Saturday, November 28, 2009

A post-Thanksgiving tradition: save the carcass!

Many people over the years have asked me what my family eats on Thanksgiving.  Okay, I know we’re Chinese and all, but we’re not aliens.  We eat turkey, just like everyone else! 

We have all the traditional American side dishes and desserts as well, even though my mom likes to remind us:  “Chinese people don’t like pumpkin pie.”  But that’s okay.  Caucasian people don’t like steamed chicken's feet, so let’s just say we’re even. 

One Chinese tradition that mom has blended with our American Thanksgiving traditions is a delicious soup she makes with the leftover roasted turkey carcass.  (I admit, the word “carcass” is not a good visual, but trust me, this is a good one.)  The Chinese

name for this soup is “xi-fan” (pronounced “she fan”).  It’s simply a flavorful, porridge-like soup that has a rich, turkey broth as its base.  It may not be a pretty dish (it looks like oatmeal, with meat), but it is really tasty

When we were kids, many family friends and relatives would come to our house over the Thanksgiving weekend for mahjong or poker games that lasted late into the night.  Mom’s ginormous pot of xi-fan was a midnight snack that everyone looked forward to.  One of our childhood friends, Hubert, was known for polishing off 6 bowls in one sitting.  Mind you, he was 12 years old at the time.  And quite svelte, despite his appetite.  Today, my kids love it just as much.  My 11 year old ate 4 bowls the other night.  I think you'll love it, too.  And you'll love how easy it is.  Just save that carcass.  Even if you didn't host Thanksgiving dinner, ask your host if you can take that carcass off his or her hands.  I asked my sister for hers the other night.  And she gladly handed it to me in a double, albeit clean, Hefty Cinch Sak.  You know what they say  -- one person's trash is another person's treasure...

No comments:

Post a Comment