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Turkey, Velazquez

I diligently went grocery shopping yesterday, in search of a turkey for Thanksgiving. It's still a little early for turkey-buying in the UK - they're a Christmas thing - so shopping early and often in search of one seemed a good preemptive measure. Alas, Waitrose was entirely empty of whole turkeys. So I asked at the Customer Service desk in the hopes of ordering one. "For Wednesday?", asked the woman there, and then her eyes momentarily unfocused as she briefly thought. "Thanksgiving?", she asked, looking back at me. I nodded. "We'll have them in tomorrow for Thanksgiving, first come, first served."

I went back today and there they were, the remaining five turkeys (free range, fresh) for those rare Americans shopping at Canary Wharf who actually cook from scratch. (It's a financial hub, full of ready meals and people who work until midnight.) And now I feel smugly well prepared for Thursday, just another ordinary work day for most, but a day of feasting (after a bit of work) in my household.

Apropos of Thanksgiving, printperson arrived safely here this morning. We went to the Velazquez show, dealing with the mobbed throngs until 5:30, when museum announcements started to clear the crowds. We backtracked to the first few rooms, all decadently empty, good for getting much better views of the larger canvases especially. I particularly love his handling of pottery, how human-made and vividly imperfect it is. "The Water-Carrier of Seville" was a standout for me; the accompanying text critiqued the artist's nascent handling of the human form, how statue-like it is. For me, that's why the painting is so effective - the human figures work as background to the objects, the crystaline water, the water vessels.

You know how I have regular small world moments in my life? Hers are far more extraordinary. I'm not sure I've ever been to a major exhibit in London with her where she didn't happen to run into someone she knew visiting from another country.


( 15 comments — Leave a comment )
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Nov. 22nd, 2006 03:10 pm (UTC)
Wha is a turkey crown? Like a shrimp ring, or a cock's comb?
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Nov. 22nd, 2006 01:01 am (UTC)
I hadn't thought how tricky it must be for you guys to celebrate Thanksgiving here - turkeys not yet in the shops and pumpkins finished. Here's wishing you a good one, even so. I have a 12-year-old California Girl in one of my classes - I wonder how her family will manage to celebrate?
Nov. 22nd, 2006 03:11 pm (UTC)
It's even more challenging for the Canadians. Canadian Thanksgiving is back in early October - at least by the end of November supermarkets are gearing up with Christmas supplies anyways.

Thank you!
Nov. 22nd, 2006 10:57 am (UTC)
Good for you doing Thanksgiving properly. I cooked it myself a few years ago, and it turned out rather well, but work being what it is, and our kitchen being rather small, my mother-in-law has kindly agreed to do it at hers instead on Sunday. Which means there will be much more food than I could possibly cook on my own and it will probably taste better. I am doing the pies and possibly the cornbread.

Happy Thanksgiving, a bit early.
Nov. 22nd, 2006 03:12 pm (UTC)
We just did turkey fillets for Canadian Thanksgiving. I've only ever roasted whole turkeys when guests were involved - and since we're having some over, it's worth it. Our oven here is so much smaller than our Toronto one, so it's just as well we didn't bring over our turkey roasting supplies from there.

Mmm, cornbread.

Happy Thanksgiving to you too!
Nov. 22nd, 2006 02:41 pm (UTC)
When we lived in England, we went in about 2 weeks ahead of time and ordered a turkey from a kosher butcher. Not that we're Jewish, but there are lots of them in London. Works out nicely. :-)
Nov. 22nd, 2006 03:14 pm (UTC)
Good planning! I was wondering if I needed to order one until I saw Sainsbury' well-equipped with loads of them. C. didn't like the brand they stocked there, but it meant we were definitely assured of there being turkey of some sort.

The UK improves every year with many of the foods necessary for US staples. Just within the past six months, our local supermarket has started stocking black beans!
Nov. 22nd, 2006 03:29 pm (UTC)
LOL. Have you discovered the Reeces' Peanut Butter cups at Europa yet?
Nov. 24th, 2006 12:05 am (UTC)
No, but then again, I can live without Reeces' Peanut Butter cups. (Although I used to import them to Italy for my sister.) Still, it's good to know where these things can be sourced!

Today's dilemma: where to buy corn syrup? The local supermarket doesn't carry it. Or molasses, but apparently health food stores stock it.
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Nov. 23rd, 2006 09:02 pm (UTC)
Happy Thanksgiving! Glad to hear that you managed to get hold of a turkey :)

That reminds me, must get the oven fixed before it gets too close to Christmas...
Nov. 24th, 2006 12:03 am (UTC)
Thank you! Mmm. It was a tasty turkey.

You've been WEEKS without a working oven. I realize that lack of it must be expanding your culinary talents in other directions, but you really should have a functional oven in your life.
( 15 comments — Leave a comment )