Friday, November 28, 2014

Thanksgiving Leftovers


Braised-stewed turkey (Photo by Cynthia Nelson)

By Nicholas Stix

We had a very modest Thanksgiving feast: Grapes, fresh yams, powdered mashed potatoes, stew turkey wings, cucumber salad and pumpkin pie.

The local Waldbaum’s was all out of instant stuffing, and while yours truly talked of going to the neighborhood Korean store for it and some other items (brown sugar and tomatoes), I never got going.

Our oven quit on us just after Thanksgiving three years ago, I believe, but the stove still works, so I make lots of pot roasts, West Indian-style stews, and the world’s greatest beef soup.

(I use about 60 ounces of stock per app. 147-ounce soup pot. I make the stock by simmering kosher pork, beef, lamb, goat and ox tail bones for eight hours, after bringing it to a boil, and skimming the fat, after refrigerating it for a few hours. I throw in about 2.5 pounds of chopped potatoes, 2 lbs. of chopped carrots, 6-8 ounces of chopped onions, a full head of chopped garlic—2-3 ounces—and 2-2.5 pounds of chuck stew beef.)

I’ve been meaning to send out the family one day, and try to get the pilot light going again on that oven. There’s no point calling a repair man, because the expense would be so high that we might as well buy a new rig.

Last night, while The Boss slept, my chief of research and I saw True Grit, which has developed into a Stix family Thanksgiving tradition. I liked it when I first saw it in 1969 at Long Beach’s old Rivoli theater, which has long since burned down, but have since come to appreciate it as a Western masterpiece. My CoR and I know most of the dialogue by heart, but we were still finding nuggets of pure gold in Elmer Bernstein’s score that we’d previously overlooked.


And the casting! Not only were the principals all marvelous, but you had great character actors playing the smaller roles: Alfred Ryder as a defense attorney, Jeff Corey as the killer, Robert Duvall as the bandit leader, and Strother Martin, a contender for the title of king of the “I know the face (and voice), but not his name” character actors as a horse-trader. (That title probably belongs to Elisha Cook Jr., who did great work in The Maltese Falcon, Shane, and hundreds of other pictures, both famous and obscure.)


Rumor has it that the picture was remade a few years ago, but how would you go about doing that? Using a paper maché cutout of John Wayne to play Rooster Cogburn? Who could possibly fill John Wayne’s boots?

Afterwards, I planned on doing some more blogging, including posting the link below to James Fulford’s annual VDARE Thanksgiving contribution, but I’d gotten up too early, and thus conked out early.

“Thanksgiving and Your Father’s America” (VDARE).

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

"I make the stock by simmering kosher pork"