Monday, November 30, 2009

A tradition is reborn.

Just like your family (I'm making what I think is a safe assumption here), mine has certain inviolable Thanksgiving traditions. One of these is serving creamed onions with the meal. For the last 29 years, I've been a reluctant consumer of that dish. Definitively Waspy both in frugality (it consists of little more than onions, flour and milk) and flavor (as in, not a lot of it), it's a staple for most New Englanders, and my mom has served it every year in living memory. As did her mother before her.

This year, I stumbled across a recipe in Saveur's November issue that gave me hope for creamed onions. Saveur chronicled several American Thanksgiving feasts, one of which was cooked by Anna North Coit, a 101 year-old woman from Stonington, Connecticut. Anna (a fellow Yankee - even better for authenticity's sake, a fellow Connecticut native) spikes her creamed onions with curry powder and Tobasco. Surely, I thought, this will make the onions at least a bit more edible, and curry goes so well with turkey.

Luckily, I was right. My mom was out of Tobasco and I had to substitute cayenne, and her Florida grocery store only had jarred pearl onions, but none of that really mattered. This year, the creamed onions were not only edible, but tasty. And instead of being yet another white or brown element of the traditional Thanksgiving plate, they were a gorgeous yellow.

I hereby declare a tradition.

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