Thanksgiving is a strictly American holiday.
Which means that there is no celebration in France. Yes, there are many expats that still have Thanksgiving dinner, but going the whole nine yards is a challenge. No football, no pumpkin puree (good thing we never had pumpkin pie growing up anyways), and no cranberries.
The only cranberries to be found anywhere are dried ones at the market, where there are lots of signs explaining what cranberries are and what possible health benefits they might have.
Apparently cranberries are a newfangled item here.
They may not sell fresh cranberries at the market, but they do sell some other goodies that more than make up for the lack of cranberries, including one of my new favorite foods.
I’m very thankful to have found it.
Generally prepared food of any sort is a very scary minefield for anyone with dietary restrictions, but this case happens to be mine-free.
‘Chou’ is the French word for cabbage. It’s sauerkraut made with wine of some sort and served with pork charcuterie, ranging from sausages to pork belly, and various renditions of ham.
The choucroute made by the jolly woman at the market comes in two varieties: Riesling and champagne. They’re both wonderful, but the Riesling is particularly tasty. Also, as a note; this is one of those things that looks very unattractive in photos but tastes fabulous.
Who needs turkey? Even if the bones do make a super tasty, easy broth.
This is all you need to make your turkey carcass into broth:
1 turkey carcass (or 8 turkey leg bones: 4 thigh bones and 4 leg bones)
2 celery stalks
2 large carrots
10 Brussels Sprouts
1 medium yellow onion
4 garlic cloves
Handful of fresh parsley
2 tsp salt
Water – lots of it
The beautiful thing about broth is that it’s extremely forgiving, hard to mess up, and it extremely healthy. When I made this broth the first time I put it in jars and stuck it in the fridge. Then I went back the next day, expecting broth and found jelly instead. Jelly? Jelly! Panic ensued of course, but Google saved the day. Apparently having broth that gels in the fridge means that you did it right! The jelly-ness comes from the collagen that is great for your hair and skin that comes from the bones.
All you have to do is put everything in the pot, fill with water, and let it simmer for as long as you can stand – mine went for 6 hours but you could technically let it go for days…
Broth is the perfect antidote to chilly winter weather and holiday treats too.