Essence of the Holidays
Our family takes a pretty low-key approach to the holiday season. We’re not much for decorating nor major shopping leading to massive gifting. The important thing is sharing time and food together. So in that spirit here are four images from our Thanksgiving feast, in anticipation of the Christmas feast to come in a few days.
We celebrated Thanksgiving at our son Zach’s house in Colorado. The main course was a deep-fried turkey which was delicious. While the turkey was dangling in a huge pot filled with 9 gallons of boiling peanut oil, and the cooks were imbibing on delicious Odell IPA, thoughts turned to “what else can we fry?” The answer was to raid the stash of winter squash and root vegetables.
The photo above is deep-fried lightly battered winter squash. The carrots, parsnips, and celeriac had already disappeared by the time the squash came out of the oil. The guys (and it was mostly the guys standing around watching the turkey cook in a beer keg out on the driveway) made quick work of the tasty squash, too.
Beets, or mangel-wurzel, play an important role in Zach’s household. These were sitting on a chopping block in the dining room, awaiting the knife that would transform them into bite-sized pieces in a roasted root vegetable medley.
It’s often a good strategy in the kitchen to start with an onion or two. Chopped and sauteed they become sweet and delectable. Add a turnip for a little contrast and you’ve got the start of a decent winter soup.
One of the more interesting side dishes at our Thanksgiving feast was this raw kale pie that one of the guests brought. I never identified all the ingredients but thought it was tasty and delicious. Natalie wasn’t so sure.
Almost all of the dishes at Thanksgiving were prepared from home-grown produce. The turkey was raised and slaughtered locally, too. The beer was local, but the wine was imported from out of state.
So our Thanksgiving had some resemblance to the first American Thanksgiving. We gave thanks for the bounty of the earth and we ate food that had been grown by people we knew, or friends of friends. We celebrated the harvest and the fellowship of friendship.
May your Christmas celebration share some of these elements, particularly the love of family and friends.
[Photographer’s note] The food images were made hand-held with my Canon 5d Mk II at ISO 800 or 1600 with weak window light. I like the soft quality of the light coming from the side. I’m also amazed at the quality of high-ISO images with this camera.