Thanksgiving is the closest most of us will come to being Iron Chef. Those last few minutes — when the turkey is out and starting to get cold and a last-minute blitz of reheating, reanimating and gravy-making takes place — are about as pressure-packed as the 55-minute mark in Kitchen Stadium.
So if you are hosting, like Hailey and I were yesterday, and you’re cooking…how do you even make time to set the food right for a yummy photograph?
Well, lesson learned. But while the 14-pound turkey was reaching perfection, me, Hales, and my mom and dad noshed on crackers, olives and apple slices and sipped some wine. I showed Mom and Dad my new 24mm lens, and they gave me one of the best portraits of the two of them. I love this…
These are our prized napkin rings. Never thought I’d be that domesticated, but yes, I love my napkin rings. You gotta problem with that??? We bought them in Quito, Ecuador last year. This one is nursing a baby. Now that’s realistic!
Things came out of the oven, and I tried to catch them while they were hot. Hailey’s garlic-and-corn mashed potatoes on the left, and the new recipe of the year — stuffing with apples and sausage — on the right.
The turkey came out of the oven and cooled under some foil. Just before carving, I snapped a few angles (without much time to fix the light or even adjust it) while my Dad patiently waited, sharpening the carving set. Turkeys look great for maybe two minutes once they’re out of the oven. After that, they start to look like a glistening carcass.
And here is the final result…I was on the verge of irritating our company with all the picture taking, so I snapped one shot (with too narrow a depth of field) and discreetly put the camera away for grace, a toast and the feasting.
Thanksgiving is the pinnacle of American cuisine. Anyone from the outside looking into this country may be temped to think our cuisine revolves around hamburgers, hot dogs, steak, French fries and a gamut of imported and co-opted dishes like pizza, spaghetti and burritos. But take another look on this holiday. This is the real zenith of our kitchen priorities: a long-roasted bird, harvest fruits and veggies concocted in all sorts of ways, stuffing, and the essence of rosemary and sage everywhere. It’s the best.
I often feel more patriotic on Thanksgiving than I do on the Fourth of July. It’s my favorite holiday, probably because it forces reflection on what matters most. Any place where they take a day to stop and do that is a place worth living. Hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving. I know I did.
And in case you haven’t yet, be sure to vote for my travel photo of the year in the blog post below or by clicking here.