Friday, November 29, 2013

Thanksgiving 2013: Why did I eat the whole thing?

An Alaskan King Crab claw from Costco Wholesale was one of 10 items on our Thanksgiving menu. Juggling the preparation of that many dishes on Thursday proved difficult, and there was just way too much food.
We didn't have turkey for the first time in many years. One of the substitutes, lamb chops from Australia, were rubbed with Kirkland Signature Sweet Mesquite Seasoning, both from Costco.


We pulled up the anchor of the traditional Thanksgiving meal -- turkey -- and found ourselves adrift on uncharted seas.

With 10 dishes, our dinner certainly was bountiful, but it lacked the focus of a whole bird or even such dark-meat parts as the drumsticks, thighs and wings we prefer.

For the meat eaters, we roasted lamb chops and heated up a fully cooked, naturally raised Niman Ranch ham.

We also served an array of seafood dishes: 

Lobster bisque, steamed Alaskan King Crab legs and claws; Littleneck clams prepared with sake, garlic and organic diced tomatoes; and leftover organic whole wheat linguine in Victoria Marinara Sauce with shrimp, sardines and salted cod.

In the process, we fell one fish short of the traditional Italian Feast of the Seven Fishes.

A fully cooked, applewood-smoked petite ham from Whole Foods Market only needed to be reheated in the oven.

Flexible menu

On Thursday morning, my wife decided she wanted poultry, even if it was only the three pieces of antibiotic-free Readington Farms chicken in the freezer, and she also prepared a big pot of rice and small red beans.

The night before, I had roasted more than a half-dozen sweet potatoes, but we had so much food to eat on Thanksgiving, they never left the refrigerator.

Our vegetable dishes were about 12 ounces of baby spinach from the salad bar at the hospital where I volunteer on Wednesdays, and broccoli florets from Costco Wholesale we had in the refrigerator.

We blanched the spinach and broccoli in boiling water for a few minutes, drained the pots and added extra-virgin olive oil, garlic and other seasoning.

We drank Costco's Kirkland Signature Champagne (Brut) and Martinelli's Sparkling Cider.

Organic whole wheat linguine from Whole Foods Market in Victoria Marinara Sauce with shrimp, sardines and salted cod fish was the last thing I eat on Thanksgiving, except for tea, a couple of clementines and almonds dusted with cinnamon. The meal was a belly buster. 


This morning, I had one of the untouched sweet potatoes for breakfast, along with broccoli, spinach and a simple egg-white omelet with shredded Parmigiano Reggiano, often called the King of Cheeses.

I also prepared a frittata with lots of diced Niman Ranch ham, sweet pepper and onion, adding Kirkland Signature Basil Pesto after I took it out of the oven.

Black Friday

The only Black Friday shopping I was interested in doing was stopping at Whole Foods Market in Paramus for naturally raised turkey drumsticks, which usually are put on sale the day after the holiday.

But the mall's parking lot was packed with shoppers hoping to find bargains at Target, clothing outlets and other stores, and I turned around and went home.

A frittata with whole eggs, egg whites, ham, pesto and fresh Campari Tomato slices.

Alice Waters on PBS

I was disappointed in both anchor Judy Woodruff and restaurateur Alice Waters, who started the organic and local food revolution when she opened Chez Panisse in Berkeley, Calif., in 1971.

Woodruff's interview with Waters on the PBS NewsHour aired on Thanksgiving night, but neither discussed the widespread use of harmful animal antibiotics in poultry, beef  and pork that is making humans immune to the antibiotics prescribed by doctors.

Waters stressed how organic farmers are stewards of the land, and how their methods protect growing fields for future generations.

When asked about the expense of organic food, the pioneering restaurateur noted you can pay up front for naturally raised or grown food or pay for the medical care you'll need to treat obesity or other conditions caused by a steady diet of cheap, crappy fast food.

But she didn't explain that organic food is not only free of pesticides, preservatives, antibiotics and growth hormones, but that genetically modified organisms (GMOs) also are barred.

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