pox, disease, prejudice, and un-just views of the natives, it was actually the Natives whom they had to thank, because without the existing crops and food supply shared by the natives, the Pilgrims would have perished. American history, like many histories of the world is skewed. It’s in the favor of the white man, and it portrays the Natives as wild, un-tamable animals. It’s a heartbreak if we unveil the true history. Yet, knowing what we know, we still choose to celebrate our version of Thanksgiving.
To me, Thanksgiving is just another day of the year, werkelijk. It doesn’t signify the banging of the inflated chest of the white-man, maar liever, in today’s era, it signifies family sitting together, breaking bread. Putting our own personal differences aside with one another, and recognizing that we’re all in this together. Perhaps our “Dankzegging” is more like the French Bastille day, where over 200 jaren geleden, the French took back their country from the out of touch Monarchs which ruled their lands and starved their people. I would support a ‘give-back’ of the land to the Natives. I know my land which we own in California was once belonging to the Gabilian Indians. We’ve heard of the nomadic habits and lifestyles lived by these local natives, but it’s all been plowed under and washed away, all but forgotten. To you my Native people, I salute you. Your bravery, your courage, your wisdom. I’m a passer-through on your great lands and I humbly thank you for this opportunity as well as the positive energy which imbues every ounce of your presence.
I’ve been told from a historian of American History, that the traditional “Plymouth” table was filled with fish, grains, and the Fall harvest. Vandaag, all we have to do is travel to our local Whole Foods Market to pick an already killed turkey wrapped in plastic, and bring it home to prepare. We’re so far gone from our tradition, thus marking Thanksgiving, or T.G., or Turkey Day, basically a consumer-ridden holiday now watered down to mark the eve before “Black Friday”. Sadly, Black Friday made it 6000 miles across the pond to Europe. Dit jaar, was the most publicized black Friday of Europe’s history. “Ignore it” I tell myself. The preparations of this (not-so) traditional meal was at least, a nice distraction from modern practices of ‘black Friday’. I’m not sure if we’re continuing a tradition of our dark history, or starting new traditions with our own family. One thing is for certain, there’s always room for change, improvement and evolution. Start your own tradition. Forget the pressures of the existing. Like Charles Darwin believed, in order for evolution to really occur, it takes several generations. It may take me a few generations to evolve from the turkey, aardappelpuree, sperziebonen, en meer…but at least the history is clear to me. Let evolution begin…I’ll await the future!
- Butternut Squash Soup
- Organic mashed potatoes
- Stuffing: filled with fresh organic bread, sausage, and chicken hearts
- Organic Green beans, sautéed with bacon and onions
- Mashed organic carrots
- Organic cranberry Salad
- Gravy with Organic Crimini Mushrooms
- Nagerecht: Pompoentaart & Cheese Cake
The Results: Quite happy with the meal. The turkey cooked on convection setting @ 170 C. voor ongeveer 2 uur. We took the turkey out, and let it stand in the rack, covered in foil for about 30 notulen.
While the turkey sat and continued to meld the juices and flavors, it was time to heat the side dishes and begin the gravy. I took the same pan that I cooked the turkey in, strained the drippings, added fresh stock (which I made previously with the neck, gizzards and stock vegetables to create an incredibly flavorful and rich stock. I whisked it over the heat from the stove, made a rue of cornstarch, and continued to whisk until it thickened up. When it was nice and thick, I added the previously sautéed mushrooms.