Start with just one word like that and see what your
mind conjures up. Say "Thanksgiving" and think for
a few moments. Where did you go in your mind?
Did you see; Crayon pictures of funny looking people
with muskets and big buckled shoes hanging on your
grade school walls?
Going to your Grandparents and eating at the small
table with cousins you only saw once a year and getting
to watch TV while you ate?
Or are you more in the here and now and think what
you would like to do with your loved ones this day
It seems that each mindscape can be like the hole
that Alice fell down...capable of each taking you
to a swarm of lands, faces, smells, sounds, tastes,
textures and emotions. It's that kind of day.
It was started in Plymouth Colony in 1621 after a
winter of great suffering and starvation. The Governor
of the time declared the feast and it was attended
by the Colonial settlers and the Wampanoag tribe of
Indians. My text tells me there were 99 Indians there
that day. Perhaps there is some degree of apocrypha
here but it is also put down that the braves arrived
with a good many of the dishes, one of which was popcorn.
We Americans are very adaptive, yet revere tradition.
Have you ever been served popcorn on Thanksgiving?
....Neither have I.
Eels were also served on Thanksgiving # 1, too....
Some traditions die.
But what has come and stayed is a big bird. Here is
where our American rights to a food tradition actually
have some basis in reality. The turkey is native to
North America. It was not only found in the Northeast
but in the Plains, the Southwest and down in Mexico.
By the time the Spaniards arrived the Indians were
cooking them in Mole.
Now that gives me an idea for our Thanksgiving dinner!
once said, "If I cannot have too many truffles, I'll
She would have had no worries has she been with me
the other night in Chicago where my tremendous friend,
Charlie Trotter cooked for a group of 14 of us.
All of the wines were from the private collections
of several of the guests and all were served from
magnums. The first four main courses were served with
white wines from Burgundy, as well as a superb Mayacamas
Chardonnay from the 1980 vintage.
The next three main courses, which all included black
truffles were served with the following succession
was hardly an issue.
Pichon Lalande from Pauillac, 1978,
Leap Wine Cellars, "Cask 23", Cabernet Sauvignon,
Julien Chateau Beycheville, 1959 and the
Cellars, "Martha's Vineyards" from the 1975 and
The presence of the truffles in each course provided
a metronome of magic. There are three major types of
truffles and it is helpful to know the Latin names in
case some one is trying to pass off tuber aestivum as
tuber melanosporum. It is the melanosporum variety that
is the true black truffle and the one we enjoyed so
much. The other is a "summer truffle" and although it
is interesting it ain't nearly so perfumed as the black
ones. The most famous region for black truffles is Perigord,
but they are also found in Provence and around Spoleto
in Umbria and Norcia in Marche. It grows from mid November
to March and in symbiosis with the oak tree. There is
no such thing as a man made truffle yet.
Thanksgiving is coming fast upon us, in fact a few truffles
worked into your mashed potatoes would not be something
to be un-thankful about!
Black Truffles. A miracle of nature and the moment is