Friday, November 23, 2007

Turkey, Port and Portugal

We went to Kenny’s brother Brad’s house in Nashua for Thanksgiving. I have to admit I was a bit nervous about what we might eat. Brad’s wife Osvalda is from Portugal and had never cooked a Thanksgiving meal before. I love her Portugese feasts, which have a good quantity of meat (usually cooked in wine or beer with garlic), yummy Portugese sweet bread and wine, followed by dessert (usually made with some form of liquor or cordial), followed by Port.
But Thanksgiving is Thanksgiving.
And you need the mashed potatoes, stuffing, mushed orange vegetable of some kind and cranberry. You know the drill.
So I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. What would a Portugese Thanksgiving look like? Would we eat drunk turkey?
We arrived to find the traditional Thanksgiving spread that would have put most cooks to shame. Willie turned on the charm and ate about five boxes of crackers before dinner, so alas I didn’t get to see his reaction to turkey, stuffing or the like. I did however get to see the reaction of someone else experiencing Thanksgiving for the first time. Kenny’s nephew Tim just married a girl from Australia. Her Australian cousin, Tami, was thrilled with Thanksgiving and the desserts. We had the standard fare–apple, pumpkin and mincemeat. But Ozvalda made a traditional Portugese pastry cake that--while I’ll probably be burning it off for the next month due to the butter content--was absolutely amazing.
I was glad that Ozvalda had been willing to embrace our cultural traditions with a Butterball and some spuds. And I was more than willing to embrace hers with a little snifter, or two, of Port. Yeah, twist my arm right? And how about a side of super Portugese pastry cake for the ride home.

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