Thanksgiving is just around the corner, I haven't missed one in eighteen years, I enjoy this special time of the year when we celebrate the gift of food, warmth and good company. This year, as with most years, we are going to be celebrating with good friends, we will have a spectacular view of the ocean and our hosts will serve up a veritable feast, and then we will sing and dance. One year I decided I would treat everyone to a performance of Pokarekare Ana, unfortunately I only know the music, and not the words, so I did a terrible thing and made up Maori, nobody was any the wiser and I got a standing ovation, meanwhile the NZ'er just stared at me in horror.
Everyone brings a dish, haven't decided on mine yet, I am thinking maybe an apple and cauliflower puree (Dish magazine NZ) or a mushroom stew, I made the stew last year when we had TG at our house and everyone seemed to like it, that was the year I also served up Chinese dumplings as an appetizer, they weren't so popular, but I did make a spicy cranberry (hand picked) sauce to go with them, I thought it was a creative use of the ubiquitous cranberry sauce, come to think of it I still have some in the freezer, hmmm a little bit of chilli and a pinch of five spice powder.
I am going to attempt to go cranberry picking tomorrow in the dunes, it may be a futile hunt, it's getting kind of late in the season, the pesky deer have probably scoffed bog loads, and I heard that someone is doing tours of the walking dunes and showing people where to pick cranberries! Our secret places revealed! Ooh, now I am starting to sound like a Montauk surfer.
There's nothing quite like a day out groveling on your knees in the bogs, returning home with a bulging red bag of berries. My dear friend Hilary Ostlere took me on my first cranberry picking expedition about three years ago, she knew the spots, and she made a great cranberry pie, it was an old New England recipe, I must it dig it out again. Hilary was a Brit too and had lived here since 1961, she embraced every season out here at the very end of Long Island, and she would walk the beach at Ditch in all kinds of weather, I can see her now, sun behind her down by the cliffs; a confident dancers' stride and always a swing in her step.......we will go to Ditch on Thanksgiving day, a brisk walk is always good before the feast, and we'll remember the good friends that are no longer with us.....some of them brought so much to the party.
A fishing trip normally takes place on Thanksgiving day if weather allows, it can be chilly out there but once you start hooking up a bunch of herring on the sabiki rig things start to get exciting and with any luck there's a Striper for dinner, ahhhhh glorious Montauk, wouldn't want to be anywhere else.