Decked out in a Mang Tikka, I felt like Thanksgiving this year was a cultural explosion of friends, food, and flavor. One week in the kitchen, 20 (and a half!) lovely guests, a new dress and a smell wafting from my apartment that must have made my neighbors think that the Polish girl moved out......all adds up to one specatular dinner.
My "Thanksgiving with Friends" party has grown; but turkey innovators around the world have stuck to the same basic recipe for, oh, about 500 years now. I thought it was time start really giving thanks to what makes our country so great: DIVERSITY.
From now on, Thanksgiving With Friends shall celebrate a different cuisine, a different day of thanks from another culture. We explored India this year and their equivalent of a harvest festival called Pongal. Pongal marks the end of the monsoons and is equated with new beginnings and bountiful tables. Cows are bathed, people are bathed, everyone wears colorful clothing, eats heartily and wishes their neighbors well.
At our celebration we all:
took baths (check)
- Wore bright clothes (check)
Ate heartily (check)
Bathed our cows (did you bathe YOUR cow?)
I had help! Several people made dishes (thank you Meredith, Stacey, Joy and Shari), cleaned dishes (Huldah and Stacey rocked this) and chopped/washed/cleaned/set up/went to store for/carried/fried/coated/cooked whatever I asked them too (Eric).
The Menu, which included a unique Indian god or goddess name for each guest:
Powerful goddess of the mountain; unconquerable; rides a lion
Coconut Poached Shrimp
Roasted chile eggplant
Coconut Saffron Ice Cream