A very tasty meal! I hope your Thanskgiving celebrations (if you’re so inclined) were appropriately wonderful.
Posts Tagged ‘Thanksgiving’
This coming Saturday is the 60th birthday of my friend Mark. Last night, his family, friends and co-workers managed to give him a surprise birthday party. It was the first time in their 35 years of marriage that his wife, Carole, had managed to completely surprise him.
Mark and Carole are special people. In the nearly 11 years that I’ve been in St Louis, they’ve become like an extra set of parents. They have helped us out with some home maintenance, invited us to their house for holidays you traditionally spend with family, making us feel like a part of the family. They have been small group leaders, mentors, confidants, and faithful warriors in prayer. Mark also shares my sense of humour – I suspect that could be because he’s half English.
They’ve brought up four wonderful children who have also become good friends. They are reasonably well balanced adults now, with their own individual quirks, but they reflect the great parenting job that Mark and Carole have done.
If you want to know how to have a good relationship and be a good parent, you can’t go far wrong by looking at Mark and Carole as role models.
I’m thankful for them both, and for their family, and for the many blessings they have been to us, and I’m honoured to have been invited to be a part of Mark’s celebrations yesterday.
Yesterday afternoon and evening, we had a wonderful Thanksgiving celebration with good friends in De Soto. When we started our journey, we thought we might have difficulty getting there, because it was snowing heavily in St Louis and visibility was poor. However, the weather was much better as we went south.
Today, we had our own turkey dinner for just the two of us, along with many of our favourite dishes.
As part of that, I invented a drink, which I’m calling Sparkling Celebration Punch. Very simple.
Mix roughly equal parts of white grape juice and dry ginger ale
(I used half a 64-oz bottle of white grape and 3 12-oz cans of ginger ale), and add some fresh cranberries as a garnish.
Tastes great, and looks great too!
Happy Thanksgiving to my American readers.
One tradition we have in the St Louis Hunt household is Bread Sauce.
Typically, Christmastime is when people of the UK enjoy a turkey dinner, and one of the dishes my mother always made when I was growing up is bread sauce. It goes really well with turkey, and it’s also really easy to make.
Take an onion, peel it, and then stud it with some whole cloves. This makes it easy to get the cloves out later. Put it in a small saucepan, and pour some milk over it until it’s maybe 3/4 covered. Heat it up until it’s just shy of boiling, and then leave it to cool for a while. Maybe an hour or so.
You can now remove the onion and cloves, or leave that till later, depending on how intense you like it. Then reheat the milk, and add white bread with crusts removed. If it’s a little stale or dry, that’s not a problem. Cut it into small pieces or maybe even breadcrumbs before adding it. Stir until you have the thickness you like – it should be reasonably thick, but not so thick that it becomes lumpy.
This can be carefully reheated in the microwave if you’re making it ahead of time. If you DO make it ahead of time, don’t leave the onion and cloves in too long, or the cloves will overpower the sauce a bit too much.
Yes, I know that’s a very handwavy recipe, but sometimes that’s how I roll.
Stuffed, that is. We continued our tradition of joining a particular family in our church who always open their home to those who don’t have family in the area. Except this year was the first year since they had their first that none of their offspring has been present. Two of them live in Seattle, one in the DC area, and the other, while he lives nearby, was visiting his in-laws this time. So we became their surrogate family.
Dinner was good, the food excellent. We had the traditional American fare (turkey, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes with toasted marshmallows on top, green bean casserole, ambrosia, stuffing, gravy), some favourite dishes of the hosts (mashed rutabagas (which I know as swedes), oysters), an English dish that goes extremely well with turkey and other game birds, that I had prepared (bread sauce*), and some Chinese dishes as the the other guests were all Asian (a chicken thing, and a spicy noodle-shrimp-pork dish).
Conversation was great, with topics including nearly being shot, chickens, nearly being hit by cars, being compared to teletubbies in Best Man speeches, wrestling, life as a paediatrician on call, to name but a few.
We also played Apples to Apples which is always good fun.
It was, overall, a relaxing, yet curiously tiring day.
Peel, top, and tail a medium onion, and then stud it with whole cloves around the larger of the two cut edges to make a crown. Place the onion, crown down, in a saucepan. Add some milk, and some white bread with crusts removed and broken into small pieces (or you can make it into breadcrumbs first) and gently bring it to a boil. Must be on a low heat or it will burn on the bottom. You need enough bread and milk to have enough sauce for your needs, and to have the right consistency (sort of “thick sauce”-y, maybe slightly lumpy). Let it gently bloop for half an hour or so, and then leave it for as long as possible before the meal. If you can manage overnight, great.
Before serving, remove the onion (which should remove all the cloves too, but if not, fish out any that escaped), and reheat in a microwave (reheating this sauce in a pan is a very delicate operation, prone to burning). Put lashings of it on your turkey, and consume, moaning with the pleasure of it all.
We had the first snow of the season today. Not much, just an inch or so. Of course, I’d have thought that a lot before I moved to the US, as Alison recently commented. I told my DW what Alison had said, and her response was something to the effect of “6 inches heavy? It’s not heavy unless it’s at least a foot”. Of course, she comes from western NY state. I guess the perspective changes work both ways.
I am reminded of my first day in the US (other than on vacation). It was December 2000. I’d passed my British driving test just a few months before, so I didn’t have a great deal of driving experience. I’d never driven on the right. And I’d never driven in snow. So the 6-8 inches of snow that fell that day in Saint Louis were a wonderful welcome to jetlagged me. Fortunately, Paul and Alison met me at the airport and helped me out that first night. Alison then very kindly drove me the next day, and then the next day, she sat by me as I drove on the other side of the road, in the snow. I am very thankful for her kindness. I know she gave up a lot to help me out. So, thank you Alison.
In the spirit of Thanksgiving, what are you thankful for?