I'll get back to the Turkey in a paragraph or two, but first a little background. Thanksgiving is easily my favorite US holiday. Ironically, Yom Kippur is now my favorite holiday, but only in Israel. I love that nobody drives, the air is clear, and that I can take bike rides on major highways without fear of being run over. Thanksgiving though will always be a special day for me, even in Israel, and every year that I've lived here I've made a point of making a full on turkey dinner. I use my mother's excellent Paul Simon recipe. I call it that because it calls for putting chopped Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme under the skin of the bird. It is a great recipe and the turkey always comes out well.
This year I decided not to make a turkey or host a dinner, and was kindly invited by my friends Susi and Dave to their house for dinner. I made the trek out to Jerusalem, and just entering their house you could tell something special was going on. Susi and Dave decided to smoke their turkey, and I had never tasted smoked turkey before. The turkey was smoked on low heat for over seven hours, and the result was amazing. Instead of trying to use a dozen different superlatives to describe the taste, I'll just use three. It was just the moistest, juiciest, tastiest turkey I'd ever had. The smoke flavor really came through, and it was just an awesome, awesome turkey.
Every once in a while I get a culinary eye opening, eureka type moment. My first time at Abu Hassan, Adora's foie gras baklava, tasting cold pressed olive oil from olives you picked a few hours earlier are some of the recent ones from the past few years. This turkey definitely goes on this list if not going straight to the top of it. The whole night was a lot fun between the tasty turkey, good friends, and lots of wine. Thanksgiving lives on in Israel quite strongly for me and I'm already thinking about next year's smoked turkey.