BtB (Back to Basics) in AirBnB.

Being an international  / non-resident alien (USCIS definition) / resident alien (IRS definition), I’ve always found Thanksgiving to be a wonderful celebration. I think it has something to do with the fact that it celebrates two of my favorite things in life – family and food. Given that my family is a 24 hour flight away, I usually spend Thanksgiving with friends / eating other people’s turkey. However this year, my family decided to jet all the way from across the world from multiple locations to celebrate Thanksgiving with meand take advantage of being close to 5th Avenue during Black Friday.

Of course, it would have been really convenient if they had chosen to actually be in Boston (which is where I live / keep my cooking supplies) during Thanksgiving itself. However, because 5th Avenue > Newbury Street (sorry Boston folks – you know my heart belongs to the big apple), we decided to improvise and make do with whatever utensils our AirBnb could provide us with. Of course, I considered packing a roasting tray, a couple containers of herbs and spices, (my brother actually brought his chef’s knife from Portland, OR), but eventually decided against it. I decided to use simple cooking techniques and seasoning in order to make the ingredients shine.

Basically, I had limited myself to salt, pepper, olive oil, and some paprika (there has to be heat somewhere). First, came the duck. Salt, pepper, olive oil and paprika, and rub it all around the duck. Below is a video of the duck post-marination, being carefully placed on the tray (I eventually had to swap it out for the glass container after the duck fat dripped out of the tray, started to smoke, and triggered the fire alarm in our AirBnb. This went on to happen another 10 times or so).

Besides the duck, there were of course sides. Some vegetables are easier to make than others. When you are limited to only the four ingredients above, I’d recommend asparagus and butternut squash to provide some added color (I wanted Brussels sprouts, but was veto-ed by my family).

Of course, we also had to prepare the stuffing, which had some bread, sausage, carrot, celery, chicken stock. Thank goodness the oven was big enough to hold 4 different items in it at the same time.

Finally, the dessert from Magnolia Bakery (even though I bought this, I still had to bake this in the oven so I think it counts).0aded86b-0776-4bdd-b08c-69de125b498f

Overall, given the limited amount of ingredients / utensils, I’d say we had a very delicious and bountiful Thanksgiving. Another meal well done!

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