Living in the Southern Hemisphere is all well and good, and I love certain aspects of it – like prancing on the beach on New Year’s day instead of shielding my pasty white body from a wintry chill. However, whenever November rolls around I always start to feel the need to hoard canned pumpkin and eat dinner at 4:30 PM. Hello! – Thanksgiving is just two weeks away!! That’s right, folks.
You can always try to snag a seat at Kansas, the American restaurant that has done a Thanksgiving menu for years. But they don’t take reservations and are always packed to the gills with crazy people. The American Club is also hosting a Thanksgiving Luncheon – Head to the website for more information + RSVP. Planning on taking the plunge and hosting dinner at your place? Read on for some random tips and ideas from a quasi-expert (Making two turkeys counts as expert, right?).
First – “Where the hell am I supposed to get a turkey in Buenos Aires?!” might be your initial question. Fear not, little grasshopper. Just check out Coto, Disco or Jumbo and you should be in luck. Specifically the Coto on French & Av. Pueyrredón and the Disco on Esmeralda & Av. Libertador. You can get frozen lady turkeys imported from Brasil – they’re a nice size (aka won’t take 100 hours to cook and will fit in your tiny oven) and hard as a rock: Second: “Why would I ever want to leave my oven on all day when it’s 85 degrees outside?!” BECAUSE YOU’RE A GOOD PATRIOT. That’s why. I think I sweated off about 5kg last year – not to mention I burned my leg on the oven door – but it’s worth it. If your oven is a death trap like mine (I have to put my entire upper body inside in order to reach the part that has to be lit), I suggest you light it once and leave it on all day. Get a thermometer if you can to regulate temperature if you’re making several dishes.
Third: “How the frick am I supposed to prepare a turkey? My dad is always the one in charge.” Ok, time to grow up. My first turkey was a product of my friend getting violently ill with salmonella the night before (not kidding). As hostess I had to rise to the occasion; I was on the verge of popping a few Xanax and hiding in my closet. Then I realized something: making a turkey isn’t that hard. You just defrost it, cover it in as much butter as you can find (I call this step the butter massage), season it, stuff onions/garlic/whatever up its culo and somehow it works. Stick it in a hot oven and watch the magic unfold. If your turkey is small it won’t dry out before its done cooking. And more butter = more gravy. It’s a win-win, really. It’s also fun to name your turkey. The first year she was Flopy; in 2010 she was María de Luján.
Before:After:Thanksgiving dinner with close friends can actually be about 25x more fun than with your weird family. As a friend of mine put it last year “No one is asking me about my future, and my Uncle isn’t here to get awkwardly drunk and creepy.” So you’ve got that going for you. We had a pretty good spread going on last year, if I do say so myself. Have other people bring side dishes and it will be a veritable pot luck feast. It will also save you time and guarantee you Thanksgiving leftovers for about a week. If you aren’t some culinary genius who already has loads of holiday recipes memorized, you can find tons of information online.
Here are some places to start:
-The entire New York Times Dining & Wine Section – enough said.
-Eat Live Run’s Thanksgiving Inspiration – a great food blog with a ton of creative recipes