When we moved to NYC, we started not spending Thanksgiving with our families. I think originally it was solely a money thing: we had no money and plane tickets (or car rentals (or horse buggies)) cost money. So, there. We don't spend time with family during USA Turkey Day.
First Turk. Key. The first USA Turkey Day we spent in NYC was with my roommate Mike, happyrobot's Kristen, and non-happyrobot Mark. No one knew how to cook a turkey and there was no furniture in Mark & Kristen's apartment. We ended up eating turkey on the living room floor. And drank a bottle of Bushmills.
I think it was a good time.
Famous Author Turk. Key.
In later years, we had turkey with John Ball and his famous author wife. His famous author wife makes some kick-ass turkey day eats. No, really. Homemade/from scratch everything.
One year JB and I ate so much that we both ended up in the bedroom in a food coma. I think JB was on the floor while I was crashed on his bed. Their cat was sitting on me... possibly making sure I was still breathing and/or sizing me up for a meal if I passed away.
Then, LA. Two years ago we ventured out to LA for USA Turkey Day. When you leave crappy and cold NYC and land at the Burbank airport - where it is sunny and warm... well, it's hard to argue with that.
My college-era roommate Kristy is a fine cook. In college, where she was my roommate (i.e. my college era), she fed whole bunches of people on a regular basis. That was her thing. I mean, she is a great cook. But I always thought her speciality was feeding large numbers of people with great ease. We'd have 6 or 8 people over and she would just casually (or so it seemed) whip up some sort of huge meal in a blink of an eye.
She married a lovely fellow and lives in a lovely home in LA that has a lovely yard with lovely fruit trees in it. She also has a lovely collection of wine as she works in the biz. Did I mention it's all very lovely?
Hola LA We flew in the Wednesday before USA Turkey Day. LA had just had "torrential rain", but luckily it had stopped by the time we landed (especially since Burbank's baggage claim is basically outside). We spent the night with our pal Mark and his lady companion in Santa Monica. He made us pizza. He makes dough now. It's his thing.
(we also went to the new Whole Foods in Venice... holy cow)
The next day, USA Turkey Day (2008! (wooo!)) we sped over to Silver Lake for turkey at Kristys. Dinner started a bit late, so we had to keep ourselves occupied with deviled eggs, pickles, and wine. Oh, and champagne.
The highlight of the official dinner was the stuffing with spicy sausage in. Crap. I could eat a truckload of that. Oh, and the actual turkey. I forget what they baisted the turkey in but it was spicy and the skin was almost crispy and darkened... peking duck style.
(I wanted to cover the turkey in Magic Shell, but no one seemed very enthusiastic about that (imagine the cracking sound when you try to cut into it))
We gorged. Great meal. Great time. Great friends. Great thanks.
Oh, and we had nice things to drink.
Bloody Friday The Friday after USA Turkey Day is known as "Bloody Friday". It's the day where you drink bloody marys all day, eat leftovers, and watch James Bond movies. So, that is what we did. And sat in the hot tub. And ate. And drank. And napped. And drank. And ate. And drank. And ate.
Roger Moore's James Bond? Whatta douche. Moonraker? Possibly the worst Bond movie ever.
We went to the ArcLight theater in LA to see the new Bond movie. The movie was good. I thought.
The theater was awesome. Probably the best theater I have been to.
Assigned/reserved seating. Huge space. Tall ceilings. Crikey.
Eating in LA post-USA Turkey Day
Oh, Peking Duck.
I wanted peking duck so we went out to the place (Lu Din Gee in San Gabriel) that many internet folks declared as the best peking duck in LA. It was very good. The best? Could be.
The duck was all tasty and stuff, but the highlight was the 1992 Auslese Riesling. 1992. Auslese (late-ish harvest).
Beautiful. And it went well with the duck.
We also had tacos.
Oh, and sushi. We went to this sushi restaurant (Sushi Spot) that was somewhere in the valley in this little shopping mall. Good golly it was incredible. We had tuna belly that was breathtakingly good. All melty.
Scallop sashimi. Oh my.
Trout. Eel. Did I mention the tuna belly? Damn.