Thanksgiving in Reims

November 29th, 2015 § 0 comments

One of the sillier American traditions is the Presidential “pardon” of a turkey on Thanksgiving Day. President Obama acknowledged the goofiness but continued the ceremony this week. There were no pardoned turkeys for the assembled HG/BSK family in Reims as there was no roast turkey for the big bout of gluttony. The family decided there was no way to get a big, juicy American-style turkey in Europe. An unhappy memory still lurked: Some years ago, Profesore Massimo R.’s American students at the University of Bologna arranged a Thanksgiving turkey feast at a favorite Bologna pizzeria. The proud pizzeria proprietor presented a glistening brown bird with an Italian flourish. However, one taste banished dreams of a Norman Rockwell-type farmhouse feast. This wasn’t a turkey. A buzzard? Vulture? Sea gull that had lost its way? Inedible. With this experience in mind, a loin of pork (roasted in milk atop the oven from a favorite recipe by Marcella Hazan) was the main dish at Thanksgiving dinner for eight (HG/BSK; daughter Lesley R.; son-in-law Massimo R.; granddaughters Arianna and Sofia; plus two beautiful young women, Sofia’s fellow students at Reims’s Sciences Po; one young woman from Brazil and the other from Chile). Side dishes were traditional: brussels sprouts with bacon; creamed spinach, dressing, mashed potatoes. Lavish amounts of gravy. Preceded by a big array of terrines and pates. Dessert was apple tart and sour cherry tart. Since we were in champagne country, the meal started with bubbly and then proceeded to Fleurie, Moulin a Vent and Brouilly. Thankful for family, fun and food.

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