Thanksgiving? Thank our lucky stars they've gone more like.

Thursday 25/11/2004

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Diary and Notes

Today, for some 293,027,571 (July 2004 est.) or so Americans, it was Thanksgiving. A celebration of how the pilgrim fathers' lives were saved by a group of friendly natives, giving them turkey and corn to help them survive the winter. I wonder what those same natives would have done with the gift of foresight.

Now before you all start again, this is not an exercise in America bashing (boooo!). The people who perpetrated the genocide in North America are not alive today and they were mostly British and descendents of the British anyway. It was however, for the peoples who were there before the white man, a complete disaster, as bad as anything seen in history in terms of the destruction of entire cultures and civilizations. So today, in solidarity with the native American's, I cooked a dish using (some) native American ingredients (I should have had some corn as well but I didn't think of it until too late). It's the anti-thanksgiving party and everyone's invited. Also, because those who left for the shores of America on the Mayflower were the antecedants of the boring, puritanical, bible bashers we all love to hate today, I am calling this day 'Good Riddance Day'. Maybe it will catch on all over the world.

Well, my dish wasn't very American really, but it did have turkey and sweet potatoes, so at least I had a go. Let's say the other ingredients (being European) represent the different cultures which swamped North America (like they swamped the turkey) and deliberately attempted to exterminate millions of people in the process. I should really name this dish something like: Mass Murderer's Turkey. In fact I will. So that's what I had for dinner today, Mass Murderer's Turkey. It's a shame I couldn't sprinkle some smallpox or measles germs into the mix, these being favoured weapons of the settlers during the eighteenth and nineteenth century. (See The annihilation of native Americans.)

So after all this death and destruction at least some good has come. The native Americans, though severely reduced in population, have their lovely barren reservations, rampant alcoholism and casinos and I have an excellent turkey dish, which was far tastier than I expected (I don't really like turkey). I don't think that it went so well with the sweet potatoes, but I'd definitely make this again and have it with some normal spuds instead (next year of course).

Not much fun on today's blog, but then who can laugh at the extermination of several million people, not to mention their 300 languages and diverse culture which are lost to the world. And we mourn the loss of the dodo.

Cake Blog

Butter Cake: I can't remember the very long name of this in German. It was a bit like a sponge with a cream and butter topping. I was told it was invented after world war II when there was little food around, as a large block can be made with only a few cheap ingredients. Excellent use of cheap food I say, hurrah for the peasants of the world and their ingenious ways.


  • Turkey in Beer and Mustard Cream Sauce,
  • Roast Sweet Potatoes.

  • Göttinger Pils


  • Turkey breast, oil, onions, garlic, pilsner beer, chicken stock, Dijon mustard, black pepper, creme fraiche.
  • Sweet potatoes, oil.


  • Slice the turkey breast into steaks. Heat a frying pan with a little oil and brown the turkey steaks. Add some onion and garlic and fry a little longer, pour on the beer and let it fizz. Add the chicken stock, a hearty dollop of mustard, and some ground black pepper. Put a lid on the pan, turn down the heat and leave to simmer for 1/2 an hour (while the potatoes cook). When it's time to eat, remove the turkey and stir in some creme fraiche to make a good cream sauce.
  • Sweet potatoes are really easy to cook and take 1/3 of the time of normal spuds. Peel, cut into huge chunks, toss with a little oil, put them on a hot over for about 1/2 an hour. Turn them once during the cooking. They should be just starting to burn on the corners when you serve them.