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November 27, 2008


I know it is a horrible thing to say, but I'm thankful that I'm not in Mumbai right now. My thoughts are with the people there tho.

I know it is a horrible thing to say, but I'm thankful that I'm not in Mumbai right now. My thoughts are with the people there tho

I'm due to land in Mumbai on Dec 27th and am supposed to be staying at the Oberoi.


Umm, Eric: maybe you should get on to your travel agent and check out some alternative accommodations: it looks like the Oberoi may be in need of some repairs after this week's attacks.


Maybe I'll stay at the Taj...

I hope everyone's having a good Thanksgiving, even those who don't celebrate it. I'm in Richmond with family plus two Afghans and a Mexican. Need to be doing the mashed potatoes in a minute.

Turkey thread? Does that mean the Dtroit Lions? Geez, will the NFL get an idea?


Happy Thanksgiving to one and all.

It's nice to see my 10-year-old son get so excited over a holiday that doesn't involve presents.

This is my wife and his fifth Thanksgiving since coming over from Russia, and it is great how they took no time adopting this holiday as their own. Russians, Afghans, Mexicans -- this is a holiday immigrants can easily embrace.

Try as they might, not even the media and retail mavens can take Thanksgiving away from us. There is no commercial hook to Thanksgiving, and it seems to drive them crazy.

Before the trick-or-treaters come to your door, the big department stores and local drug stores start putting out their Christmas stuff. You can find Santa and some reindeer, but try looking for a few Pilgrims.

Doing my Thanksgiving errands yesterday, like picking up pumpkin pie (Danny's favorite) and apple crumb (mine) at Bing's Bakery, which is right out of a Rockwell painting, I turned the car radio off after checking my first three choices on the dial -- all were playing Christmas music, and some have been doing it for weeks. Sorry, but this brings out the Scrooge in me -- and I love Christmas music.

But hearing the "12 Days of Christmas" on the 32nd or 42nd day before Christmas just doesn't sound right.

I couldn't turn on the TV today without seeing ads for Big Sales. Forget Black Friday; Wal-Mart and many others are open today -- on Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving is not about shopping. It's family, food and football.

My son took particular delight in watching his mother stuff the bird with chopped onions and Stove Top, another one of those things I picked up yesterday. He made up a song that only a turkey could love.

This has been a very hard year for me and my wife, the hardest I can remember in a long time, one thing after another, all year long. But on this day, we are together, and that's what matters most, healthy and happy, and, for that, I am very thankful.

If you're making a turkey, don't forget to save that carcass and make stock.

But on this day, we are together, and that's what matters most, healthy and happy, and, for that, I am very thankful.

I am thankful for my family, and for all the friends that I have, both locally and across the country and the world, including in virtual communities like this one. I hope everyone here is blessed either with favorable circumstances or favorable attitudes with which to embrace and endure the circumstances which they do have, and hopefully some of both.

Also, I thought it was nice to see the President-elect and his family appearing at a Chicago food bank yesterday. It may have been mostly symbolic, but that is setting an example I can believe in.

Macy's Parade joins the 21st century.

I posted my recipes for Herb-Brined Turkey, Chestnut-Rice-Rye Stuffing, Roasted-Garlic Gravy, and Two-Cranberry Sauce with Grand Marnier. I also made cherry and pecan pies; other people are bringing apple and pumpkin.

PIE. What's not to be thankful for?

I'm going to an Abortion UK Comedy Fundraiser at the Round Table Pub in London tomorrow night...

*evil grin*

...yes, that's right: a roomful of evil feminists drinking beer and laughing about abortion.

*more evil grinning*

It's been a hell of a week, but I'm not back in the office now till Tuesday morning.

//"PIE. What's not to be thankful for?"//

One of my weaknesses. And something about Thanksgiving and Christmas makes me make sure we have plenty of Cool Whip when these otherwise excellent pies don't need it.

Doctor Science, you sound like quite the cook.

tgirsch's link reminded me of my Aunt Agnes, who is a sister of in some order that I can never spell. She does the same thing to the finished turkey and her turkey-noodle soup is a heavenly treat for the rest of Thanksgiving weekend.

ThatLeft: I share your sentiments about Obama. It's nice having a president who won't tell us everything will be OK and just go shop already.

Jes: Have fun. I had a grin on my face watching Doctor Science's link, but it wasn't evil.

Back to the family:)

Here's my favorite turkey recipe:

A Real Turkey Recipe.

If you're making a turkey, don't forget to save that carcass and make stock.

Ah, a family tradition...making congee out of the turkey carcass, adding some broth, tofu, chinese sausage, water chestnut, etc. Ahhhhhh.......

We're having salmon because that suits Pauls's definition of being a vegetarian. I guess it's the Catholic upbringing coming through, but in my book fish are animals, too.

I'm thankful for all knds of things, toomany to list, so I'll just say thank you to the dogs who walked me this morning so that I have a good appetite for my dinner!

I spent part of this morning delivering Thanksgiving plates to meals-on-wheels clients. I wish all of the folks that think people on welfare, foodstamps, etc. are just gaming the system could take the time to do this just once. They would learn a lot.

My best wishes to all of you. Many of you have made me stop and rethink my position on many things over the years. Some of you have had a profound impact on my thinking. Hilzoy and Katherine foremost, but they are the headliners. The supporting cast here deserves as much credit but you are too numerous to name and I’d feel like a total sh!t when I left someone out… so I won’t try.

This is the best online community there is and I would miss it a lot (!) if it disappeared. That’s the minority position anyway…

I’m thankful for modern chemo treatments, no matter the cost, and lets save that argument for another day. Today I am just thankful.

If you're making a turkey, don't forget to save that carcass and make stock.

It's been in simmering for the last five hours or so. It's always the first thing I do, after dinner.

Afternoon feast, and pie for dinner. What could be better than pie?

What could be better than pie

Pie followed by a glass of lagavulin - neat but for one solitary drop of water.

If you're making a turkey, don't forget to save that carcass and make stock.

Just got done stripping the bones. Turkey soup tomorrow. Yay!!

Pie followed by a glass of lagavulin - neat but for one solitary drop of water.

Averna for me.

Happy Thanksgiving y'all. Hope everyone had good things to share, and loved ones to share them with.

Thanks -

Thanks boys and girls for maintaining this great little corner of the internet!

I am not a hunter and have never understood how one could enjoy it as sport. But I have a good friend who does and know others who are hunters and have always respected their right to do so.

One of my most calming things to do is catching the sight of a school of deer who often emerge in the spring and fall down the farthest end of the parking lot at work which backs into the woods, where the deer graze.

I will sit in my old truck and quietly admire their stunning beauty, their serene manner, their graceful yet muscular movements.

White Clay Creek State Park is basically in our backyard and surrounds miles and miles of residential and commericial areas. Somehow, wildlife and man coexist, yet it is clear that nature has been forced to do more adapting.

This article describes, as its subtitle says, "how the decline of hunting is changing the natural order of predator and prey."

The Sports Illustrated story is something I would normally not read. But I am glad I did. It is wonderfully written, makes you think and is seems especially timely on Thanksgiving Day.

I hope you read it.

Russians, Afghans, Mexicans -- this is a holiday immigrants can easily embrace.

Add Greeks to the list, btfb. And Greek mothers, in particular, for whom the holiday is more an opportunity to cook than to eat. My own mother long ago formalized her own "traditional" stuffing: a mixture of rice, ground beef, walnuts, raisins, and pine nuts that never sees the inside of a turkey. She has the monopoly on it, within the extended family. She would no more think of making it on any occasion but Thanksgiving, than she would consider making magiritsa on any occasion but Easter. Tradition matters. My mother has only the vaguest notion of who the Pilgrims were, mind you. Tradition, for her, means making the stuffing, bringing it to my brother's house, and watching her kids and grandkids devour it, on the last Thursday in November. Now that's a holiday! That she never heard of Thanksgiving until she was 35 years old makes no difference. The ritual is as sacred for her, now, as if it had come down to us from Aristotle's grandmother.

This is the best online community there is and I would miss it a lot (!) if it disappeared. That’s the minority position anyway…

Whaddaya mean "minority", OCS? On this sentiment, at least, I bet we have unanimous agreement :)


I actually don't like the taste of turkey and prefer duck. Fortunately turkey eating is not mandatory over here (though Turkish may be soon ;-) ).

For all that I love turkey, I have yet to meet a turkey soup/carcass recipe that I've enjoyed. Any of the regulars here want to regal me with either links or instructions to their favorites?

DFS - as the designated turkey carver in my family I am always a little less than fastidious when cleaning the turkey. It makes for better stock that way, and we've got a carcass in the fridge that will be turned into stock later today.

Like you, I don't care for any soup etc made from the stock, but we freeze it and then use it as a replacement for bouillon during the year. It tastes better, and doesn't have nearly the salt that bouillon does.

Having what's become my traditional Thanksgiving at the aunt-in-laws where we stuffed ourselves silly last night (four different types of pie, oh my!).

This year is a twist as the brother-in-law is celebrating a milestone birthday, the Friday night dinner, instead of leftovers, is...Maine lobster, plus pie.

Is there a black-friday deal on angioplasty?

Happy Thanksgiving all.

Eric:I'm due to land in Mumbai on Dec 27th and am supposed to be staying at the Oberoi.

Vacation or work? Staying in Mumbai the whole time?

We got to try to explain to the Afghans why a knitted blanket is called an "afghan". This and this were the best I could find with Google.

Vacation or work? Staying in Mumbai the whole time?

A friend's wedding. Mumbai for a couple of days in the beginning and end. The wedding is in Jodhpur where we will spend most of the trip (neverending weddings and all - at which I will join the male side in performing a sangeet dance).

After the wedding we will be taking a short trip to Udaipur before returning to Mumbai and then back to NYC.

but in my book fish are animals, too.

it's OK to eat fish cause they don't have any feelings.

As a perpetual Thanksgiving Orphan, and for the 2nd year in a row, I spent the holiday with a friend's folks, and had a wonderful day. Rather than everyone sit at one large table, the food was served buffet-style and then we sat wherever we liked, to eat and talk. The good: we ate far less than usual, since getting up for another helping is too uch effort. The bad: winding up in separate groups in separate areas. The consensus was to bring back the big table next year.

I really like eating less, though. I didn't spend the rest of the day feeling like I was gonna 'splode.

I just wanted to take the oportunity to thank all of you for being engaged and for helping elect Barack Obama. Since I'm not a citizen, nor a resident, I can't vote. Therefor I'm very thankful to all the people that voted the republicans out, for the sake of the whole world.

KC in DC--when I first read your comment I thought the two Afghans you had over for dinner were dogs. I was puzzled by the Mexican (cute shorthand for Chihuahua?)

Slow on the the uptake and dog-obsessed.

Well, partly my reaction is based on experience. Bbefore the big die-off in relatives our holidays get togethers included all of the dogs from various branches of the family, all of whom ran around the house with the children while the adults tried to stay on their feet and hung on to their drinks.

BfB--I live in a retirement/holiday home community on the tip of an island. In the winter the village population drops to about fifty families, considerably below the resident deer population. I love the deer but I often feel sad when I watch them--they are so skinny and scruffy and malnourished. Also they are eating the understory which impacts the bird life adversely. We don't have many hunters on the island because the island deer aren't appealing from their point of view. Mainland deer are bigger. We do have at least one resident cougar but she/he can't keep up with the procreative deer.
The cougar isn't popular with the local hobby farmers and has to keep a very low profile.

This is the main reason why I do not believe in any gods: no diety worth worshipping would design a system of life based on suffering.

But anyway I'm glad everyone had a nice holiday dinner and communion experience with others. Christmas is next!

Better late than never: I was offline with family and friends, for whom I'm very thankful. But also for this community: thanks to everyone. And OCSteve: you've changed my thinking as well. Even when it doesn't show via an obvious change of heart, sometimes I think of you while I'm writing, and change my mind. (Same for others.)

Thanks to all.

Wonkie, there were appearances by two dogs: a boxer and a boxer-bulldog.

Septimosegunda, one of the Afghans was vice president of his College Democrats, having turned down the presidency because he wasn't a citizen.

a glass of lagavulin

Ah, Eric! A point of agreement between us!

Day after but same thread...

We (spelled "my wife") didn't have thanksgiving at our house for the first time in, as nearly as I can figure, 27 years. Reason: our daughter is now grown and lives 400 miles away; her significant other had to work (he's in a 24/7/365 business) and she wasn't going to leave him alone (as she did last year) for the holiday. So she made her first thanskgiving dinner, mostly cooking the things my wife taught her. Also my 91-year-old mom is no longer physically capable of coming to our house, and my wife wasn't going to cook for just the two of us.

So we went to my wife's brother's house. Aye, THERE's a turkey! A racist alcoholic who carries a gun!! What fun!! You can't PAY for entertainment like that. He actually got all the way thru dinner before he quoth "n****r", which he then used repeatedly, usually preceded by a gerund of "f***".

:::sigh::: And his mother (my mother in law) doesn't understand why I have forbidden him from my house.

Ah, but PIE! My wife makes a lemon meringue to die for (she once won a county fair prize), and a pecan pie for which she uses at least a pound of nuts, sometimes more as the whim strikes her. Oh my.

And I too am grateful for this blog, for the calm, reason and logic on the progressive side, for the lack of trolls, and especially for hilzoy, who is a great example for young female writers everywhere, especially my daughter.

Any of the regulars here want to regal me with either links or instructions to their favorites?

Couldn’t be any simpler. Take off all the good meat left and set it aside. Get a big pot and fill it with water. Add salt. Throw the whole carcass in there and let it boil until the water is reduced by about 1/3 (2 hours or so). Let it cool a bit and then put it all through a fine mesh strainer. Heat the stock up again. Add celery and carrots and lots of onions. Cook until crunchy/tender. Put the meat back in. Throw in a bag of egg noodles and cook per directions.

Best darned bowl of turkey soup you’ll ever have…

My wife makes a lemon meringue to die for…

OMG – there is pie, and then there is a good lemon meringue. Something all other mere pies aspire to… Key lime is even a pretender. (OK. I’ll take a good Key Lime in a heartbeat. Or an apple. Or blueberry. Oh! Cherry. OK – I just like pie. But lemon meringue is my fav.)

KC--what darling doggies! Just made me smile.
On the matter of pie: mincemeat. Yum.


That sounds like the easy way. I start with the carcass, with key bits of stuffing still attached (they add body to the stock, or so I tell myself), and throw in a could of stalks of celery and a couple of carrots and an onion or two, unsliced, for flavor.

That's the stock. After you've thrown all of the dross and bones away and reserved the meat, that's where the soup starts. What goes in there is largely a matter of choice, but I tend to throw in a few parsnips for the extra lovely taste, and: a few minutes before serving, fresh tarragon.

Other herbs can be added at pretty much any point in the cooking, but parsley and tarragon tend to get their aromatics cooked out, IMO, and so need to be added at the very last. I tend to vary the other things quite a lot; sometimes I just cheat and throw in a handful of herbes de provence. Oh, and I use bay leaves while cooking down the carcass.


OCS and Slarti - your basic recipes agree with ours, including the bay leaves. But since we're making stock for later, we just simmer everything together then drain the whole thing once after maybe 4 hours. Gotta get all the flavors to "marry", so my wife says.

Slarti – I like the stuffing and the bay leafs. Parsnips? No way dude.

Any of the regulars here want to regal me with either links or instructions to their favorites?

All of our fowl, and some of our lamb, eventually turns into soup. Thanksgiving turkey is no exception.

Our drill is to save the carcass in the freezer and add vegetable trimmings until the bag is full. The bag gets dumped into a big slow cooker and the contents get slow cooked, usually overnight. Strain and put the broth outside to cool. Scoop off the fat.

Voila! Stock.

Then add meat, rice, noodles, whatever you like. Slarti, parsnips are great.

The main part of the deal is cooking down other stuff into the broth with the carcass. We never know what's going to end up in there, so it's never the same thing twice. Choice of herbs depends on what's in the bag.

If I can make a plug, I recommend Penzey's for spices. Very very good quality, and you can buy in amounts that are small enough that you'll actually use it before it turns to dust. Mostly mail order, they have some retail stores as well.

My wife does all of this, I just eat.

Thanks -

My Thanksgiving sucked, but I did get to take a nice walk with that problematic sweetie, and have a nice time watching Twentieth Century (migod, Barrymore chews scenery like no other picture on Earth), and otherwise lying around for a few hours.

Life should be simpler.

(This woman is a fabulous cook, I have to say. Although I did point out the best way of doing the turkey. She's so darn cute. I just wish she thought the same of me, rather than going back and forth so much. And being only so close these days. Though I also recognize that I'm kinda difficult. As I said, life should be simpler.)

My report on turkey, btw, is that my somewhat gf turned out the best turkey ever thanks to my sending this to her. I know it's belated, but, wow, we confirm, this is effing great turkey.

Trust me.

"Slarti – I like the stuffing and the bay leafs. Parsnips? No way dude."

My sweetie to whom I'm only a semi-sweetie did a neat whipped parsnips dish. I had no idea what it was. "Two kinds of mashed potatoes?" But no, it was parsnips. Weird, but kinda nice.

Of course, the 18-year-old daughter-who-hates-me charged in after I accidentally had some of the sweet potatoes she made, since sweetie forgot to tell me. "You ate my food!" "Um, I didn't know...." So it goes around here. Geesh, I never would have, if I had had a clue. So it goes.

I suppose it's better than living entirely alone, although it's definitely hard to tell, at best. And that's almost surely a minority opinion here, sigh.

Recipes filed away for the next turkey that I make.


Parsnips? No way dude.

My wife makes a dish that combines parsnips with pears sauteed in butter and cognac. Mix 'em together and whip them up.

It's like a freaking dessert, but we can all pretend that we've eaten our vegetables.


We hosted Thanksgiving dinner for my sister and brother-in-law, their daughter and youngest son, my father and his wife, and my mother-in-law and her husband. I think it's the most people we've ever hosted for anything. (My sister's older son couldn't make it, as he had been discharged from the hospital just that morning after having two rods fused to his spine on Monday to correct a 60% spinal curvature. My mother stayed at home with him.)

This is the first time my father, my sister and I have shared a Thanksgiving dinner since, I believe, 1982, so it was kind of special. My sister had been planning to provide the turkey, but since she was more concerned with her son's surgery and surrounding events, and spending all her time at the hospital, we took care of it. Being vegetarians, it is the first time my wife and I have cooked, or served, a turkey since 1992. We bought a 9-lb. bone-in turkey breast from Whole Foods, since we could at least guarantee then that it was a free-range, organic, vegetarian-diet bird. According to all involved it came out great.

We also served all the standards: Dressing, which my wife makes from scratch; mashed potatoes and a sweet potato casserole with a meringue topping that she discovered; a cranberry-apple dish that she also makes from scratch; fresh green beans; and a great mixed-green salad with cranberries and oranges.

Since Thanksgiving Day also happened on this year to be my 39th birthday, I also got my favorite: pecan pie, along with a delicious vegan pumpkin pie. I also got a copy of the new Blu-Ray restoration of the Godfather trilogy, with mstering supervised by Francis Coppola and cinematographer Gordon Willis, that I cannot wait to devour with my eyes. Alas, I will be away in Santa Monica for work all next week, so it will have to wait.

A belated happy birthday, Phil!

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