Upgrading Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is a wonderful holiday because it has everything to do with eating, drinking and chatting and nothing to do with gift-giving.

The only hitch is the choice of food itself as turkey is the least interesting type of poultry to eat. In fact, turkey should solely be used as a vessel for roasting the stuffing in as stuffing is actually the most important part of the Thanksgiving meal. Everything else — mashed potatoes, over-sugar-ized sweet potatoes, over-cooked green beans and pumpkin pie — can be replaced.

In honor of this week’s holiday, I propose the following updated and absolutely perfect Thanksgiving menu:


Beijing roast duck
Allow for a whole duck’s worth of crispy skin per person

Sichuan dry-fried green beans
Spicy, delicious, addictive

Traditional American stuffing
Cooked in a turkey, a turkey which should then be given away

Char siu bao
Steamed buns filled with barbecued pork


Macanese egg tarts and more Beijing roast duck


Despite my menu fantasy, I will celebrate this Thanksgiving happily eating a traditional turkey dinner (in nontraditional Zhuhai, China) with long-time expat friends. (This upgraded menu will be kept in reserve for Christmas, because one turkey per year is really enough.)

Photo credit: Beijing roast duck at Sha Tin 18 here.

22 responses to “Upgrading Thanksgiving

  1. Drooling at the thought……. Tho an American I met in my class here suggested we should be deep fat frying our turkeys, haven’t heard of that one before?

    • So if you do a turkey dinner on Thursday, will you also do a turkey dinner on Christmas? Perhaps deep fry one bird and oven roast the other? Happy Thanksgiving whatever you decide to eat!

      • Thanks! But I am a vegetarian and will be eating all the sides instead and consuming as much cheese as possible. Trust me-this is a GOOD thing. But as for my meat-eating British husband-think I might do a turkey pie. Watch this space….Happy thanksgiving to you as well!

  2. I totally agree on the stuffing. I dream of a good traditional roast, but always end up getting my proverbial knickers in a twist for the festive season, trying to cook up French seafood cuisine for the Out-laws (aka PF’s family), and generally failing miserably. Happily, they’re generally out of their trees on the apéritif by then so they don’t notice how bad it is. This year I’ll get on a plane to your place and eat duck instead. Yum.

    • Is French seafood a holiday thing? Hadn’t realized, but sounds like it has really potential as good holiday feast food (especially with stiff drinks). Good luck cooking!

      • The French Festive meal has many different courses in small (ish) portions, and most families gun for products you don’t usually eat because they are expensive. My mother-in-law did three starters, a main, cheese and a dessert.Seafood and fish are often on the menu, or game in wine sauce. Raw oysters are a real tradition here at Christmas, the mere sight of them makes me want to heave… 🙂

      • Don’t be sorry, you can have mine. 😀 It’s generally oysters as a starter, then smoked salmon, then foie gras, then the main (I did lobsters with mango two years ago, call me Nigella) then cheese, then desert, then you get a night’s sleep before you start agin the following day.

  3. I actually enjoy turkey, but I love duck, so I could get behind that updated menu! We often did duck for Christmas, instead of turkey, perhaps as part of my Scottish mother’s influence. We won’t be celebrating tomorrow, but I might try to do a mini Thanksgiving this weekend if I can get around to making cornbread for the dressing.

    • Cornbread dressing sounds really yummy! Perhaps a whole meal can/should be planned around different types of dressing/stuffing? That sounds wonderful, doesn’t it?

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