Turkey Day Traditions
Always one for accessories and enthusiastic drama, Pirrie needed to dig out a hat from the costume box before lending a hand in the kitchen. She made, virtually unaided, one of the desserts that we are taking to the Neskowin (Oregon Coast) home of our friends, the Kemps.
There’s no holiday with stronger food memories and traditions than Thanksgiving. Traditions are a funny thing. You carry some with you into a marriage and create some new ones. Sometimes you don’t know you have one until you inadvertently skip something one year. And someone groans. What?! No artichoke stuffing? No cranberry mold? These are two that were staples in my childhood, whether my family hosted or we carted these items to an aunt’s home. (The cranberry mold was a cold, ice-cream like affair, with marshmallows, cranberries, cream and pecans, and was served right along with the turkey and stuffing).
In a world and even in a city that is far more transient than the one that I grew up in, it is tempting to wonder if our child is being surrounded by…comforted by…enough traditions. Maybe we should spend Christmas in New Orleans and go to big family parties and see lots of people, I mused out loud. Pirrie appeared struck in the stomach. I want to have Christmas in my home, she declared. And go to tea at the Heathman and see a play. It’s our tradition. As usual, she righted my upside-down thinking, and I was made aware of our growing traditions.
For our feast tomorrow, I’ve prepared some cheese puffs that we’ll pop in the oven and serve warm with Champagne. That is a recipe of my mother’s, a favorite at New Orleans cocktail parties in the 60s and 70s. It’s as good as ever, as long as you don’t mind guests stalking you, waiting for the next batch to come out of the oven. I also made a Pumpkin Cheesecake with Gingersnap Crust which is a nod to my days working with Chefs Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger, aka the Too Hot Tamales. The recipe is from a book that I helped them produce, and it sends Scott into orbit.
We’ll drink some 2002 vintage champagne from Marc Chauvet, the new ’07 Chablis 1er Cru from Frédéric Gueguen, a ’99 Charmes-Chambertin from Taupenot-Merme, and perhaps some assorted other goodies – and we’ll toast our extraordinary blessings, which include sharing our wines and wine adventures with you! Happy Thanksgiving!