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OTHER ITA SITES:
Wine Food Pairing - Thanksgiving, Share the Tale of Bird Day!
I grew up celebrating Thanksgiving. Most Americans in some way, shape or form tend to hold this holiday very dear. Thanksgiving is one of the busiest traveling times for the airlines and the highways. It is not a specific religious holiday, although many people attend the church of their choice to give thanks to their God for all their blessings. In all, Americans use this day to enjoy the fellowship of their family and friends, do wine food pairing,eat a lot of turkey, ham and pumpkin pie and of course, watch the Macy's Parade on TV! It is a perfect day for wine food pairing. Traditions that we all love and take for granted.
I live in an international household. My husband is from Austria, not to be confused with Australia where they have kangaroos, and over the years I have fully trained him in the ways of Bird Day! We have many Austrian friends that visit the United States every year, but they don't understand the concept of this holiday and wonder, why all the fuss.
Last year, I took the opportunity to have a Thanksgiving training session for these Austrian folks. We invited three couples and instructed them to bring only wine, something that would pair nicely with turkey, that I would prepare all the food. After all, I couldn't chance having a stray leberknoedel, or liver dumpling, sneak in!
I chose the fresh turkey with care and made my Mother's special stuffing that she got from her mother. I prepared my favorite sweet potato casserole that I have perfected over the years with crushed pecans and marshmallows. My mashed potatoes are very traditional and I even use my Grandmothers manual potato masher. It is all about tradition and the warm, fuzzy feelings that they evoke. As I bustle about the kitchen with all my preparations I sip a flute of Champagne and freshly squeezed orange juice, after all I need my vitamin C, and munch on a warm croissant.
The table is set and the guests begin to arrive. The house smells wonderful! It is the kind of smell that can not be duplicated in a spray bottle and everyone is anxious for the dinner to begin. The turkey and all the traditional side dishes are passed around, my husband opens a bottle of Pinot Grigio to pair with the meal and I begin the storytelling of Thanksgiving. I tell them of the British colonists that came over from England on the Mayflower to find a better way of life and how the Native Americans helped them learn the ways of the new world. I talk about how so many of these Pilgrims, as they named themselves, died that first year and that if it hadn't been for the Indians that they might all have perished from disease and starvation. The story continues to include that how, after the Pilgrims first successful crop, they wanted to give thanks for their bounty and so this was how Thanksgiving was actually born. Of course there are many more details to the story, but I wanted to keep it simple for the German speaking Austrians. I then bring out my cherished, chubby Pilgrim salt and pepper shakers. This is how the Pilgrims dressed back then I say, and they laugh because the Austrians always wondered what these strange little guys signified and why they were in all the stores!
Thanksgiving is always a wonderful way to do Wine Food Pairing with your friends and family. If you can do something to make it even more memorable, then go that extra mile, that is what this season is all about. CHEERS!
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