Thursday, November 25, 2010

You say turkey. I say chompipe.

Mmhmmm. That's right. You heard me correctly. Chompipe ( And no, it isn't a dirty word, but it is one of my favorites in the Spanish language!

I don't think a Thanksgiving (or any turkey sighting for that matter) will pass ever again without me thinking about the
chompipe. It's quite an entertaining story actually. If you speak Spanish you know that the word pavo is Spanish for turkey. Well in Guatemala they use another word too - chompipe. But if you ask a Guatemalan if pavo and chompipe are interchangeable, most will be quick to tell you no. But trying to get them to explain what exactly is the difference is somewhat humorous. Some will tell you that chompipes live in the wild (like turkeys don't?), others will tell you that the chompipe is chewier than the pavo. Many will swear that they look different, but can't explain how. I think that Ben & I spent several hours back during our classes at ICA trying to get to the bottom of this one. And here's what we eventually learned. There really is no difference, but a proud Guatemalan will never admit it - especially to you!

This post was going to start out with me paying homage to all the things that I'm thankful for this holiday season. Don't get me wrong. I am thankful, but that's so expected - maybe we'll do that another day. Instead let me tell you another little story about how our very first North Carolina Thanksgiving went down.

'Twas the night before Turkey Day, and unlike those little mice, all the creatures of this house were stirring. We're not quite sure how she knew, but our 4-legged creature must have sensed that today was not just any other ordinary day. While her papi and I were sacked out on the couch hunting out some good online deals, our little turkey was doing a bit of hunting herself. Bird hunting that is.

Look what she caught......and killed.
Her oldest buddy. Gallo.

Just for kicks let's go back to the moment when Mia was introduced to Gallo, a gift from our friend Greg & his boy Sol.

Meeting Gallo from Krista on Vimeo.

OMG. Wasn't she so cute and little? Who would have ever guess that the chicken she was so irritated with would become her very best friend?

She must have wanted to contribute to our Thanksgiving dinner, so she stalked and killed poor old, smelly Gallo who had been put "away" for safe keeping. She was so sneaky about it and the next thing we knew, the bird was dead.

Okay so he not exactly a turkey, but close enough!
She must have been really hungry!

We've know she absolutely loves chicken ever since she got sick when she was a little pup.
She wasn't eating and had a bad tummy ache so Ben took her to the vet and he told him to feed her chicken and rice instead of her regular kibble to see if she would tolerate it better. I was working late when a text came through to my phone. Baby loves chicken. And from that day on, she has been wild about chicken. So wild in fact that I can hardly cook it without her little nose right up at counter height, sniffing it out.

I do think she did have a small moment of regret when she stopped picking at the stuffing and just layed down, but before long she was back at it again.
And that folks, is how Gallo kick the bucket. At least his death wasn't in vain. All in the name of Thanksgiving dinner.

Fast forward 12 or so hours to the real feast. Since we once again found ourselves celebrating alone, I decided to stray from the usual green bean & sweet potato casseroles (yes our family loves a good casserole - or hot dish, like they say in Minnesota), and try something a bit different. In steps Good Housekeeping. We'll it's a good thing that my mom dumped off all her old magazines on my doorstep when she last visited, because I found some recipes for a big feast that looked absolutely delicious. In addition to the 13 lb. all natural, never been frozen bird we splurged for, we had ourselves an array of sophisticated non-casserole dishes too. Let me share some of our menu (and reviews) with you.

  • Green Beans and Mixed Mushrooms: So very excellent. Quite possibly the best part of the meal! The perfect combo or green beans, tasty mushrooms & sweet caramelized onions.
  • Savory Pear Stuffing: A bit bland and boring (what stuffing isn't), but the pears did add a nice touch.
  • Celery Root Mash: A fancier, creamier version of mashed potatoes. We liked it & will most certainly make it again.
  • Citrus-Apricot Cranberry Sauce: We both loved it & Ben normally passes when it comes to cranberry sauce. A bit strong in the spice department, so we suggest cutting the star anise down from 2 to 1.
Take a look at the spread.
(Ok, so not exactly an Eddie Ross table setting, but we are in the midst of renovations and all seasonal decor is packed away.)

And our lonely little pub table for 2.

Of course, the bird hunter got in on the action too. And since her normal dehydrated dog food (Sojos) is comprised of turkey and veggies and really does smell like a Thanksgiving herb stuffing every morning when I dish it up, we figured why not eat the real deal for once?

She even got to dine alongside us in the dining room.
Although she clean her plate before we barely got started!

And as luck would have it while I was cooking (and Ben was assisting) our temperamental old garbage disposal began to act up and started leaking into the cabinets below. Great timing. Of all the days to not have a sink at my disposal. Even better timing when Ben decided to tear the drain apart.......

So here we are.

One half of the kitchen is clean.

The other half is a disaster.

And my husband is making a Walmart run to purchase the necessary supplies for repairing this uninvited holiday guest. Of course, it's like the one day a year that Home Depot is closed.

Happy Thanksgiving!
We hope your tummies and hearts are full as you celebrate with those who are special to you!

1 comment:

Benjamin Barnett said...

I had this same conversation with my students in Guatemala City this week - they swear the difference is that chompipe is what you eat and pavo is the animal.

But that begs the question, why do they say "jamon de pavo" and not "jamon de chompipe"? LOL

Hope things are well for you and yours - we are loving our king size bed from Roberto.