I perused the butcher the other day in search of a proper turkey to crown my Thanksgiving dinner. And what I found was no hermetically sealed Butterball. The turkeys were proudly displayed in the window with their black claws stretched out to the clouds and their heads still fully plumed. And at a cool 30 euros/kilo, I think a turkey breast roulade will do just fine this year.
Although this is my 7th Thanksgiving in France, this year has been especially emotional one with the earth-shattering recent attacks. Anxieties run high and the comfort of home and family is half a world away. The best way I can endure being a long-term expat during the holiday season is create my own comfort. Pulling myself out of my pity party today, I prepped all the food for my Thanksgiving dinner tomorrow night. I thought of rolling out overnight rolls with my mom while watching the Macy’s Day Parade. I thought of some of my early culinary ambitions, taking on the turkey and fixings as a cookbook obsessed teenager. Under the tutelage of Gourmet Magazine and Martha Stewart, I learned what a chestnut was and why it should always be added to stuffing. Although the French do know their food, I can’t begin to explain the importance of Thanksgiving to me. But I can still craft a Thanksgiving dinner with a full heart and the best of intentions and share it with the people that I love. And if all else fails, I can tell you one thing, a weeks worth of leftover baguette makes a wicked stuffing. Happy Thanksgiving, everybody!
P.S. This illustration was featured this week on They Draw & Cook.