[Sca-cooks] Okay, anybody doing anything unusual for Thanksgiving?

Phil Troy / G. Tacitus Adamantius adamantius1 at verizon.net
Tue Nov 25 11:17:04 PST 2008

Hullo, the list!

This may qualify as unusual only in terms of the occasion. I'm finding  
myself pre-cooking a whole brisket of beef for Thanksgiving, and was  
wondering if anyone else is doing anything special/unusual or  
downright bizarre for the upcoming food-focused festival.

The deal is, my hostess, who is a fine cook but no longer as young and  
spry as she once was (who is?), had blithely announced to me her  
intention of roasting both a Kosher turkey and a piece of beef --  
apparently our host is not a big turkey fan; I'm with him on this; I  
can take it or leave it, as a rule, and only find myself actually  
wanting turkey maybe once every couple of years.

I mentioned to my hostess that I had a whole, fourteen-pound brisket  
in my freezer, which I had bought with the express intention of  
inflicting it on her, since she had mentioned that real brisket, even  
non-Kosher brisket, had been hard to find in New York, and especially  
in her neighborhood, for the past couple of years. I gather there was  
a huge fire in one of the biggest Kosher meat processing plants in the  
country back in 2005 or so, and the whole industry and market are  
still suffering readjustments. I volunteered to bring this brisket,  
cooked, sliced and sauced, ready to be served, provided she abandon  
the roast beef idea, since I didn't want her taking on the extra work.  
I threatened to keep attempting to inflict the brisket on her for  
Hanukkah if she gave me any guff.

The turkey, interestingly enough, is Kosher not because a non-Kosher  
turkey would be a deal-breaker for her (these people are distinctly  
Reform, generally speaking), but rather because they've got some  
guests coming who normally observe Halal food regulations, and this is  
as close to a Halal turkey as she could find. I know that whenever I  
see a meat market advertising itself as Halal, the meat inside always  
seems to be goat. I'm sure there's more that I don't see, but what the  

Well, anyway, in order to offend the sensibilities of both the Jewish  
people and the State of Texas (unrepentant Yankee Gentile that I am)  
to an exactly equal extent, and thereby showing no favoritism but much  
appreciation, I have borrowed techniques as best I could from both  
traditions, doing first a dry rub, then slow-roasting for about six  
hours, applying coats of a sweet-and-sour, vaguely-Carolina-mustard- 
barbecue-inspired, sauce, during roasting. The meat will rest and  
chill, any large, easily-accessible fat deposits will be removed, the  
meat sliced and placed in a baking dish with the rest of the barbecue  
sauce and the defatted, reduced pan juices, ready to be reheated on  

This should leave tomorrow open to deal with... well, whatever else  
crops up. At least my annual pre-holiday-weekend dental emergency  
occurred last night...


"Most men worry about their own bellies, and other people's souls,  
when we all ought to worry about our own souls, and other people's  
			-- Rabbi Israel Salanter

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