Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Portuguese Style Roasted Turkey served at Blue Skye on Thanksgiving

Portuguese Turkey

Boil a couple of pounds of your favorite potatoes.  Mash with just enough flavorful olive oil to make them smooth.  Saute two or three onions and a finely chopped chorizo in olive oil.  When onions are golden and just about to brown, mix into potatoes.  Meantime take the pits out of 2 or 3 handfuls of black olives.  DO NOT use those flabby wet disgusting pitted tinned olives.  This recipe is easy enough that you can spare the time to pit your own olives.  Buy the oil cured ones.  They have the closest taste to Portuguese olives in Portugal.  Chop and add to mashed potatoes. Salt and pepper of course and a lot of chopped parsley (Italian flat-leaved.  That curly stuff is for sticking in your hat, not eating, as someone not me said.)Stuff bird with this mixture.  Halfway through roasting,  pour a bottle of dry white wine over turkey.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Thanksgiving dinner at an Inn in Maine

A year or so ago, my cousin attended a wedding in India. Upon arrival, he went to a tailor and was kitted out with a costume suitable for an important wedding guest which he had become by virtue of travelling so far to attend. He was attired in loose cream coloured trousers, tapering to a series of baggy wrinkles around the ankles and ending in pointy soft leather booties. A splendid ankle length coat, a rich aubergine affair with gold trim, was adorned with a 12 foot long scarf  arranged over one shoulder and reaching the bottom of the coat front and back. This ensemble was topped by an enormous gold and burgundy turban. I am told he rode an elephant.  Having spent a considerable sum on this outfit and doubting that an invitation to a Bombay wedding would ever come his way again, it was decided that he would bring it to Maine and wear it for Thanksgiving.  In my family, this is considered rational behaviour. The female family members decided to join in by adorning their faces with bindi marks and wearing sparkly scarves and jangly jewels, making basting the turkey somewhat tricky.  A friend with a fondness for tiaras was advised that our Thanksgiving dinner party would be an appropriate occasion to indulge herself and she arrived looking like a member of the Iowa royal family if Iowa had one.  Her partner had festooned her German frau hat with the very long tail feathers of their recently slaughtered rooster.  All in all, very festive. 
My mother, a very elderly lady, not having too firm a grasp on life’s details,arrived and thought she had mistaken Halloween with Thanksgiving.  While dinner was being prepared, my brother decided to organise the outdoor Christmas lights in advance of the coming season. 
We gathered at the table, our jeweled foreheads and crowns and turbans glittering in the candlelight, and raised our glasses to absent friends, one of whom was my brother, still struggling with testing the lights.  Suddenly, the tree outside the dining room window flickered on.   My mother raised her glass.  “Merry Christmas!” she said .

Monday, November 21, 2011

Free Range Turkeys

 Out on route 1, there's a free range turkey farm.  Free range in this case means a large chicken wired enclosure, covered by a ramshackle tarp, and trapped therein are what look to be hundreds of white birds, just about able to move, with the ones pressed to the fence seeming to mouth "help me, help me" to passing motorists.  I am not buying my turkey there.  I'm buying my free range turkey from a free range farm I cannot see ,except in my imagination, where colourful birds with their tails fanned out are playing with pilgrim children while pilgrim mothers and fathers look on contentedly.  A Penobscot Nation chief smokes a peacepipe and all the corn in the field waves and waves to me as I drive by.  Happy Thanksgiving.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Do Innkeepers ever get away themselves?

Last night I had a dream about our public radio classical music host , a woman who sounds spookily like Diane from Friends.  This, after a series of dreams in which Barack and I, newly appointed Citizen Advisor to the President, were thwarted in our innocent friendship by an enormous and I daresay rather threatening Michelle. In last night’s dream, Diane, the radio host, had an on-air meltdown.  CDs stuck and repeated; instead of Dame Janet Baker singing Elgar’s Sea Pictures, we got Groucho Marx singing, “Hello, I must be going”; things could be heard falling over in the studio; and ultimately, after more and more mishaps and many flustered apologies, we were left with the quiet snuffling and blubbing of Diane as she wept bitterly into a hissing and, one imagined, smoking microphone.  My unsympathetic snortling woke my husband who complained that he had been in the middle of an extremely interesting trip to India.  “It’s a fascinating place, you ought to go one night” he said.
“Perhaps I will” I said.  "I think my days in Washington are numbered."

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Life in a small town in Maine

Overheard at Bear Hill (the hardware store):  "Best way to clear congestion is to rub Vicks Vaporub on your feet before you go to bed. "