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Non-Vegetarian Food:Indians in the USA at Thanksgiving
2002-11-27
Name: Kevin Tighe Hello and Happy Thanksgiving!
i know i am posting this the day before thanksgiving. i should have done this earlier. Thanksgiving is the most incredible american dinner/feast/gathering going. this is a time when you should ASK americans you know if you can attend their thanksgiving dinner with them. this meal is best served at home, not in restaurants. it is a wonderful meal and an incredible time of bonding. last year i had an indian family at my thanksgiving dinner, and it was special for both them and for me. (also, for vegetarians, please know that there are many vegetarians in the usa, tho many are complete vegans (no dairy, eggs, etc. they have vegan feasts, and the food is wonderful) for carnivores, usually thanksgiving dinners have no beef or beef products included in the meal. sometimes there will be pork in the form of ham. most americans are used to family members/friends not eating certain products due to allergies/personal preferences/religious restrictions/etc. do not be shy about asking about ingredients.
if attending a dinner, it is usually customary to bring a dish or two to the meal. this could be a dessert or a vegetable side dish.
there are many things that are traditional for this meal... turkey, stuffing (my friend jagdish had never had this before and now he wants it all the time!!!!!), cranberries in many forms, mashed potatoes, turkey gravy, green beans, corn, squash (a type of vegetable native to the usa), yams, pumpkin or sweet potato pie, ambrosia (name means food of the gods), breads, etc.

to be in the usa during this time and missing an american thanksgiving dinner would be similar to going to india and not going to the taj mahal because you've already seen a picture of it. it is a wonderful 4 or 5 hour experience of laughing, talking, eating, meeting, relaxing, cooking, tasting, etc. if you can, go, and enjoy.

kevin tighe
los angeles
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2002-12-14
#1
Name: cynthia
Subject:  good info
hi kevin
it was nice to receive thanksgiving info from ur end. I had no idea abt this. maybe next yr i will make sure to attend some thanksgiving dinner. from ur mail i'm guessing u r not from india, where r u from? i am from india, i'm a roman catholic. i am here in the US with my husband since 2 years. what abt u? guess u have a lot of indian friends.. hey kevin, if u get time, do send me some good recipes u know like mashed potatoes, yams, pumpkin, etc. but not anything sweet as i dont like sweets like pie, etc. just some dinner/snack items. i cook indian food all the time, so would love to try something diff. And yes, remembered one more thing. As christmas is coming near, i would like to get some wine from stores. Can u please suggest names of some good wines which i can get from stores like albertson, publix, etc. I want something which would be sweet and should be a grape wine (red or white). I had once tasted a wine at my friends but didnt like it as it was not sweet, was bitter like beer. I dont like the taste of beer. So a wine which would be sweet to taste and should be only grape wine. Hope u dont mind my asking a lot of favours.
Bye for now. Thx.
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2002-12-27
#2
Name: Kevin
Subject:  Mashed Potatoes
Cynthia,

I put the recipe/directions for mashed potatoes on the American Cuisine Recipe section. i may have forgotten to mention Rosemary Mashed potatoes in it, too. the addition of fresh rosemary goes very well with them.

Kevin
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2002-12-17
#3
Name: Kevin
Subject:  Thanksgiving and Christmas
Hello Cynthia, thank you for your letter.

no, i am not from india, but do have many friends from there. (and have had for many years, too) i lived many years overseas, so i have always related well to those living here from somewhere else. i know o too well about surprise holidays, what to eat or not eat, etc. my friend vrinda gave me this site after she gave me a box of kasuri methi leaves and i did not know what to do with them.

ahhh, mashed potatoes... i will write down how i do these and post it under the American Cuisine section soon. That is well worth putting there. If they are done right, they can be wonderful. Lately mashed potatoes have been mixed with garlic or with lobster to make a more exotic mashed potato dish. i will try to address this, too. especially before christmas.

now, wine. ahhh, i wish it were as easy as mashed potatoes. this can be a complete matter of taste, as what one person likes another will not. i prefer a red wine over white. and cabernet sauvignon is my preference with red. but, this might be too dry (not sweet) or heavy for you. are there any wineries near you? this is one great way to see which wines you like and don't like, as you can sample tastings of several different types. (and usually for free to just a few dollars). another way would be to have a wine tasting party and have people bring a bottle to share. this can be nice and help defray the cost of sampling lots of wines before you find one you really like. now, sweeter wines ...only from grapes... well , marsala is one. it's italian and a dessert wine. also used to cook chicken with. so are some of the german white wines like spatlese or auslese. (from the mosel region) these are picked after the first frost and have a higher sugar content. now, sherry, port, and madeira are considered dessert wines and have varying degrees of sugar content. there is a wine that escapes me right now, too...white, on the sweet side, very nice. ahh, a muscat. that might be the type that you would like. has a wonderful flavor and is not dry.

then there is one other way... in english it is called mulled wine. in german, gluhwein. this is heated wine with sugar and spices added. it is perfect in the winter time. it has about the same spices as for making chai....cinnamon, ginger, cloves, nutmeg, allspice, etc. but, you do NOT boil the wine, as that changes the flavor. this is also a good way to get rid of a wine that is too dry for your tastes. i think it would complement indian food nicely too, in a meal.

o cynthia, good luck with this!! finding that wine which is perfect for your taste is a wonderful journey. and, as any (or every) winery will tell you, it is YOUR taste that really counts in picking a wine that you like.

o, also, there are liquor stores that specialize in wines, too. now, usually they will not do samplings there, BUT.... any good owner of the store should be able to assist you in picking a wine to match your tastes. sometimes the workers at the store will be knowledgeable, too.

o, and another one... sweet vermouth. this is a fortified wine...has a higher alcoholic content, and has spices in it. it is a red wine. there have been many times when i have had a glass of that with an italian meal. and, it is not expensive at all. some brands are martini-rossi, gallo, and ponti.

and no, i don't mind the questions. i am glad that i can assist.

:-)
Kevin
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2002-12-04
#4
Name: Friend
Subject:  Thanksgiving
Hi Kevin,

Thanks for this piece of information, i dont live in US but in Europe but it was nice reading about Thanksgiving and i think its only celebrated in a big way in the US.

Keep writing.
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2002-12-17
#5
Name: Kevin
Subject:  Thanksgiving
Yes, you are right, it is just in the USA (and Canada in October). I forgot to say why we invite people to this feast, too. It started in 1621 when the English who had moved to Massachussetts the year before held a feast (i think for 3 days) and shared it with the Indians (Native American Indians) that had helped them survive through the winter and taught them how to farm, eat, not eat, etc, in this land that was new to them. Of all american holidays, this is THE one where people go out of their way to invite friends, family, strangers, people left alone, etc, to their homes to share and be thankful for a hopefully bountiful year. (i have been at home with a broken leg for 2 months, and when some friends found out that i had no plans as i had no way to get anywhere, they quickly came and got me to share their thanksgiving meal this year. this is very typical, and very appreciated by me, too)

i used to live in europe, and still know many americans that live there. thanksgiving is one holiday that they greatly miss. one friend made his wife and 2 kids a thanksgiving dinner this year on saturday so they could experience it. if you know any american where you live in europe, you might suggest to them that you would enjoy experiencing a thanksgiving. i would imagine that they would jump at the chance to put one on. ( i almost immigrated to brasil on many occasions, and thought a thanksgiving restaurant would go over very well there. all the food is of the type they like to eat, also the amounts are right, too...lots of food)

take care,
kevin

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