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Jennifer Joan Lee

Cooking Thanksgiving in France

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Why not call Thanksgiving store in the Marais (4th) to see if they have cranberry juice? Meanwhile, I was surprised to see fresh, bagged cranberries (probably Ocean Spray, but I don't remember for sure) at my local greengrocer a couple of weeks ago. This is on rue St. Antoine just west of rue St. Paul.

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ptipois-

i don't post here often, but always think your posts are very knowledgable. i'm just wondering why you think turkey is insipid? is that a common view throughout france, or europe in general?

just wondering. thanks.

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ptipois-

i don't post here often, but always think your posts are very knowledgable. i'm just wondering why you think turkey is insipid? is that a common view throughout france, or europe in general?

just wondering. thanks.

I think turkey is insipid (except a well-roasted rôti the way my grandmother used to make :smile: ). Also, I have this personal thing with huge roasting birds — they make me feel like I'm eating some kind of dinosaur. I'd probably have enjoyed the idea at age 7, but now it's a bit too late. My upper limit in size is a good capon.

I am also a bit suspicious of the common availabiility of turkey meat in France, and the relative rarity of free-range turkeys. I already loathe battery-raised chickens, so it's worse with larger birds (agh, battery-raised dinosaurs!) Sorry to be uttering my deep feelings so close to Thanksgiving.

But I assure you it's only my personal taste. It is by no means a common view throughout France, or Europe in general. Just see how much turkey parts you can find in supermarkets and how much turkey steaks are grilled everyday for school lunches.

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thanks. i respect your opinion. turkey is really only eaten in the states at christmas and thanksgiving, but i was suprised to see it on menus in both france and italy. it is rare to see it on a restaurant menu here.

i actually love turkey, but agree with you about the gigantic bird being roasted. i've taken to braising the dark meat and roasting the breast seperately, for turkey two ways for holiday melas.

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Why not call Thanksgiving store in the Marais (4th) to see if they have cranberry juice? Meanwhile, I was surprised to see fresh, bagged cranberries (probably Ocean Spray, but I don't remember for sure) at my local greengrocer a couple of weeks ago. This is on rue St. Antoine just west of rue St. Paul.

I just checked. They have cranberry juice and fresh cranberries. On rue Charles V. The restaurant is on rue St. Paul around the corner.

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We usually aspire to a well roasted turkey a l'ancienne when we prepare the Thanksgiving meal. Yes indeed. I now won't have it any other way, and we go to great lengths every year. Things have been getting easier though. There are some who claim to prefer gibier, but I can get that any day of the week, its too easy. Turkey's the dope. A big one too. More stuffing that way. Two kinds by the way, oyster and cornbread. :cool:

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You can indeed get sweet potatoes at any ethnic market. But you can get those wedges of pumpkin at any market, which are quite good and can be used in place. They are somewhat moister, but can be oven-roasted. Sometimes you can find butternut squash, which, unfortunately, is not as available in Paris as it deserves to be! Perhaps in the countryside they're more available.

Ocean Spray has set up operations in France, and you can get their juice at most supermarkets now. It comes in a box, or tall plastic bottle. You can get unsweetened cranberry juice concentrate at Detou, but be prepared to pay for it.

This is the first time I'm going to order a whole turkey, although I might just get a big capon (which tastes better, in my opinion as well) but we Americans just have to have a big 'ol turkey...you can take the boy out of the country...

Last year I went to a dinner that the hostess purchased at Thanksgiving, for 29 euros per person, which was okay, but made me long for a homemade meal this year instead.

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Meg, I can get you some Ocean Spray cranberry juice at the local G20 if you like ... ;)


Anti-alcoholics are unfortunates in the grip of water, that terrible poison, so corrosive that out of all substances it has been chosen for washing and scouring, and a drop of water added to a clear liquid like Absinthe, muddles it." ALFRED JARRY

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my son, who lives in nice, just told me that he bought a 6 kilo turkey and it cost 67 euros. it was definitely free range and the largest his local butcher could get. my son is cooking the turkey tomorrow as he doesn't get t-day off. he is having about 15 people and will serve french fried sweet potatos, squash, dressing, two soups (i forgot which kind) and apple pie plus one other dessert. this is his time to cook . when we get there for noel his wife and mother-in-law will prepare the trtaditional french feast=from foie gras, quail, etc etc. the meal will last about four hours. and at the end we will all be stuffed full of food and wine and marc.

happy t-day to all of you americains in france!

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I made my order for the bird yesterday. The vollailler knows me very well so they didn't write anything down. That threw me off a bit. I asked them just to be sure if they wanted to write my order down, and they said no no they know what I need. Her son, in his early 20s said - "pour 'Sanksgiving'" to the other customers around. He said it about 4 times, individually to each of the other customers just to be sure everyone heard. I guess it will be max 6 kilos. They supplied my bird last year and I was happy with it.

A question for the expats - are you going with a traditional meal or are you doing something as a special tribute to France? Since I usually have lots of French guests we start with 2 entrees (a soup and either a slice of terrine or stuffed fish) and then move to the feast style meal. We also have the traditional apero plus at the end a cleansing salad and the cheese plate before dessert.

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A question for the expats - are you going with a traditional meal or are you doing something as a special tribute to France?

We do a sort of mixed bag so to speak. The guests are a melange of French, British, one New Zealander & me the lone American.

We'll start this year with some home made nibbles & drinks. Think I'll skip soup & just serve the foie gras I'm doing tomorrow as the only entree. We'll have the 4 legged deconstructed turkey. (He's coming from the vineyard & will be about 7 kilos. He meets his doom on Tuesday & I pick him up on Wednesday.) Plus we'll have a baked ham. ( brine this & do it 'english' style. Gammon the Brits call it) Baked eggplant & baked yams + a couple of kinds of stuffing go to fill the plates. Light salad. Cheese ( specially ripened brie being the centerpiece.). Deserts will be pumpkin pie with a toasted walnut top, tarte tatin & lemon brulee.

As I said a mixed bag. We'll be 19.

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In the spirit of providing our members all the info they might want/need - two additional items re: Thanksgiving.

One, the butcher on the Rue du Bac (maybe about #58) has a big sign in his window that he'll provide your turkey (d/t the area I suspect at a pricey price).

And two, I stumbled upon a site of an American chef (for all I know one of us) who will come to your flat and cook it.

Happy Thanksgiving.

John


John Talbott

blog John Talbott's Paris

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was supposed to do thanksgiving in paris, then my friend got a hernia, cancelled our evening and accepted an invitation from another so that the event could take place in someone elses kitchen! i must be the only american pining for the thanksgiving that i haven't had for years and years and years, in fact, all of the years i have lived in britain.

in fact, i'd travel to paris and cook a turkey for anyone out there, for free! (except its obviously a little late now and i've got other plans for thursday).

i even have a sad little 3 to 4 person turkey waiting in the wings which i will foist upon my british husband, and try to drag one or two of the locals out to eat it (along with my fresh cranberry sauce, sprouts with hazelnuts, etc). but no pies, alas i'm not a pie maker.

happy holiday all! and despite all, i look forward to my little turkey, and will gather up autumnal leaves in an effort to do some childhood-inspired table art.......

x m


Marlena the spieler

www.marlenaspieler.com

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And if you don't feel like cooking there are several restaurants which have Thanksgiving dinner. I have an Amercian friend who works in the kitchen at Les Ormes and the chef is allowing her to do a complete Thanksgiving dinner on Thursday night. The menu is 49€ and includes an amuse bouche, pumpkin soufflé, turkey with oyster and cornbread stuffing, champagne-cranberry compote, whipped potatoes and gravy. Dessert will be pecan pie or tarte Tatin with homemade vanilla and pumpkin ice cream.


www.parisnotebook.wordpress.com

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Question? What does/would one call Thanksgiving in French? The literal translation doesn't do much for me. I thought of this this morning as I was ordering bread for the meal tomorrow & the boulanger's wife & I had a conversation about the holiday.

Explaining the meaning isn't too difficult, but a word or a phrase would be nice. Any suggestions?

Meanwhile our menu has changed. We're now having turkey stock/ leek soup with parmasian followed by an avacado/ lettice heart/ salsa salad. Dessert has changed because the pumpkin tasted awful, must have been the wrong kind. Linda is making a trifle instead which will please the English contingent, but is hardly traditional.

The turkey is beautiful, 7 kg at 9 euros per with a free bottle of wine thrown in. Buying from a vinyard has its advantages. He's (she's?) now deconstructed & deboned where needed & quietly awaiting roasting tomorrow.

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And if you don't feel like cooking there are several restaurants which have Thanksgiving dinner.  I have an Amercian friend who works in the kitchen at Les Ormes and the chef is allowing her to do a complete Thanksgiving dinner on Thursday night.  The menu is 49€ and includes an amuse bouche, pumpkin soufflé, turkey with oyster and cornbread stuffing, champagne-cranberry compote, whipped potatoes and gravy.  Dessert will be pecan pie or tarte Tatin with homemade vanilla and pumpkin ice cream.

That's starting to look good right now.

The hens are simmering, we're way behind schedule, my idea of lobster ravioli in the poule de bresse conssomme had to be ditched due to budgetary constraints, sister in law is now announcing that she plans to arrive late once again and this will have us eating dinner well into the wee hours of morning because her family refuses to touch even a salted peanut until she arrives.

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Question? What does/would one call Thanksgiving in French?

Well, last night, one of my most esteemed eGullet buddies disparaged this reference, but for years, I’ve found Art Buchwald’s annual IHT description of Thanksgiving to be a comforting tonic. To answer your query Dave, he says “One of our most important holidays is Thanksgiving Day, known in France as le Jour de Merci Donnant .” He then goes on to recount the tale of Kilometres Deboutish (Miles Standish), etc.

So as to stay on topic I’ll end by quoting this - “Le Jour de Merci Donnant was first started by a group of Pilgrims (Pelerins) who fled from l'Angleterre before the McCarran Act to found a colony in the New World (le Nouveau Monde) where they could shoot Indians (les Peaux-Rouges) and eat turkey (dinde) to their hearts' content.” And so forth......

Happy Thanksgiving Art and Dave and all.

John


John Talbott

blog John Talbott's Paris

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Question? What does/would one call Thanksgiving in French?

Well, last night, one of my most esteemed eGullet buddies disparaged this reference, but for years, I’ve found Art Buchwald’s annual IHT description of Thanksgiving to be a comforting tonic. To answer your query Dave, he says “One of our most important holidays is Thanksgiving Day, known in France as le Jour de Merci Donnant .” He then goes on to recount the tale of Kilometres Deboutish (Miles Standish), etc.

So as to stay on topic I’ll end by quoting this - “Le Jour de Merci Donnant was first started by a group of Pilgrims (Pelerins) who fled from l'Angleterre before the McCarran Act to found a colony in the New World (le Nouveau Monde) where they could shoot Indians (les Peaux-Rouges) and eat turkey (dinde) to their hearts' content.” And so forth......

Happy Thanksgiving Art and Dave and all.

John

John - Wonderful reply.Thank you!

Happy Thanksgiving to all & happy eating. May you & your loved ones be full of good food & good cheer.

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I realize it’s too late, but for the record next year, Figaro Madame had an article by Camille Labro that suggested these three places: the Cajun restaurant Bayou La Seine, 20, rue Saint-Paul in the 4th, 01 42 77 68 29 ; the already mentioned store Thanksgiving and The Real McCoy.


John Talbott

blog John Talbott's Paris

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Time to bump this up. I despair when I try to imagine getting the ingredients for a really traditional meal here, and anyway, it sounds more fun to me to do a fusion French/American sort of dinner.

What's everybody planning? This being my first try at Thanksgiving here, I can use all the creative inspiration I can get. I'm really not up for an 80 Euro turkey, even if I could get one way down here. But some kind of paupiette de dinde, stuffed with a sage and bread farce, might be really nice, possibly in a Riesling sauce.

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Time to bump this up.  I despair when I try to imagine getting the ingredients for a really traditional meal here, and anyway, it sounds more fun to me to do a fusion French/American sort of dinner.

Gee, I find the shopping half the fun. Here especially as finding thing can be a challenge. However, as this thread proves if you look you can find all of the ingrediets.

What's everybody planning?  This being my first try at Thanksgiving here, I can use all the creative inspiration I can get.  I'm really not up for an 80 Euro turkey, even if I could get one way down here.  But some kind of paupiette de dinde, stuffed with a sage and bread farce, might be really nice, possibly in a Riesling sauce.

Last year we paid 9 Euro/kilo for the best turkey I've ever had. Free range on a vineyard. You do have to order - like Monday - as the producers are all geared up for Christmas so need a bit of time to pick a bird for Thanksgiving.

Otherwise turkey parts abound. Stuffed, boned leg/thigh can be nice. Or cheap, but less traditional is ham. I bought a 7.3 kilo fresh ham today for 12 euros; on sale of course. It will get brined and roasted to go with the turkey.

We've kept it down to 16 this year. French, Brits, New Zealanders, Belgian and me the lone American. We always have a great time & this year I have a dynamite wine (see Blog) to ease things along.

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Time to bump this up.  I despair when I try to imagine getting the ingredients for a really traditional meal here, and anyway, it sounds more fun to me to do a fusion French/American sort of dinner.

Abra, don't despair; the thread indicates that staples like cranberries and sweet potatoes can be found in abundance in supermarkets in Paris, at least.

(I guarantee you that these things are much harder to find, say, east of Strasbourg.) :wink:

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Any folks out there celebration Thanksgiving this year in Paris? I am taking the opportunity to introduce my French in-laws to the traditional American Thanksgiving classics (you know, pecan pie, etc...). I found that the store Thanksgiving in the 4th sells fresh cranberries and am getting ready to head out there (greve or no greve, yay Velib!). I have a dinde de Bresse ordered which I am really looking forward to.

I am curious to know what you turkey-day fans are doing and sources for tough-to-find ingredients (hello, sweet potatoes anywhere?)

-Cave Pullum

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I saw whole frozen cranberries at Picard this morning, however they were not with the other fruit but in the meat section for some reason.


www.parisnotebook.wordpress.com

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