Scenes From Thanksgiving 2013

The turkey is in the house! The turkey is in the house!

The turkey is in the house! The turkey is in the house!

Thanksgiving was a potluck affair of family and friends over at my sister and brother in law’s this year. To give you an idea of the scope, the stats were this: 25 people big and small, 3 turkeys, 8 pies, 1 espresso machine, 1 gnome.

A bottle of cranberry Persian sharbat + a diligent gnome

A bottle of cranberry Persian sharbat + a diligent gnome

So. The turkey … Or rather, the turkeys. 3 of them as I said. To clarify, 2 were originally birds, one was originally tofu. Yup, there was tofu turkey! I’ve long heard tales of these mythical creatures but had never seen one with my own eyes and was quite curious to glimpse one up close. I had imagined it’d be tofu in the shape of a turkey. But … no. It looked like a roll of meatloaf, and it came with gravy. Apparently some tofu turkeys also come with a mock wishbone (called a wishstix) made out of tofu jerky. Doesn’t that sound … amazing? This one didn’t – and I’m undecided if that was good or bad. May I say that tofu turkey is not the most enticing or tantalizing looking offering?

However, one person at the party absolutely loved the tofu turkey. He kept boisterously and (truth be told) somewhat aggressively pointing to it and asking for: “mo”, “mo”, “MO!” That someone was my 2 year old nephew. He couldn’t get enough of it! So funny.

tofu turkey - in captivity

tofu turkey – in captivity

Lovely Nadia holding the roasted tofu-turkey fresh out of the oven

Lovely Nadia presenting the roasted tofu-turkey fresh out of the oven

The other turkeys had an interesting fate. They were not roasted in the oven as is the wont of most turkeys during the holidays. They were instead deep fried! This was another thing I’ve long heard tales of (including on an episode of King of the Hill) but had never witnessed with mine very own eyes. The idea and its contraption-construction and execution were my brother-in-law’s — who is prone to making things adventurous and theatrical and who has the grace-under-pressure aplomb to pull it off. There were some technical glitches and for a little while we thought it might be a turkeyless thanksgiving after all. But we never doubted and glitches were resolved after all and turkeys were had. Thus, it was not just delicious but a fun spectacle and memorable.

Trussing the turkey was a jazzy affair!
A turkey, awaiting its sizzling end

A poor turkey, awaiting its sizzling end, on a very cold, brilliantly sunny day of thanks.

Needless to say, aside from the turkeys, there were food galore. Befitting a feast. There was: cranberry sauce, 3 different types of stuffing, 2 dishes of roasted Brussel sprouts mixed with other goodies, biscuits, haricots vert, stuffed grape leaves (if I make it again will post its recipe), sunflower seed hummus (yum and I’ve been promised its recipe and will share!), a fab wild rice dish, and sweet potato fries. A Persian mixed-rice and tadig peacefully mingled with the American food. May the respective nations do the same.

Tadig - that obscure object of desire

Tadig – that obscure crunchy object of desire

Lovely Azul holding a bowl of her delicious sunflower seed hummus. Recipe soon!

Lovely Azul holding a bowl of her delicious sunflower seed hummus. Recipe soon!

And you didn’t forget about the pies, did you? There were 8 of them! And of course by pies, I mean desserts, if you are going to be a stickler and insist on accountability and accuracy. So, 8 desserts, give or take, including: a pecan pie, 2 fruit cobblers, an apple cranberry crisp, a chocolate marquis, a traditional pumpkin pie, and 2 pumpkin creme brulees.Β  Ah ha & oh la la!Β  Blow-torching to make the delicious glassy brulee crust is one of those things that’s just fun to watch. Tristan, who made the phenom creme brulee pumpkin pies, did the blow torching honors. Dave is pointing approvingly – prior to commencing his own thriving made-to-order espresso-drink stint with his espresso machine. (The best cappuccinos!) Ben & Stella gamely supplied the accompanying awe + shock vibe of comraderie that is a pivotal part of a any successful blow-torching session.

Do try this at home!

Do try this at home!

Thus concludes a post looking back at a day chock-full of big and little blessings.





4 illustration vector pumpkin thanksgiving


32 thoughts on “Scenes From Thanksgiving 2013

  1. No Thanksgiving in this part of the world, but Christmas. Your diary here previews that in a way.

    On that date the fractured mess of my family (don’t ask) unite. Chief chef–not my son–always bakes turkey which is wasted on this vegetarian and an interesting dish for the usual mid summer heat of Sydney at that time.

    I really hope that he has never heard of or, more likely, disdains the tofu turkey.

    Traditionally many Australian families following Christmas midday meal and liquor have annual reckoning, disputes, arguments and fights while settling scores of the previous year. For some reason this absolutely never happens among us mob. Fractures have their advantages perhaps.

    • Fascinating read! I enjoyed it like a very short story. And oh, every family has stories to tell, don’t they. By the way Ross, if Chief Chef ever wants to do a guest post on this blog he’s more than welcome.

  2. When I was in Houston several people mentioned boiling turkeys. I was intrigued as I bet it tastes great. My Scottish friend, that I was visiting, wasn’t! Anyway, sounds like you had a blast. And I have to say I’m curious about the sunflower houmous.

    • Hmmm, I’m not sure about boiling turkey either, but who knows? It may turn out great. I’m so glad you inquired about the sunflower hummus Johnny b/c I did get the recipe and will be posting it next. It’s very easy to make and it was tasty!

  3. Azita, I love this post! How did you get that top image to do that!!? Happy belated thanksgiving. And thanks for sharing your wonderful images and words.

    • Liz, the top image is an animated GIF. Do you have Photoshop? If so, I can email you instructions on how to make a simple one like this.

  4. Wow Azita, that seems like a lot if work, a lot of tasks, and A LOT of fun. Looks so yummy but I must agree with you on the tofu turkey. I’m not such a big fan of turkey but I can’t wrap my mind around that either. And don’t get me wrong I do like tofu but only in its own true identity. Any how beside all that the tadig looks fantastic, I can hear you all chewing very politely every bit of it. Noosh e- jon.
    And yes you said it , wouldn’t it be something once these two civilized nations of ours would be able to mingle in peace with each other just like your food???
    Happy holidays.

    • The tofu turkey was fun as a novelty item which was the spirit in which it was brought but as I said, my nephew absolutely loved it. Unironically! ha ha. Hope you had a lovely and delicious thanksgiving as well Lyla joon. Wonder what other delightes you’ve been making with quinces and pomegranates … mmmm πŸ˜‰ xo

      • Of course, I totally agree with you on that. Unlike most people this year our thanksgiving dinner was very quiet shall I say or uneventful and nontraditional. I was so inspired by your quince recipe that I decided to make it for Thanksgiving. But honestly I have no idea where I went wrong that I did not like mine as much as yours. As for the pomegranates I made a lovely soup/ash(of course vegetarian version) for the same night. And the quince the fruit of paradise, I still have a bowl of it & look at it everyday thinking if I want to enjoy its beauty or taste. I think I have an idea for them which once my decision is made I would love to share it with you.( and of course that is 1st if you like that and 2nd if it comes out the way I want) So till then have a lovely time.
        Boos Boos.

      • Oh, so sorry to hear that the tas kabob didn’t come out right. Hmmm, not sure what could have gone wrong! That’s too bad though. However, love hearing about the pomegrante ash and your mysterious and intriguing ideas for putting the quinces to use and yes please, definitely do share it once you’ve made up your mind. I’m going to post that quince photo you sent in an upcoming post (sooner or later) as well. Can’t wait to see what you’ve done with the quinces! (Do consider turning it into a guest post if you can find the time.) xoxo

  5. Pingback: Azul’s Sunflower-Seed Hummus | Fig & Quince

  6. Dear Azita, what a fun and delicious Thanksgiving this must have been! It certainly looks that way from your pictures! A tofu turkey? This is certainly a first for me – glad it found at least one admirer, though! πŸ˜‰
    Great party! πŸ™‚

    • It made such robust sizzling sounds as the turkey went in. There was a technical glitch so it took two hours to cook the first one but only an hour to cook the second turkey. I’d say it’s definitely worth a try as a spectacle and experiment at least once if you ever get the chance.

  7. Holy cow!!! A tofu turkey??? Never heard of it!!! No offense but it doesn’t look very tempting but who am I to judge? I’m not crazy about the traditional turkey either! πŸ˜‰ Such a lovely family you have! πŸ™‚

    • For sure it didn’t look appetizing. It was brought alonga s a novelty item and it sure provided a lot of mirth! πŸ™‚

  8. Such a gorgeous post. Love everything in it, from the delicious looking food to the smiling happy faces and that SHARBAT, argh! I still have a longing to try some! The good thing is, I now have a beautiful Persian friend whose mother has promised to properly demonstrate how to get a perfect tadig in her kitchen. I’ve told her about my measly attempts, haha… and also shared about your gorgeous blog and your inspiration in my kitchen! I’ve seen this post very late so I can’t say ‘happy Thanksgiving’ anymore but I do hope that you are all enjoying a beautiful festive season. Thanks for being a wonderful blogging friend Azita xx

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