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Thanksgiving 2007

11/22/07 | by JAdP | Categories: Food and Drink

Even though I've come down with the flu [while I love working at my current customer, and I'm thankful for all the great people with whom I'm working, a flu has vectored through the place like a wildfire] we managed to make our reservation at the Sardine Factory in Monterey, continuing a tradition of many years.

The menu was much the same: abalone bisque or acorn squash soup, arugala & pear salad with blue cheese or autumn greens fancifully presented, Diestel Turkey with stuffing and gravy, a white & sweet potato tort, green beans and baby carrots, and whole cranberry-orange relish, with a choice of pumpkin bread pudding or pumpkin pie or chocolate pecan tart for desert.

The abalone bisque was a bit disappointing this year. Normally it is a light brown in colour, and redolent of abalone and sherry. This year it was white, thick like a bad chowder and the predominant flavour was of raw flour. Methinks the cook didst slip with the thickening.

The ride down was great. The traffic was light and sky was bright, blue and beautiful along CA Route 1. The Pacific was swollen and foamy, and surfers were everywhere. The ride home was equally great. Again light on traffic and timed for the sunset.

If I do cook this weekend, as I often wind up doing, I'll follow my traditional recipes as described last year. With one exception… I want to recreate the Colonial Virginia Peanut and Chestnut soup that I had when Mike and Chris brought us to Mt. Vernon for the Campus Technology 2007 visit & presentation. I've done research, but haven't been able to find the recipe online, only a forum of frustrated folk who also can't find it, not even in the Mt. Vernon cookbook.

Here's what I'm planning. Parboil raw peanuts in the shell for about 10 minutes, then roast them for another 10 in a medium oven. Cut an X in the shells of raw chestnuts and roast in the medium oven for about 20 minutes. Allow the peanuts to cool, and then put the chestnuts in a brown paper bag, just until they're cool enough to handle, and then shell them. Cook a rich vegetable stock that includes the normal onion, parsnip, carrot, celery, bouquet garni and garlic, but also has a diced turnip in it. When the stock has been simmering on the bricks for most of the day, add the peanuts, still in the shell, as well as the shelled and skinned chestnuts into the stock. After about 10 minutes, remove the peanuts and allow to cool, and then shell. Using a stick blender or a food mill, purée the stock, leaving all the vegetables and chestnuts. If too thick, add more stock or hot water to thin. Shave a raw turnip with a mandolin or slice it thinly with your favorite, sharpest knife, and add the cooked, shelled peanuts and slices of turnip to the soup, and cook for another half hour - salt to taste. I'll let you know how it comes out.

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving Day.

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I'm Joseph A. di Paolantonio and this blog has two main foci: my interest in food, and my interest in the future. This provides a look into my personal life, and is separate from my consulting work…though there will be overlap. I am an independent researcher, working as a strategic consultant and I'm an executive with over 20 years of commercial experience with a technical interest in the intersection of Internet of Things, with advanced data management and analysis methods. I view data science as a team activity, and I feel that the IoT must be viewed as a system. I am leveraging my past activities to understand the adoption and impact of the IoT; first, as a system engineer in aerospace, where I developed Bayesian risk assessment methods for systems within the Space Transportation System (including the Space Shuttle), Extreme Ultraviolet Explorer, Gravity Probe B, and many more, and second, as a enterprise data warehousing, business intelligence and analytics professional. Between my aerospace and IT careers, I indulged my hobby of cooking by starting a food company, Montara Magic, centered around my chocolate sauces. My education combined chemistry, mathematics and philosophy. I performed research into molten salt fuel cells in graduate school, and in photovoltaic materials for a short time in industry. The lure of bringing the human race into space was strong, and when I was offered the chance to combine my chemistry and mathematics skills to develop new risk assessment and system engineering methods for space launch and propulsion systems – I couldn't resist. I perform independent research and strategic consulting to bring value from the Internet of Things, Sensor Analytics Ecosystems and data science teams.I am a caregiver, a lover of science fiction and speculative fantasy, and my passion to learn has led me to a pilot's license, an assistant instructor in SCUBA, nordic and alpine skiing, sea kayaking, and reading everything I can, in as many topics as I can.

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