Just a quick note to wish you and yours a very Happy Thanksgiving: a day of warmth, peace, and good food. A day to reconnect with your family and friends, to review the past year and make plans for the upcoming year.
Thanksgiving is a uniquely American holiday and one that can be celebrated whole-heartedly by all Americans and residents of America no matter their origins, religion, or political affiliation. Even my mother, who was German, threw herself into our Thanksgiving celebrations. We usually had a capon since we were just three, but had the usual American sides of cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes, and pie for dessert. Although an excellent cook, the first time she made an apple pie she cried, because she had worked the pie dough too much and it was hard as a rock.
Duck is usually thought of as too fatty, which it is if you don’t prepare it properly. I learned my method from an old lady who had a restaurant called Yvonne’s in Shandaken, New York. She was from the Périgord region of France, which specializes in ducks and geese and fois gras, and she had grown up very poor, so was adept at foraging. We always joked that if we saw roadkill on the way to her restaurant, it would be on the menu. She made fried puffball mushroom (delicious!) and milkweed bud vinaigrette. Her method for duck was to poke it all over with a fork, parboil it to melt off some of the fat under the skin, and then to blow dry it. Yes, that’s right, blow dry it, with a hair dryer. Then roast it. A few steps, but you got a nice crispy skin that way.
Well, that’s about it for now, I’ll leave you to your Thanksgiving preparations. And as for post-Thanksgiving activities, I am offering Magical Mystery Holiday Tours between Saturday, November 25, and Saturday, December 30, to celebrate all the holiday fun and madness in Tarrytown and Sleepy Hollow, New York. All tours include a tour of Lyndhurst Mansion all decked out for the holidays, one of the “10 Best Holiday House Tours” according to USA Today; and a heart-warming dinner at the cozy Tarry Tavern.
The other fillings for the tour depend on the day, from a shopping/walking tour of the small shops on Tarrytown’s historic and authentic Main Street for Small Business Saturday on November 25, to a performance of The Nutcracker at the famed Tarrytown Music Hall on Sunday, December 10. We’ll also see Sherlock Holmes’s The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle performed at Lyndhurst (Nov. 26); The Vienna Boys’ Choir at the Music Hall (Dec. 9); Dickens’s “A Christmas Carol” at the historic Old Dutch Church of Sleepy Hollow (Dec. 9, 10, 16, 17); a festive brass instrument Holiday Concert at Lyndhurst (Dec. 17); and Mr. Dickens Tells “A Christmas Carol” at Lyndhurst (Dec. 23 and Dec. 30).
If you want to get your weekend guests out of your hair, or you want to treat yourself to a well deserved day off, reserve now! Spots are limited to 6 people for an intimate, convivial experience. Review the tours and the detailed schedule, and click Order, email me at email@example.com, or call me at 914-909-5079. I’m looking forward to spending some magical moments with you!