We spent a wonderful expat Saturday Thanksgiving with friends in London. I managed to find fragrant, delicious squash ideally suited for pumpkin pie (Crown Prince variety, for the intrepid squash pie experimenters among you), our host concocted remarkable gin cocktails (garnished with fresh cranberries, of course) with a cranberry syrup reduction made from our cranberry sauce, and we were able to introduce several non-Americans to the sticky-sweet candy joys of genuine pecan pie.
But best of all, we decided to smoke the turkey out on the grill rather than roast it in the oven. This was purely pragmatic – the oven was too small and the Weber was big enough. This wasn’t best of all simply because the turkey turned out very well, but mainly because someone called the London fire brigade, who showed up due to copious amounts of smoke originating in the vicinity of a house that was under renovation. So we had several concerned firemen shouting over a second-story terrace fence down into our small garden, home of the smoke-house bird.
It was only when our hosts opened the grill to reveal a massive, brown, succulent bird that the faces of the firemen relaxed into smiles. We invited them for dinner but I’m not sure they were impressed by our cooking methods. They wished us a Happy Thanksgiving and left. Thank you for checking in on us, guys, and for letting us finish smoking the bird!