It’s easy not to miss it when it’s not there. But now that I’m writing about it, I do miss it. The French don’t really understand what all the fuss is about. But the Americans, well, we love it. All around. Not a single American I know has said they’re skipping out on the festivities. Not a single one has said they don’t mind doing something else. Because what we know, is that it’s really the best holiday ever. It’s a day devoted entirely to being with family and friends, eating good food and giving thanks for what we have. It’s called gratitude and it’s a wonderful thing.
I won’t be in California this Thanksgiving, but neither will my family. My parents, brothers and a good family friend jetted off this morning for Vietnam and Thailand, where they’ll be traveling for the next 3 weeks or so. I’ll be off to Paris again to celebrate “A Very French Thanksgiving” with a bunch of Americans and a Frenchman.
In the meantime, this little gem is “from the archives,” if you will. I made these cupcakes last year to rave reviews. They’re adorable and time consuming and I love them. I don’t have a step-by-step tutorial for these, but the cupcake is from the Peanut Butter and Chocolate cake, the frosting is Ina Garten’s Chocolate Buttercream and is piped in a modified shell pattern with a small(ish) round tip. The tail feathers are toasted almond slices. The chocolate face is the secret ingredient: on a sheet of wax paper, microwave a melting chocolate disk until soft enough to slide down the wax paper. Once you’ve achieved the shape you want, hold it, slightly curved until the chocolate is hardened (or set it in the freeze propped up in a curved position until set) then pipe the eyes, nose and mouth with a small round tip. I got the idea from a friend of my brother, who made something similar.