Actually, although I love to eat turkey, when it comes to preparing the big bird, I am turkey-phobic, so I take little comfort in the roasting ordeal ahead of me. To brine or not to brine–that is the question. Most everyone says the answer is a resounding “YES!” but adding coolers and ice and the prospect of salty gravy to the mix has driven me back into the trusty arms of my mother-in-law. She counsels oil-soaked cheesecloth and two cups of wine, one to pour over the turkey, one to pour down my throat. I love my mother-in-law.
I also love Thanksgiving and cooking, except for roasts that everyone else claims are the easiest thing in the world. (Note: I am also gravy-phobic, and have a standby quart from the deli just in case.) I especially love to bake. So, apparently, do the cooks at my favorite cafe, Comforts, where I spied these adorable mocha buttercream turkeys while getting my daily latte this morning:
I almost bought up a dozen to add to our Thanksgiving table, but in the nick of time saved myself from further caloric catastrophe by snapping a photo instead. I sent it to my daughter Ally in Spain, who is at this very moment wondering how cornbread made with olive oil will taste, and how to track down green beans in a country enamored of tomatoes. The price of living abroad.
My oldest daughter, Emma, however, blew in from New York last night ahead of the storm now wreaking havoc on holiday plans throughout the northeast. Soon we’ll get to work making cornbread-and-wild-rice stuffing, whipped sweet potatoes, cranberry relish with horseradish. And the desserts! Blasphemous as usual, I don’t like pumpkin pie, so true believers are charged with bringing that. Emma and I will contribute Almond-Filled Cookie Cake
and Chocolate Truffle Tart (sorry, no link!).
Tarts are sort of like pies, aren’t they?
Emma and I will have our own mother-daughter deliciousness, something I wrote about in a different essay published this month in Skirt! Magazine. It’s about the food, but it’s also about the love transmitted from generation to generation.
So enjoy whoever and whatever is at your table, brined or not.
What are your favorite memories of delicious food and Thanksgiving gatherings?