Thanksgiving is more than the turkey

Sunday December 8 2019

 

By A. Kadumukasa Kironde II

My earliest memory of Thanksgiving Day was November 1962, when I was in my late teens and newly arrived in America. Truth be told, at that tender age, I really had no idea whatsoever of the significance of the occasion, save for the fact that the day was always celebrated on the last Thursday in November and turkey was part of the menu on this day.
As I was to learn, Thanksgiving Day has been an annual national holiday in America and Canada, celebrating the harvest and other blessings of the past year. Americans on the whole, have a general belief that their Thanksgiving day is based on a 1621 harvest feast that was shared by the English colonist’s knowns as the Pilgrims of Plymouth and the Wampanoag people.
Over the years this holiday has become a rich legend and symbolism with the traditional repast of the meal typically including turkey served with bread stuffing, Irish potatoes, cranberries and pumpkin pie. Interestingly, Thanksgiving has become the busiest time of the year for traveling, be it by road or air as family members gather to be with one another.
This past Thanksgiving Day, we celebrated the occasion at the Sheraton Kampala Hotel and for sure, the meal left a lasting memory upon us.

Thanksgiving Menu Sheraton Kampala Hotel
Thursday 28th November 2019
Seven Seas Restaurant

Starter
Quinoa & avocado Salad
Grilled sweet corn mousse, tomato Carpaccio and lime cilantro dressing

Soup
Potato leek soup with bacon and golden croutons

Main Course
Whole stuffed turkey
Served with roasted young potatoes, Gratin beans
Sauté brussel sprouts, baked butternut squash with sage, smoked carrots, turkey gravy, orange and cranberry sauce

Dessert
Apple pie, with prunes mousse and vanilla ice cream

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For starters, Chef Alex Pavlovic chose for us a quinoa and avocado salad, which is a power salad and rarely does one find quinoa in Uganda. Quinoa is actually a quick cooking whole grain that has a slightly nutty flavour and offers the perfect combination with avocado embellished in a superb grilled sweet corn mousse.

It is garnished with tomato carpaccio drizzled with a delicate lime-cilantro dressing. Wisely, Chef Pavlovic chose to serve the salad at room temperature to get the most flavour of this gem of a starter.

The potato leek soup, a classic French soup known as vichyssoise’ was a disappointment, being rather thin and light as opposed to the creamy type which I am accustomed to and much preferred than otherwise.

Of course, one might argue that Chef Pavlovic deliberately chose this preference, created his own variation and more so considering that he added bacon and golden croutons; a deviation from the usual chives. Regardless, the salt was more than the acceptable normalcy; the last thing that any chef would wish to happen.

Over to the main course, Chef Pavlovic truly showed us his midas touch and rather than opting for a plain old roast turkey as is the norm, he preferred to roast the bird and then create a classic tapestry and fusion of roasted new potatoes with the jackets, if you please, gratin beans, sautéed Brussel sprouts, baked butternut squash with sage and the most amazing smoked carrots.

I know many of us hate carrots from the days when we were young and our parents would admonish for not eating our vegetables. The results were incredible and it turned not only to be the piece de resistance in the words of fellow trencherman this was ambrosia fit for the gods.

To crown of the evening, we were offered an apple pie with prune mousse and vanilla ice cream which turned out to be just what the doctor ordered.

If you go
Place: Sheraton Kampala Hotel, Ternan Avenue
Rating: Not to be missed
Ambience: Sheraton Kampala Hotel’s 7 Seas restaurant is a superb restaurant where one can savor contemporary cuisine with impeccable service in a pleasant ambience.
The Crowd: Americans and Ugandans alike
The menu: A set menu with turkey being the main course
Recommended dishes: The turkey
Beverages: A good selection of cocktail drinks, wines, spirits and beer
Damage: Shs 100’000/- per person
Service: Efficient and caring
Sound level: Very good.
Parking: Secure and available
If you go: 7 days of the week, open for lunch and supper

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