Well, here we go: so I just got off the phone with Mihályi Györgyi who has informed me that SHE FOUND A TURKEY! Of course I was ecstatic to hear this news because it is NOT easy to find turkey in this country. Chicken? Of course. Goose? No problem Christmas-loving ex-pat Brits! Duck? They’re practically quacking out of stores here. But not whole turkey. So…ecstatic.
But, she said, you’re going to need to measure the oven.
Why? I inquired.
The smallest turkey she could find is 17.6 pounds.
Unfortunately, our oven is actually not big enough to fit that size of a turkey. This is Europe. They don’t cook in those sizes. And for two people and one pig, I mean dog, it might be a little bit too much. And I don’t think it’s safe to tape an oven door shut or to let the top of the turkey touch the heating coils of the oven for 5 hours. Is it?
But she’s still hunting around, so maybe we’ll find one by tonight so I can execute the homemade brine and other preparations.
Also, Györgyi has to work tomorrow. She has to do a press event at a well-site about 1.5 hours away from here. But I’m trying to hold my little American head high. My Mom sent me great starts– cranberries, stuffing, and two gourd salt and pepper shakers. And tomorrow I’m going to start cooking so that we can eat together on Friday. One day late isn’t a big deal. Plus my 20 pound turkey monster will take the night to brine and a significant amount of time to cook! And there’s always football on ESPN America.
(I realize these pictures don’t have anything to do with my post. But they’re calming.)
Yesterday I went to the big grocery store and bought almost everything on my list. Györgyi arranged for a messenger to find and deliver corn syrup. I don’t know how she does these things, but I always imagine that she has some connections from left over cold-war smuggling mafias or something. But I. DON’T. CARE. Because at least I will be able to make my pecan pie.
In order to not feel too bummed out for not being able to celebrate a traditional, American thanksgiving, I’ve decided to construct a (perhaps) unattainable menu. The stress of making the food will give me a good excuse to start drinking wine around noon. Most of my recipes are adapted from Pioneer Woman, Ree Drummond, who is, without a doubt, my cooking (and maybe life?) hero. Here’s my menu:
Baked brie w/ french herb cheese
Spicy Pumpkin Soup
Whiskey Glazed Carrots
Fresh Corn and Wild Rice
Spanish Green Beans
Stovetop Stuffing (Don’t abandon me now, foodies, I need a shortcut. My Hungarian oven may not survive this meal.)
Happy Thanksgiving to all of you lovely readers and your families and your pigs. No matter where you are in the world, in America or abroad, no matter if you have to work or if you’re cooking alone or for only yourself. If the only reason you are preparing Thanksgiving dinner is (like Jerry Seinfeld) to drug your girlfriend with red wine and turkey so that you can play with her old, collectible, toys, Happy Thanksgiving to you too. Happy Thanksgiving. Happy Harvest. And have a little fun and a little love tomorrow.