Friday, 27 November 2009

A list of mercis

Thanksgiving in France...it's the only day of the year I still get systematically homesick. And it is a complicated affair here. You can't just open up a can of libby's pumpkin or buy a bag of ocean spray cranberries. Or go to your local A&P and use your points to get a free Thanksgiving turkey.So I am thankful for many reasons this Thanksgiving meal.

Once again this year, huge thanks go to the Ferme Avicole Bauduin in Rosult (near St. Amand) has specially slaughtered 2 turkeys for me. I stumbled upon them 4 years ago when I couldn't find a turkey at the butcher's and have gone back ever since. Not only is it much cheaper (2 turkeys for 60€ which is half the price in town) but they are delicious once you get past all the blood and guts. These are definitely not my mother's Empire turkeys.

This year, it seems the cranberry craze is over and fresh crans are impossible to find (except 4€/pint at my expensive green grocer) so let's thank Picard for their frozen airelles direct from Sweden.

And double thanks to Picard for their frozen purée de potiron 'cause let's face it, making pumpkin purée is a pain in the ass. I feel bad since pumpkins are cheap, plentiful and in season but I have other fish to fry (or turkeys to roast).

I also owe some thanks to Suzanne's teacher for bringing Thanksgiving into her classroom for the first time. Despite what I thought, she is not anti-American, only anti-Halloween. When I told her Suz wouldn't be in school today because we had to get our Thanksgiving turkey at the farm, she asked me to bring in something traditional food (I made pumpkin-cran-chocolate muffins hold the cloves and nutmeg for 30 3 year olds). I gave her an easy history of TG in French I'd found on the internet, not expecting her to tell the kids much. Suzanne came home last night and said to Jerome, "avant les américains, il y avait les indiens." It made me chuckle. No hand turkeys or head dressed though.

I'm actually starting to get a handle on this Thanksgiving in France thing and really enjoy the drive to the farm to see the birds (Suzanne wasn't intersted in the ostriches or geese, only the kitten in the farm store!), the preperation and the warm smells of my mom's rodanchos and carrot pudding throughout the house.

9 comments:

Amber said...

Reb, I am so glad I saw this before tomorrow. I'm hosting a TG dinner for my french friends and we had a turkey slaughtered too. Maybe next year i'll try your farm! But, I had no idea that Picard made pumpkin purée! I've never been to picard (we only just acquired a freezer) but there's one just around the corner and i'll be checking it out before breaking my neck with a real pumpkin again!
Thanks for the tip!

L said...

Okay, quick plug for myamericanmarket.com where you can get all kinds of American ingredients like light and dark corn syrup, Libby's pumpkin purée, and canned cranberries. None of them are exactly cheap (being imported), but it's way more reliable than hoping the import aisle at the grocery store will have it stocked. And Anne-Claire who runs the site is super nice and loves Minnesota and invited me to her Saturday Thanksgiving party.

Reb said...

Amber, the farm is great. If you go on December 5th, you can visit the farm and buy a Christmas turkey.

Thanks L. I was in touch with her and she is really nice. Have a nice Thanksgiving.

LynnA said...

Nice to hear that it's possible to celebrate T-day in Lille. I made due with a slice of turkey breast and some green beans. Still, it was very ho-hum. BTW, I found your blog about a year ago when I was still living in Baltimore. I married a French guy and moved to Lille last December. I just checked in (on the blog) again recently - congrats on your new baby!

Reb said...

Hi Lynn and welcome to Lille! Sorry you didn't get your full TG meal this year. Have you been in the touch with the American club? I am not really active with them but they do lots of holiday activities including a full TG meal.

Amber said...

I'm in Lille too.. maybe all of us Lilloise bloggers should meet up for coffee sometime!

Reb said...

Amber, I'd love to meet up.

MM said...

Knowing both you Reb and you Amber (though we rarely cross paths at school) I can verify that you are both lovely and should drink coffee and can I come too...sorry Lynne I don't know you..Do I..?? xx

Reb said...

no need to limit ourselves to coffee....unless it's the morning. I think I'm the matron of this group. eek

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