I had my latest and probably the last turkey for this season at He Who Shall Not Named’s (HWSNBN) fab designer house, featured in well-known architect Chan Soo Kian’s website. (SK Chan was so proud of what he did, he actually brought his MIL to see it — 10 years ago.)
Anyway, back to the present. HWHNBN last cooked in May 2010. He had proposed to cook on Jan 1, 2010 as well but I was sick as a dog back then and he promptly cancelled that dinner with the excuse that “it’s not the same not to have the wise old lady among us”.
So when he scheduled a dinner for this New Year’s Day, I kept my fingers (and even toes) crossed that I won’t succumb to some illness again and once more deprive the other friends of HWSNBN’s culinary skills.
Luck was with me. I was hale and hearty and ready for a good feed on New Year’s Day, especially when HWSNBN decided to do a turkey, and turkey seems to have become my meat of the month.
And what a feed it was, in a setting that was tropical resort despite being right in the heart of bustling Singapore.
The cool, mildly drizzly weather probably helped to make it seem as if we were by the sea — even tho we weren’t — with a cool breeze and rustling leaves adding to the chill factor of drinking champagne (Veuve Clicquot, my fav) by a tinkling water feature, as the evening faded into nite.
Accompanying the champers was a plate of tapas, herb flavoured and cheese flavoured, topped by air dried jambon newly arrived from Espanol.
The piece de resistance for the evening was the turkey which HWSNBN had marinaded for three days and then slow roasted. It had wings and drumsticks all intact.
The stuffing was an unusual mix of glutinous rice with fresh and dried mushrooms, gooseliver sausages, chestnuts from Italy, dried scallops, yuzu peel and other yummy tummy goodies. There were two types of cranberry sauce: original and with nuts.
The point why all of us who have the privilege of eating HWSNBN’s cooking unanimously vote him the best cook we know is that he cooks with such love and creativity, investing an enormous amount of time in the preparation and execution. Even the ingredients are sourced and selected with care.
For someone like me whose cooking motto is cooking with what’s available and getting it done, it never ceases to amaze me when HWSNBN regales us about his seach for the ingredients that will be translated into exactly the dish he has in mind.
The best point about at eating his food is that we needn’t stand on ceremony. We say exactly what we want of a particular dish, with nary a care about holding ourselves back in case we appear rude.
And so it was, EL said she wanted the drumstick, followed promptly by me. EC said she liked the wing, as did CK which left HWSNBN and LW settling for breast meat by default, even though they both gamely enthused that breast was best.
Still, the turkey had plenty of dark meat outside of those limbs that the four of us choped and allowed all to continue digging away at the bird even after we had finished the already generous portions on our plates.
LW provided a liquer loaded tiramisu that made all of us wanting second helpings, even tho our first were gi-normous. All food washed down by another bottle of champagne which I think was a Charles Heidseik, a rare cuvee, I remember hearing someone say — not absolutely sure as by then, I was drunk with turkey!
Finally HWSNBN made all of us gnashing hungry again when a few days after such a splendid start to 2011, he emailed to say “the more fantabulous dish is the turkey porridge which I cooked with the carcass- rich milky stock…super yummy.”