Like most of us my idea of Thanksgiving was formed at the family table. My aunt and my mom created Thanksgiving together, sharing the responsibility and populating the table with a changing group of “strays”. So when it was my time to take up the challenge I took the chicken’s way out, I decided to just serve Thanksgiving at Angeli. That meant that my non-nuclear family had a place to gather amidst a host of “strays” who were really a bunch of folks clustered together in what family is in this modern age.
The best part for me was the menu planning and preparing with longtime chef and friend Kathy Ternay. Eventually favorites evolved and sat alongside yearly experiments that often became favorites. This meant I had tons of prep and shopping help for what became a fine tuned military campaign. I also had a partner to ask, “How many pounds of turkey do we need?” “Should we do brussels sprouts or swiss chard this year?” “What about squash lasagne?”
The first year after Angeli closed was really hard. It was a Tiny Tim Thanksgiving with four of us eating in the kitchen, but a new tradition is emerging. Last year a spontaneous group gathered around Table 8 which is now in my living room to eat much the same meal we served at Angeli over the years. The centerpiece is the Turkey Leg Confit. Here’s an audio clip of me explaining how I make it.