November 24, 2008

Before Christmas, Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving approaches on Thursday. Yesterday I made a pot of Rich Turkey Broth (substituting chicken drumsticks) and tore up a bunch of our Panaderia El Boleo French bakery bread into cubes to dry out for making the stuffing. I am thinking this time I will add sausage and pistachios to the stuffing. I have found an interesting Argentine style sausage that worked well the other day in my lasagna.

My thankful meal will come when Esperando gets back home from La Paz. Now that the Aero Mexico flight to and from Mexico City to Loreto has been cancelled, he has a 6-hour drive ahead of him. Fortunately a driver will bring him home. The Storyteller, I hope, is looking forward to some Yankee food —he gets two Thanksgivings this year as he celebrated Canadian Thanksgiving in October when he was home on leave. I got curious about all of that and went and did a little research on Thanksgiving. It appears the U.S. colonists celebrated Thanksgiving fairly frequently and independently throughout the colonies, and when the Revolution broke out and the Royalists moved up to Canada they took that thanksgiving tradition with them, hence both Americans and Canadians celebrate the same holiday, but not in the same month.

Turns out we can have a fairly traditional Thanksgiving here in all ways but the turkey, so I will substitute chicken instead. I believe I could have ordered a turkey from a market in Mulege, an hour away. I didn’t know how to do that this time so I just went with the chicken. Our menu will be shrimp cocktail (Mexican style, made by the cook), the aforementioned bread stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy, orange glazed yams, broccoli, cranberry sauce (I prefer fresh cranberries, but that I could even FIND canned berries down here is a miracle), and pumpkin pie for dessert. We will have to break out one of our hoarded bottles of California zinfandel to accompany all this.

Rich Turkey Stock

2 lbs turkey parts, neck, drumsticks, wings, bones
2 – 3 T olive oil
½ to 1 ½ c raw chopped carrots and onions
1 small chopped parsnip
1 to 2 stocks tender celery with leaves, chopped
2 cloves chopped garlic
1 walnut size piece chopped ginger
Handful of chopped parsley
1 bay leaf
1-2 c dry white wine

Chop turkey into pieces (i.e. bones, wings, drumsticks) of reasonable size and in a large frying pan brown them in oil, adding vegetables halfway through. Transfer to a heavy saucepan, leaving fat behind. Pour out fat and deglaze pan with wine. Pour wine into pot and add 11 cups of water. Bring to boil and simmer for two hours. Strain solid ingredients out. Degrease broth.

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