November 28, 2008

Sunday Thanks for a great year of friendship

Tuscan Black Kale **

While you home-friends are thinking of leftovers and retail therapy on a big scale (aka day after Thanksgiving), here on the French Kitchen ranch in Southwest France, we are just getting ready for the big day. Just like extended and distant families have to rearrange Christmas and school holidays, this bi-cultural life means accommodating the American mindset within a French framework. Sunday is a better day to invite 12 bi-cultural people for a mid day meal.

So I did order a turkey from the village butcher, have yet to find cranberries (I've got an alternate idea...see later*) and I am scouring the last of the potager for some bebe romanesco- those goofy green pointed outer space cauliflowers.

Like a pin-striped muscle car, the potager is lined in frosty threads. After an unusally mild and long Indian summer, the famous Garonne River Valley fog has just arrived with the first frosty nights- resulting in that most ephemeral visual morning treat- a hoar frost. So as I sing 'chick, chick, chicka, che' to my ruffled feathered friends who are busy discovering the freshly arrived kitchen peelings, I ran around the garden in my nightdress, jeans and hoodie to gather a few ideas for Sunday Thanks and these first winter images.

Sunday Thanks Menu Ideas-

fennel fronds and boats with hot anchovy and black pepper dressing

Three Greens
(wilted collard greens, black kale and savoy cabbage
tossed with crispy lardons and garlic)

Armagnac-caramelized Sweet Potatoes wedges

Turkey Roti
(just salt, pepper and duck fat inside and out)

My mother's cornbread stuffing
(the only reason to eat all this!)

Just Pumpkin Pie
& other sweet fantasies

However, the most important ingredient, usually buried beneath the parades, the football games, the piles of colorful sweaters, the too many too early Christmas toys, is the friendship that has gathered around this French Kitchen table during the last year.

During 2008, dozens of new and old friends have stopped, cooked, learned, taught, inspired and been inspired in my simple French Kitchen. On this 2-acre 'American' island of good food and convival gatherings in the most French part of France, I count my blessing, small and grand.
I thank all of you who have made your way to my woad blue door, put up with Bacon's exhuberent greetings and contributed your own good energy and laughter to making the French Kitchen table so memorable.

this is just a sampling...

* French Vodka Cranberry Martinis

**And thanks to Judy for her own kale post!


Stephanie said...

Bonne Anniversaire & Bon Apetit

Joanna said...

Kate, have a wonderful day - and thanks to you for your inspiring blog. Two things: virtually all the recipes I've seen for pumpkin pie start with a can of pumpkin puree, yuck; and that armagnac and sweet potato sounds too good to miss .. any chance of a couple of recipes??


Betty C. said...

What a wonderful post! Have a great Thanksgiving weekend. I do nothing to celebrate but have been enjoying it vicariously since my daughter is staying in the USA with my family for the year.

Aparna said...

Very beautiful post.
And veggies of your garden is really fresh and beautiful.