Giving Thanks

Turkey - Wild

From 1999-2003, I lived in Paris, France. Each year, I prepared Thanksgiving feasts at more than one venue for Americans living in a country where this holiday is not celebrated. As the fame of my endeavors grew, I almost killed myself trying to share a taste of home to the American outre mer.

In an effort to survive the annual ordeal, I published a hand crafted mini-cookbook of Thanksgiving recipes that I sold in my restaurant so others could recreate my dishes in their own homes. Today, while baking cornbread for my turkey dressing, I decided that excerpts from that little cookbook would be good material for a present day post. Here are few tidbits:

Every year, most Americans celebrate the holiday of Thanksgiving. But, how many of us truly appreciate what the holiday REALLY means or the history behind it? The story of the first Thanksgiving in America is a creative mixture of history and myth. 

Now that we are living in more enlightened times, it is important that the history of this celebration be clarified so that future generations will understand just how far we  have come.

“The Theme of Thanksgiving has truth and integrity far above and beyond what we and our forbears have made of it.” Indeed, we have MUCH to be thankful for, not the least of which is the honest effort by many Americans to overcome the prejudices and antipathies of the past. In the best Native American tradition, we should feel compelled to thank God for his bountiful gifts that have enabled the American nation as well as individual Americans to thrive.

In giving thanks, we should think about how we can share our prosperity so that people around the world who are less fortunate will have increased opportunities for food, health, and economic prosperity.

I am only offering one recipe from the collection today because I am busy making the dish I will take for a celebration with friends on Thursday. It is a recipe that never failed to get rave reviews. It dresses one large turkey or can be baked separately in a pan dotted with butter on top.

Cornbread - DressingCornbread & Smoked Oyster Turkey Dressing


8 cups cornbread (crumbled)
2x green bell peppers (chopped)
1x red bell pepper (chopped)
1 cup celery (chopped, with leaves)
1 onion (chopped)
2 cans smoked oysters (chopped fine)
4 tbs butter


2 tbs poultry seasoning or sage
2 tsp salt
2 tsp thyme
1 tsp pepper (crushed black)
2 cups bouillon (made from turkey giblets)


MIX all ingredients together  (mixture should be moist, not wet)
DOT inside of turkey with butter
STUFF mixture into turkey OR bake separately (dotted with butter) @ 325 for 40 minutes (until top is crispy)



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