Hooray! It’s fall, at long last! It’s been unseasonably and uncomfortably warm around these parts but last night the fever finally broke and gave way to a gloriously crisp, gusty evening. I love fall. It makes me think of spiced apple cider, fresh baked cookies, and Charlie Brown. But I love it most of all because in just a few short weeks I can start playing Christmas carols and nothing puts me in a better mood than carols – but more on that later.

Speaking of holidays, Thanksgiving is fast approaching, and even though I am not American, it’s been a part of my calendar for years now. As such, preparing the menu for said evening is a portentous event in and of itself. Everyone’s appetite needs to be satiated, everyone’s palate engaged, and of course, all of the staple Turkey Day items represented at the table. In recent years we’ve been moving away from The Bird, though, because let’s face facts: even when properly cooked, turkey is nothing but a Brobdingnagian chicken that serves as nothing but a bed for gravy. Pilgrims, fresh off the Mayflower in 1621, were, I believe, responsible for the McDonald’s super-size me mentality. In short, why do we need Big Bird when there are a variety of daintier, more flavorful versions of poultry that would serve just as well? I am proposing little Cornish hens this year – I shall report back on how the suggestion is greeted.

Also, in deciding to push turkey aside, we’ve been able to welcome large roasts of beef and lamb to the Thanksgiving table, and both have been wildly successful. Big celebratory banquets are the only times you can indulge in these bigger cuts because they are expensive and yield too much for two or three people to eat. I’d like to revisit rib roast this November – succulent, rich, meaty. Need I say more?

Please check in during the coming weeks – I’ll be doing a few Thanksgiving item trial runs.