Monday, November 26, 2007

Thanksgiving: Generation Y

We really had a great time - and even though the turkey had no legs, it was delectable. We brought a wonderful memory of Thanksgiving back to France after our weekend with family. Lessons learned from Generation Y:

1) Alison was completely laid back about the whole affair - take this as a lesson Aunt Lucy! In fact we had no clue that any preparations had been made at all when we arrived. No lists, no piles of supplies, no pulling out of hair, just calm, cool collected Alison and Tom. These two were as cool as cucumbers.

2) For generation Y, Necessity is the mother of invention. The pumpkin pie was improvised, infusing the spices in boiling sugar syrup since Alison's newlywed kitchen is not yet equipped to crush or grind the whole cardamom, cloves, and nutmeg. She even threw in a few juniper berries. The result was divine.

3) Day-old organic quinoa bread makes an excellent medium for stuffing, in my opinion it might just be better than cornbread. I will definitely try this for game this season.

4) Last but not least, I learned from Tom how to do the best holiday feast potatoes ever. This is a tradition in Tom's family. Pencil this in on your Christmas menus, friends, these potatoes are a must.

Tom's Incredible Feast Potatoes
(as enjoyed at the first Thanksgiving celebration chez Ali et Tom à Londres 2007)

1 pound or 500 grams of mealy potatoes
1 1/2 cups or about 325 ml duck fat
salt as desired (use a bunch)

You can buy duck fat here, or get someone to bring you some from France. Choose a mealy potato like a Russet or Idaho potato, or the Saxon in England. In France, try the Mona Lisa. Wash, peel and cut the potatoes into large chunks. Boil the potatoes in salted water for about 20 minutes. Turn them into a colander, and shake them up briskly in order to fluff up the edges of the potatoes. Heat the fat in a roasting pan or cast iron pan in a hot oven (400F or 200C) for a good 10 minutes. Place the potatoes in the hot fat with room around them, not touching each other so they'll be nice and crisp on the outside, and return to the oven until golden brown, turning once one side is brown. Salt to taste and serve immediately.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

I might just have to build my Christmas dinner around those potatoes. In the absence of duck fat, do you suppose one might use good home-rendered pork fat? (I'm reluctant to call it “lard”, as that conjures the sterilized hydrogenated tasteless crap from the grocery store.)

11:09 PM, November 28, 2007  
Blogger L Vanel said...

GG, that sounds like an excellent substitution indeed.

9:42 AM, November 29, 2007  
Blogger Jann said...

Those potatoes do look so crispy-and the color is perfect! What a very special day this must have been for all of you to be together~I really enjoyed all the photos

5:34 AM, November 30, 2007  

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