by Upstate NY
Wed Nov 24th, 2010 at 10:09:38 AM EST
I had a beer with a Native American friend last night at a bar whose theme is American politics and presidents. There's something in there on every president. It really is a great bar. As we were walking out and paying our bill at the cashier, I looked behind the bar next to the mirror and there was a big framed photo of George HW Bush.
"Great, I said. I'll probably be coming to this bar for 20 years, and everytime I leave I'll be reminded of Bush."
"Suck it up," my friend said, "I've been coming here for 20 years and there's a picture of Andrew Jackson over there!" [For those unaware, Jackson is the president who massacred more Native Americans than any other. A genocidal lunatic, he was.]
On another note, we have been having a Semi-Vegetarian Thanksgiving dinner (Fish--no meat) every other year when our Vegetarian friends visit, and it's been great taking a break from turkey. Cooking starts 2 days before the meal and so this is easily the most creative and complex meal we will eat all year. This year, our friends reported to us that they went Vegan since we last shared TGiving with them 2 years ago. So, we went into overdrive trying to figure out how it could be done, and finally we gave up. We're having a half-Vegan/half-Carnivore meal, and the range and scope of the offerings sound delectable (I hope they'll taste as great).
My two favorite Thanksgiving foods:
Liver and Rice stuffing with spices (nutmeg, curry, parsley)
Homemade Cranberry sauce with oranges, cured cranberries, assorted chopped nuts and pomegranites.
Finally, a Thanksgiving in Italy several years ago opened some eyes. I was visiting friends in Padova when they asked us to prepare a Thanksgiving feast. We were excited, so we set out to find the usuals. Canned cranberry, yams, marshmallows, a whole turkey. Boy, was it difficult. They drove us from butcher to butcher shop, and absolutely no one had a whole turkey. So we settled on a turkey breast. I asked one of the butchers, "What did you do with the rest of the turkey?" "Our dogs have eaten it," was the answer. "OK, got it."
When I quizzed my Italian friend on this, she stepped out from speaking Italian to me (our usual language for communication) and said to me in pointed precise English, "In Italy, the turkey is an ignoble bird."
That has stuck with me, the perfect bird for Americans who are a truly ignoble people (it really does have positive connotations as well).
Thanksgiving stories my fellow Americans?