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#34102 - 11/24/08 05:59 PM Re: Madrid: American Thanksgiving Meals and Ideas
MadridMan Offline


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Registered: 05/06/00
Posts: 10011
Loc: Madrid, Spain (was Columbus, O...
Gazpacho wrote:
Quote:
Again, best of luck my friend, and I hope you have a Happy Thanksgiving. Just being with friends like you will make it a very special day.
Thanks, buddy. Have a wonderfully, typically cold Thanksgiving Day there in the great Midwest United States. I'll be thinking of you sitting around the TV watching the annual Dallas Cowboys and Detroit Lions football games. (insert heavy, nostalgic sigh here)

CascadaDuSel wrote:

Quote:
And for heavens sake dont use flaked potato .. please!! All you need to do to make mashed potatoes is to peel then boil the potatoes and then mash with butter, salt and splash of milk .. no measuring cup required ..:-)
ARGH! This would add an hour (not to mention LOTS of "elbow grease" <- the Spaniards are thinking over this term right now, I'm sure of it laugh ) to my overall cooking time! But maybe you're right. rolleyes But isn't flaked potato just dried potato ..... but in friggin' flakes???!!

madridmadridmadrid wrote:

Quote:
You can buy evaporated milk in most grocery stores. It's called leche evaporada and the usual brand is "Ideal."
Thanks!! thumbsup

I just love Thanksgiving Day and will miss my Ohio-based family. It's always been my favorite holiday, getting together with those *we* usually only see once a year, catch up, eat great home-cooked food, watch football, and talk some more. Thanksgiving Day, like for many people on many holidays, I get a bit melancholy thinking and missing long-past grandparents, how it feels to see the light in their eyes when they see you, visions of Grandma cooking all morning. They are deeply missed, but never, ever forgotten. Ahh yes.... I'm getting choked up just writing this. (really, I am)

Have a WONDERFUL Thanksgiving Day holiday, all you United Statesens.

I'll keep updating this thread as the days draw near - and, of course, the aftermath, trip(s!) to Urgencias laugh , clean-up horror show. Some of you will be "tuning-out" for the latter-half of the week so let me say now, THANKS VERY MUCH to everyone for their input and assistance. You're the best.

Have Measuring Cup Will Travel, MadridMan wave
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#34103 - 11/25/08 08:20 AM Re: Madrid: American Thanksgiving Meals and Ideas
Kipper Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/23/02
Posts: 162
Loc: Nashville, TN
Have a wonderful Thanksgiving, post photos, it would be fun to see you festivities....I'll be in Madrid next week, can't wait to be back....and my niece is there performing in Sesame Street...
Gobble-Gobble from Nashville !!!
Karen

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#34104 - 11/25/08 12:04 PM Re: Madrid: American Thanksgiving Meals and Ideas
Chica Offline
Executive Member

Registered: 12/19/01
Posts: 821
Loc: Madrid
Hi MadridMan and everyone...Happy T-Day early!

I am jumping into this thread a bit late, but thought about you when I saw this the other day:

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_cogFxJOkn1c/SSwvbrg2ShI/AAAAAAAAABE/JyUnsJnZeEg/s1600-h/TGSpain.jpg (click for photo)

This was at the Hipercor in Sanchinarro (Madrid) this past Saturday. I suppose it still isn't too late to get your Thanksgiving turkey!!

Happy T-Day everyone!! smile

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#34105 - 11/25/08 03:38 PM Re: Madrid: American Thanksgiving Meals and Ideas
MadridMan Offline


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Registered: 05/06/00
Posts: 10011
Loc: Madrid, Spain (was Columbus, O...
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#34106 - 11/26/08 01:54 PM Re: Madrid: American Thanksgiving Meals and Ideas
pedmar Offline
Executive Member

Registered: 02/26/06
Posts: 2336
Loc: Morbihan, France
Happy Thanksgivings to all Americans indeed. I will be too in it at the Marriott Hotel Rive Gauche in Paris,Americans in Paris. and we will even had Californian wines!!!!hehehehehe
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#34107 - 11/26/08 03:14 PM Re: Madrid: American Thanksgiving Meals and Ideas
MadridMan Offline


Executive Member

Registered: 05/06/00
Posts: 10011
Loc: Madrid, Spain (was Columbus, O...
First lesson learned: You can't use graham cracker crusts for pumpkin pie.

Upon closer inspection, it reads (IN BIG LETTERS, mind you) "Ready Crust".

So what happens when you try to bake pumpkin pies in graham cracker crust pie shells? THEY BURN! I had a kitchen full of smoke after just 15 minutes and you're supposed to bake NORMAL pumpkin pies for 40-50 minutes. I know. I know... Everyone out there is saying, "Well Duh! OF COURSE you can't use graham cracker shells for pumpkin pies!" Oh, but they sounded so gooooood....

I don't even know if you can buy ready-made DOUGH pie shells around here. I've never seen then. And now it's too late to find them, go up to Moncloa to buy more pumpkin pie mix, and bake it before dinner.

OHHHH.... rolleyes

So that's ONE of my meal items gone-and-ruined. I wonder which one is next.... rolleyes ARGH!!

By the way, I told a Spanish woman friend of mine about MASHING the potatoes and she said, "What? Why don't you just buy the potato flakes!?" Hmmm.... I walked throughout the neighborhood today and couldn't for the life of me find a potato masher! Maybe I'll just use my fist to vent some of my frustration. hehehe... wink

Saludos, MadridMan
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#34108 - 11/26/08 03:34 PM Re: Madrid: American Thanksgiving Meals and Ideas
CascadaDuSel Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/07/06
Posts: 224
Loc: Tampa, FL (sometimes Madrid - ...
MM ----- you can use a fork to mash the potatoes - you dont have to get the fancy masher... Im sure the pilgrims just used forks - or maybe rocks... :-)
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#34109 - 11/27/08 08:25 AM Re: Madrid: American Thanksgiving Meals and Ideas
MadridMan Offline


Executive Member

Registered: 05/06/00
Posts: 10011
Loc: Madrid, Spain (was Columbus, O...
CascadaDuSel, I'll do that. Got the stuffing made. Got the fresh turkey on the counter - still has a few little pieces of feather sticking to it, though. It looks pretty big for 5.4 kilos! (price: 26.56 Euros) That should be plenty for all of us.

Now to take a break and have lunch myself before getting back to peeling potatoes. rolleyes

Happy Thanksgiving, all you United Statesens! And to the rest of you, well, just have a wonderful normal day. laugh

Saludos, MadridMan
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#34110 - 11/27/08 12:36 PM Re: Madrid: American Thanksgiving Meals and Ideas
Kipper Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/23/02
Posts: 162
Loc: Nashville, TN
Happy Thanksgiving, hope all is going well...GO TITANS !!! We're playing Detroit today, actually right now!!!! GO TITANS!!!!

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#34111 - 11/28/08 05:28 AM Re: Madrid: American Thanksgiving Meals and Ideas
MadridMan Offline


Executive Member

Registered: 05/06/00
Posts: 10011
Loc: Madrid, Spain (was Columbus, O...
Here's hoping all you United Statesens had a wonderful, warm, and memorable Thanksgiving Day yesterday.

After everyone left and before I went to bed, all alone, I finished one of the brought bottles of delicious red wine and watched the first half of that action-packed-yet-sad Detroit Lions and Tennessee Titans NFL football game. But that ended the evening well, having "The Grand Even" behind me, a disaster area in the kitchen with piles of plates, stuffing scattered around the floor, and me drinking wine while watching my beloved football in total peace. Ahhhhhhhhhhhh...... smile (insert HEAVY sigh of relief here.....

See group photo below of the three of us whom are NOT afraid to have our photos on the internet: rolleyes

Left to right: MadridMan, steve robinson, and replay (Rafa)



The stuffing I made early in the afternoon - which I mentioned in my previous post above - ended up in the trash frown because I forgot to first saute the onion and celery chunks. And yet I didn't realize this until AFTER I stuffed it in the bird and put it in the oven. That was okay but we weren't about to eat the leftover raw-onion-and-celery stuffing (at least I wasn't). (sorry, Esperanza!!!) It's a true shame too because the stuffing itself looked so delicious. I considered picking out the pieces of onion and celery but had neither the time nor the patience to take on that task with so many other things going on. Luckily, I'd bought two back-up boxes of the stuff(ing) at The American Store and made that. It turned out okay but wasn't as pretty. hehehe....

The pre-meal salad plate for guests went over very well with little pickles, black olives, anchovy-stuffed green olives, and cherry tomatoes. I'd spent 45 minutes earlier in the day peeling and quartering carrots for said salad plate - but forgot them in the refrigerator.

As guests came they would kindly say upon entering the house, "Mmmm.. Something smells good!" Of course, what they were really smelling was the smoke billowing from the kitchen's oven! eek Throughout the "social-hour", they'd poke their heads in the kitchen while I was preparing the corn-on-the-cob or the green-beans-with-mushroom-soup to chat and look through the oven-glass to the turkey. From time to time we'd ALL have to leave the kitchen because THE SMOKE was just too bad. I began worrying a concerned neighbor might call the fire department.

About the Turkey...

I'd spent nearly an hour preparing the freshly slaughtered turkey, thinking it'd only take 20 minutes. First, NOT ALL of the turkey's feathers were pulled out so I plucked those remaining. Then I washed the turkey in the sink, inside and out according to instructions, patted it dry throughout with paper towels. Then I applied olive oil first, then salt, pepper, and parsley. Good. The oven was preheated to 350ºF for the previous 45 minutes and ready to go.

The turkey was put into the SPECIAL turkey cooking bag, made the recommended 6, 2-inch slots into the plastic, and it all went into the oven at 6:30pm. I was starting to get a little nervous, knowing it would take at least 3 hours to cook and 20 minutes to cool, and my guests were told we'd dine at 9pm. This wasn't going to all come together perfectly...

As mentioned above, about an hour into cooking the 12-pound turkey (7:30pm) the smoke was filling the kitchen. Because I was beginning to doubt the EDIBILITY of the thing, I sent one of the guests to buy a couple roasted chickens. JUST IN CASE.

By 8:15pm, having already lowered the temperature twice, I turned off the oven - AFTER ONLY 1 hour and 45 minutes cooking time. "There's NO WAY we're going to be able to eat this thing." It's going to be burned on the outside and raw on the inside!!

First, this so-called magical cooking bag, something which was supposed to retain the turkey's moistness, wrapped itself around the bird like a condom throughout the baking process, and eventually, literally became its second skin - with 5th degree burns!

Thank goodness we had these roasted chickens as backup...

I took out the turkey, ready to toss it directly into the garbage in disgust but one of my female guests stopped me with her very kind and encouraging, "No! No! It doesn't look so bad! I'm sure it's delicious! We can save a lot of it, just look! Really!" This is when she took over.

Surprisingly, after cutting away the half-inch of charred plastic and flesh, revealed was some very edible-looking breast meat! Voila! We have our Thanksgiving Day Turkey!! The guest was able to cut away enough meat to almost fill one large plate, just enough for the 7 of us to try a little.

"¡ALAAAA!" was the cheer by the 5 seated Spanish guests (and one English guest) upon my entering the dining/living room with plate of turkey slices - NOT the entire turkey. Of course I had this typical image of entering with this beautiful big, brown, garnished turkey and laying it in the center of the table for everyone to admire. BUT...it didn't happen like that. They'd already gotten a glimpse of the charred body in the kitchen and no one had any grand expectations.

So we salvaged some turkey. Everyone tried the strange looking (to them) turkey gravy and liked it. I decided not to make the mashed potatoes afterall because it was just too much work and too many side dishes, people liked the green beans and mushroom soup. The stuffing went mainly untouched. The corn-on-the-cop raised much discussion by the Spaniards, saying it looked a lot like "the food the pigs eat". I'd FORGOTTEN the cranberry sauce in the refrigerator. But everyone LOVED the pumpkin pie. In an earlier post I'd mentioned I burned the no-bake graham cracker crust of two pies, which I did, but I scooped out the good middle and spread it all into a third "reserve" no-bake pie shell and served it like that. A big hit! We finished the meal off at about 11:30pm with glasses of Crema de Orujo liqueur.

The evening was wonderful, filled with Spanish political and religious debate, a little about Barack Obama's Presidential election, and general discussion. As an afterthought, I should've told my guests more about Thanksgiving, what it was, and what it stood for but I was just too overwhelmed with everything, I guess.

In total, we were 2 Spanish males (including member replay), 3 Spanish females, 1 Englishman (member steve robinson), and me, the only Americano.

MORE ON THE COOKING BAG: I followed the instructions perfectly. REALLY, I DID. My Spanish female guests kindly suggested the plastic bag burned because the oven was too small, the turkey was too close to the heating element, and that the oven may not have had a self-regulating-temperature (whatever that means - don't they all self-regulate?). Initially they said, "Well, why did you use a plastic bag of all things? That's VERY strange!" So I had to explain to them that it was "A new thing." They just shook their heads in disbelief.

So my FIRST attempted Thanksgiving Day Feast was a semi-success. But at least we all had a good time and were together. Afterall, THAT's what's most important. smile

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