Friday, November 27, 2009


As our reduced family (two uncles and a daughter couldn't make it this year) sat around dessert yesterday, I vowed I would remember all the family stories that came up so I could include them in this post today. Naturally, when I woke up this morning, they were all gone from my head. There are psychologists that make a case for forgetfulness. There's the problem of the internet, which saves everything. I have thought about this often-- the value of the ephemeral--and applied it in our lives by not documenting every moment of our children's journey, as American parents do.

So meals like yesterday's become important, when everyone brings the stories out and you compare notes and hone the details. As I write I can't even remember the subjects of the stories. Did we talk about Seng Lim's time on the cruise ship? About moving the shop down the street? Did Uncle Lajos come up? I can't remember.

Nga Jee called from England after dinner, and we described the meal to her. Mary  had made the traditional meal, and described its provenance-- a complete Thanksgiving menu published in the late 70s in the old Betty Crocker magazine Sphere. Mary  and I have been making this meal on Thanksgiving and Christmas (and sometimes both) for more than 20 years. I have the old recipes that Mary wrote out for me long before the kids were born, I finally laminated them.

Turkey with apple-raisin stuffing

1 c. chopped onion
1/2 c. butter
1 quart chopped apples (I use Granny Smiths)
1 c. chopped celery
1/2 c. golden raisins
1/4 c. fresh parsley
1 egg
1/4 c. apple cider
1 1/2 tsp. poultry seasoning
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper

Saute onion in butter over medium heat until transparent (about 5 minutes); stir in apples and celery, simmer uncovered over medium heat sitrring occasionally (about 5 minutes). Remove from heat, lightly beat egg and stir in, stir in remaining ingredients. Stuff bird. Oops. Find a recipe/instructions for roasting a stuffed turkey. Do that.

World's Best Cranberry Chutney
1 lb cranberries (these used to come in 16 oz bags, now they've reduced bag size to 12 oz, so just deal)
1 cup white sugar
1/2 c. packed brown sugar
1/2 c. golden raisins
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground clove
1/4 tsp allspice
1 cup water
1 c. chopped onion
1 c. chopped apple (Granny Smiths)
1/2 c. chopped celery

Simmer cranberries, sugar, raisins and spices in 1 cup water, uncovered, in a saucepan over medium heat, just until the cranberries release their juice (about 15 minutes). Keep heat low, and stir in remaining ingredients. Simmer until it thickens, about 15 minutes. Can be served warm or cold. I think it's best when made the day before and stored in the fridge, then served at room temperature for the actual meal.

Finished up with pumpkin pie, but enough with the pumpkin recipes already.

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