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    Thursday, 05 November 2009

    Everything you need to host a large Thanksgiving, including recipes with do-ahead tips, wine advice, decorating ideas, and a handy timeline
    By Lauren Salkeld


    Thanksgiving for a Crowd: see the menu, timeline, tips & more

    H osting Thanksgiving should be fun: What's not to like about feasting with family and friends? But the truth is, it's daunting, especially if you're entertaining a large group. Diane Morgan, author of The Thanksgiving Table and The New Thanksgiving Table, knows the challenges of hosting, and offers advice for taking the anxiety out of this hectic occasion. She combines a crowd-pleasing menu, including updated versions of holiday favorites—roast turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, and apple pie—with a do-ahead plan to eliminate stress. Morgan also offers help for choosing wine, tips for setting a beautiful table, and two easy crafts for decorating your home.

    Posted by: AT 01:07 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
    Tuesday, 03 November 2009

    While preparing for this year's Thanksgiving fest where I'll be serving delicious Deep Fried turkey, I became interested in the origin of the succulent treat.

    What is deep fried turkey?
    "Frying whole turkeys is sort of the Southern version of making fondue. You have a lot of your friends over, you poke around in a pot of hot oil with some sticks, and then you pull out your dinner. Justin Wilson, of Cajun fame, recalls first seeing a turkey fry in Louisiana in the 1930s."---Something Different: Deep-Fried Turkey, Beverly Bundy, St. Louis Dispatch, November 24, 1997 (Food p. 4)

    What is a deep fried turkey you ask? Injected with marinade and cooked in 350 degree F peanut or other vegetable oil, deep-fried turkey is anything but greasy. The deep-frying process seals in the juices creating flavorful meat and tasty golden brown skin. Incredibly juicy on the interior and wonderfully crispy on the exterior, the explosion of flavor and contrasting textures has made it a favorite for barbecues, block parties, tailgating, holiday feasts and informal wedding receptions.

    It seems I first heard about deep frying turkey about 15 years ago, then suddenly everyone and their brother was doing it. So what sparked this sudden phenomenon?

    Roots in the Southern United States
    Deep frying turkey has it's origins in the Southern United States, namely Louisiana. I have heard there are a few restaurants in Southern Louisiana that became popular by injecting whole birds with a creole style marinade then dropping them in hot peanut oil. There had to be something bigger though to get the word out, Regional restaurants just do not have the reach to change a deep rooted tradition such as oven baked turkey.

    I thought maybe it was the new accessibility of large deep fryers such as the original Kamp Kooker marketed by Home Depot, or was it a favorite of celebrity chefs such as Emeril?

    Why is it called Cajun if it's not?
    I started doing a little research on the internet, and although I only spent a few hours, it seems no exact year, restaurant, or person is connected to this particular style of cooking turkey. There is evidence that fried turkeys were cooked outdoors for large popular events (family reunions, charity dinners, church suppers, etc.) in the early years of the twentieth century.

    Commonly thought of as a cajun tradition, I could find no direct ties to the acadien-cajun culture. In fact I found food historians generally agree that fried turkeys trace their roots to Bayou (Louisiana/Texas) creole cuisine. Recipes then migrated from Louisiana/Texas to Missouri, Tennessee, Georgia (peanut oil), and Washington D.C. before it forked northward toward Seattle and Vancouver.

    The power of Martha Stewart
    So here seems to be the magic bullet. I did find where Martha Stewart is given credit for taking the recipe to mainstream America in the early 90's:

    "Fried turkey has been all the rage at least for the last decade in New Orleans, and long before that it was a tradition in the bayou and throughout the South. Like many a vainglorious culinary mania before it, the national renown of fried turkeys can be traced directly to Martha Stewart, who plucked them from regional obscurity and put them in her magazine in 1996. "---It's Treacherous, But Oh So Tasty; Fried-Turkey Fans Take the Risk, Annie Gowen, Washington Post, November 22, 2001 (p. B1)

    If this is the case, it seems Martha may have created an entire industry. A typical setup including all the turkey fryer accessories can easily run $200-$300. I would say those folks and the peanut oil folks owe Martha a big thanks.

    Send me your thoughts. Leave your comments, I would love to learn more about the origins of deep fried turkey, where it came from and what made it so popular.

    Anthony Robert is a contributing editor to "5 Steps To Juicy Deep Fried Turkey" in the GrillingGuide.net turkey frying tips Directory.

    Posted by: Gourmet Grocery Online AT 10:14 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
    Monday, 02 November 2009

    Thanksgiving Day is the national harvesting festival day of United States. It is celebrated in Canada and the United States. The basic origin of Thanksgiving in the United States goes as far back as 1621. It is celebrated as a mark of thanksgiving to the Native Americans, due to whom the Americans survived the difficult first winter in the country.

    Though the earliest attested Thanksgiving celebration was on September 8, 1565. People pray and invite their relatives and friends on thanksgiving to join in marry-making. Thanksgiving Day provides the host for thank to relatives, friends and colleagues. Take a leaf from some of the following Thanksgiving gift ideas listed for you.

    Thanksgiving is a time to acknowledge the blessings which God has gracefully been showering upon us each passing day. Food gifts are famous for Thanksgiving Day; there are verities of gifts that can be gifted on Thanksgiving. One of the sweetest Thanksgiving gift ideas is to gift fruit flower. There is fruit basket or chocolate covered strawberries that can be sent to the person. The hand sculpted fruits are arranged to appeal your different tastes.

    A floral fruit basket of dipped daisies or an assortment of fruit truffles bouquet can be perfect Thanksgiving gifts for your friends, neighbors and colleagues. Fruit basket will carry your Thanksgiving prayer for them as also wish them a happy thanksgiving. Thanksgiving gift baskets even work wonders if you're far away from your loved ones and want to let them know how much you miss them.

    The all fruit gifts are available online, as well. Mail orders for delicious and exotic fruit preparations are a delight and most welcome. It is innovative and more appreciated than most common corporate gifts.

    Posted by: Gourmet Grocery Online AT 10:05 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
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