Wednesday, November 25, 2009

A Tale of Three Thanksgivings

Okay so, I know, I know, Thanksgiving came and went and we're well into December now. The holiday on everyone's mind is Christmas. Allow me to inject here, as a small note for anyone who didn't know it already: I LOVE CHRISTMAS. I know, I'm not Christian and my nuclear family never celebrated it, but these minor details have only ADDED to my deep fascination with and love for all things christmas-y. Now that I think about it, this whole thing might have to do with my mental association of Christmas with cookies (See CookieFest 2008 for details). Anyway, my point is that this post is NOT about Christmas because I have too many yummy photographs from Thanksgiving that need to be shared and appreciated by you, my gentle readers. So sit back and prepare to drool!

Every year, I eat THREE Thanksgiving dinners: one with my family, one with Yasmina's mom's family, and one with Yasmina's dad's family. I'm always nervous that by the third dinner I will be so sick of Thanksgiving food that I'll resent the holiday, but it never happens, probably because each dinner is so different. Yasmina's mother Fatima is always inventive and unorthodox with her Thanksgiving dinners. Two years ago, we had a Moroccan feast, complete with couscous, roasted fish, and stews. Her father's Thanksgiving always includes Thanksgiving classics (turkey, mashed potatoes, etc.) and sometimes various spicy Pakistani dishes. My mom puts a different spin on Thanksgiving every year. Three years ago, she challenged me and my siblings to each make a cook-off (I think the point of that was her cooking less, haha). I of course won, but the judges (my parents) were so lame that they insisted all three dishes were equally delicious. Boooo!

Anyway, this year my mom decided we shouldn't even bother with traditional Thanksgiving dishes and just do Thanksgiving Iranian-style. Basically that means we had rice instead of mashed potatoes, and with our turkey, we had Fesenjan, a stew made from ground walnuts and pomegranate juice. In the spirit of thanksgiving, we even added a few spoonfuls of (homemade, of course) cranberry sauce to it. Thanksgiving at Fatima's and at Shahbaz's were equally delicious. Enjoy the photos!

Day #1: Our Thanksgiving table with my sister Mona cutting the turkey, my aunt Fae opposite her, and my cousin Yavar and my Dad at the end of the table

Fesenjoon, a sweet and tart stew made from pomegranate juice and ground walnuts

Our turkey, this year we used an Alton Brown recipe. This was also the first time we brined, but it tasted the same.

Taachin, a dish made by layering and baking saffron-infused rice with chicken (we used eggplant instead this time)

More on the traditional side: roasted butternut squash topped with maple caramelized shallots

Day #2: Yasmina and her mother, Fatima, reading Baudelaire's Fleurs du Mal

Fatima with her spread of deliciousness

Roasted Goose

Moroccan Salmon (the name of this escapes me...sorry!)

Brussel Sprouts (my new favorite vegetable, by the way)

Dessert time! Custard/berry tart

Lebanese sweets

Day #3: Yasmina, posing with her new glasses

Yasmina's father Shahbaz, carving the turkey

Yasmina and I!

Turkey (I dictated, Shahbaz cut)

Candied Sweet Potatoes

The best part of any meal at the Khan residence: CHAI!


Manggy said...

Okay, how many changes of clothes did you need for 3 dinners?! (trousers with increasing waistlines...) Don't tell anyone, but I actually much prefer rice to mash potaters, hee :)

Sara said...

Hahaha, increasing waistlines! That's smart thinking. I unfortunately was not so well-prepared, which was okay because I practiced pretty good self-control during the first two dinners, but by the third there was no holding back! Plus, I didn't mention this in the post, but there was also pumpkin cheesecake AND brownies AND pecan pie. Dessert was definitely what did me in!

Dora said...

Pumpkin cheesecake?!?! Avec so much plaisir.

Unknown said...

Hi, Sara.
I just found your blog and it is very intriguing. I am still exploring it, so probably I'll have some comments.
But, right now, I was stunned by stew named Fesenjoon, by it's look and by ingredients. Is there any chance I can have the recipe for It. Thanks in advance. Slobodan from DC (originaly from Bosnia, former Yugoslavia. And, by the way, wish you best New Year.