It is Thanksgiving today and we are all sharing a small sense of panic. Nothing major, since everybody was working very late last night to get every possible bit of preparation done (Ged and his team in Kensington have the most orders; he was drowning in gravy when I saw him at 8pm yesterday). But still, we have to roast all those turkeys and get the stuffings ready in the plastic bubbles, all nicely labelled for our beloved Americans customers to come and pick up. And Americans, we know very well now, unlike their fellow Brits, will not keep quiet if something goes wrong with their orders, be it a tired herb to garnish their chowder or a substantial crack in their pumpkin pie. So Maria and Karl, devoted managers of Ledbury Road and Holland street, are like diligent proof-readers, going a million times over the most microscopic of details. We must get it right. I am feeling confident about the menu this year. We made it simpler than in previous years after realizing that Thanksgiving and Christmas are no times for originality. That’s how it is and we better get used to it, even if every year, around September, all of us (Sami, Helen, Sarit and me) get together to re-invent the wheel. With our over-enthusiastic chefiness, we don’t grasp a most trivial truth: that tradition is tradition, that people get together for Holiday meals not to be surprised and astounded but for exactly the opposite reason, to be soothed and reminded of past experiences, for a bit of childhood comfort. So I am eagerly waiting to see how our pumpkin pie, made with maple syrup and as orthodoxly as possible, will fare with our know-what-they-want Americans.
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