I hope you have all had a pleasant long weekend; or at least a pleasantly long one.
Since we don’t have many relatives who live nearby (let alone on this side of the Atlantic), my parents usually have Thanksgiving dinner with their friends and I have it with mine. Screw my birthday or New Year’s – friendsgiving in the best day of the year, because there’s nothing like spending a whole day preparing a feast to share with my favorite people in the world. But as it turned out this year, I had a small dinner with my parents instead. My mom and I got to cook together and it was nice. I did get to see my friends later at night though, since we decided to go shopping at midnight. None of us urgently needed to buy anything but I was just curious what Black Friday would be like, since I’ve never done it before. The funny thing is that most of the stores didn’t really have special deals – they were just open at a strange time – but people were still stuffing their shopping totes and pulling plastic out of their wallets as if in preparation for the apocalypse. It’s amazing how much humans love to hoard possessions and how willingly we succumb to tricky marketing strategies.
The following day I had to go downtown to the passport office and submit a renewal application, where I waited on line for an hour and a half. It wasn’t the best place to hang out on a Saturday afternoon but at least Rene was there to keep me company, God bless his heart. When we finally got out, we headed straight to the Shake Shack nearby. I got to indulge in one of my favorite treats – Shake Shack’s perfectly crispy crinkle fries dipped into their silky custard. Some of you will probably think this is gross but it will only be those that haven’t tried this yet. I ordered the custard special of the day, which was called “Pumpkin pie, oh my!” – vanilla custard blended with a whole slice of pumpkin pie. Eating this completely erased my memory of the previously annoying 1.5 hrs. “Oh my!” indeed.
Later I got around to making this soup, which is another Thanksgiving tradition I have. It’s a simple recipe and it is the best way to use up leftover turkey.
(Yield: 4-6 servings)
3 tbsp vegetable oil
2 tbsp flour
1 yellow onion, diced
1 large carrot, diced
1 celery stick, diced
1 green or red bell pepper, diced
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp poultry seasoning
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
4.5 c turkey or chicken stock
1 c shredded turkey meat (or chicken, if made year-round)
1 c prepared white rice
Procedure: Heat a large enamel soup pot over low heat. Add oil and flour and whisk together for 2 minutes, until the roux is a light caramel color and smells nutty. Add vegetables with 1/2 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp pepper, and other seasonings. Stir with a wooden spoon and cook for about 10 min, until vegetables have softened, stirring occasionally. Then add stock, stir, cover pot tightly with a lid, increase heat to high, and bring soup to a boil. Once boiling, remove lid, turn heat down to medium-low and simmer for 15 min. Then add meat and simmer for another 15 min. (Soup should thicken slightly). Serve soup hot, topped with white rice and scallions.
How was your weekend?
Do you have any experience with Black Friday?
What Thanksgiving traditions do you have?