Today marks the conclusion and ending ceremony of Thanksgiving. There will be no poultry paraCelebration. This is it. With the final few bits of turkey parts, I bring you: Turkey Soup.
I stuck the rest of the turkey, any leftover gravy, all the celery and friends in a pot with an onion pricked with a few cloves, some bay leaves and a dash of sage and thyme.
That bubbled away as stock ( but not too bubbly ). After a chill and a strain and a meaty bits sort, I made some soup. It turned out good. When the husband eats a couple bowls, you know it’s not for pity’s sake.
As we are in France and the kids didn’t get last Thursday off, we gave our thanks on Saturday. I like to do Thanksgiving dinner because it is very American. It’s also an easy dinner to do that isn’t a huge cost ( I’m glad the lord didn’t bless the pilgrims with a mother load of rare abalone ).
In America, a whole turkey is easy to find. Often, they give them away free if you start loading up your cart with oodles of pre-Christmas bargains ( cha-ching ). In France, this is not so. I can buy whole birds of many varieties. You got your pheasants, your pigeons, your ducks, your chickens, your medium birds, your teeny birds, your big birds all of which come complete with heads and feet. But do they sell a whole turkey? No.
To fill my Thanksgiving table, I run around town in search of turkey parts. This year, we had a two legged, three roast turkey. Now if I may draw your attention to exhibit A, you’ll notice that that is a rather large leg for a turkey. I’ve cooked ( okay my husband has cooked ) a lot of whole birds and we’ve never seen a leg quite that big.
Should you grab a minute while your potatoes are boiling and the yams are roasting to take that leg and mentally build a turkey to scale, I believe you will arrive at a VERY large bird. So you wonder, do they not sell whole turkey carcasses in France because they don’t fit in the refrigerated display case? Are they not able to carry the entire bird, a glass of red wine and a cigarette at the same time? Or is it something more mysterious like it’s not actually a turkey, but a prehistoric genetic strain of pterodactyl that tastes an awful lot like turkey.
We’ll never know. Each year, I will keep at our little slice of America. Maybe someday, I’ll grow a little pterodactyl of my very own. Until then, I use my favorite Thanksgiving photo as inspiration which hangs in my kitchen.