ThanksGiving 2012

warm thanksgiving in michigan
Where did the time go? I’m writing this post in August 2013, on a cool summer afternoon not unlike the warm Thanksgiving day last November when Mr. Tess took a long sunny-morning bike ride, and Little Tess prepared a feast. It was a beautiful day, and memory makes it more perfect.

Zucchini and Sweet Potato Pancakes

The philosopher Martin Heidegger observed that time “persists merely as a consequence of the events taking place in it.” Our brains understand the passage of time by the things we experience. A year has passed with little evidence that anything of note happened. At least not on this blog…

Looking through photo albums proves otherwise. The year was filled with many events, and of course lots of culinary exploration. Our daughter returned to Michigan with many new cooking skills; we’ve enjoyed recipes from France, Spain, the Middle East, China, Japan, and California.


A French Apple Custard Tart, with butter pastry

Our concept of time and how quickly or slowly it passes is personal and subjective. Looking back on a year, the time will seem to have flown passed without the detail of specific moments. It’s empty until you recall the events which happened during the period—some are small snapshots of an ordinary day, some are portraits of life-changing experiences, while others are albums of commemorations.

Forever – is composed of Nows –
‘Tis not a different time –
Except for Infiniteness –
And Latitude of Home –

From this – experienced Here –
Remove the Dates – to These –
Let Months dissolve in further Months –
And Years – exhale in Years –

Without Debate – or Pause –
Or Celebrated Days –
No different Our Years would be
From Anno Dominies –

~~Forever – is composed of Nows – (690) / By Emily Dickinson

Passover, Thanksgiving, Christmas are are albums of time: each laden with so many traditions that each specific occasion melts into one long celebration of the event. It’s difficult to recall which year what happened.


Fesenjan: a dish for celebration!

Khoresh-e fesenjān (Persian: خورش فسنجان‎), or simply fesenjān (Persian: فسنجان‎), is a dish in Persian cuisine and Mesopotamian cuisine. It is a thick, tart stew made from pomegranate syrup and ground walnuts (see bazha). It is traditionally made with poultry (duck or chicken); but variants using balls of ground meat, ghormeh cut lamb, fish, or no meat at all are not unusual. Depending on the cooking method, it can have sweet or sour taste. It is served with Persian white or yellow rice (called polo or chelo).
from Wikipedia

I remember the Thanksgiving when Sula, skinny little stray cat, came to gnaw on the frozen turkey carcass outside the back door. There was the Thanksgiving when the oven broke so we grilled the turkey outside in a snowstorm. There was the Thanksgiving when we had coffee on the patio, bike, bare feet, and cats… Thanksgivings in Chicago when we visited Little Tess while she was at school: restaurant meals one year, another year (on Black Friday) we went to a fantastic fabric store then it was warm enough to eat pan-bagnat in a park on the shore of Lake Michigan. The years we had paella instead of turkey. The early years of marriage when turkey was the cheapest food (one turkey would feed us for a week and how I came to hate turkey soup) so I’d find something special for the holiday…

And this Thanksgiving, the fesenjan Little Tess made was something special to add to my time album of Thanksgiving.

It looks gloppy compared to Norman Rockwell’s fantasy image of the perfect Thanksgiving dinner, but often it’s the dull ones and nerds who will provide the most wit.


Looks brown and dull, tastes sparkling bright!

Click the pictures on the right to read the recipe Little Tess used (with duck breasts for this holiday, but it’s delicious made with chicken thighs as well.


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