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A Slight Switch in Tradition
William McK. Chapman
November 28, 1966
There have been some memorable Thanksgivings in my life. There was one in Capri, where I had a villa high on the side of Monte Solaro. It was one of those days that go quickly. We sat there full of wonderful wine and turkey and breathed the golden air and watched the islands down the coast turn three-dimensional in the pale blue sea as the sun descended. Then there was our grandest Thanksgiving in Paris just after the war. The turkey was prepared by Willie, our cook from Alsace. He had sawed the legs, wings and breast off the bird, transforming it into a fancy basket stuffed with boiled chestnuts and decorated with truffles, flowers and fruits. We ate dozens of the French oysters called B�lon, perhaps the world's best, all kinds of vegetables, salads, desserts and the famous cheeses: Roquefort, Camembert, St. Nectaire, Cantal, Brie and others. We were about a dozen, and we drank eight bottles of white and eight bottles of red and a couple of bottles of brandy. The feasting took several hours with time out now and again for some singing. These were ideal days. But the most satisfying Thanksgiving of all came during World War II, when I was working as a mechanic in an aircraft plant outside Trenton, N.J.
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November 28, 1966

A Slight Switch In Tradition

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"Ah," said Dandy in her coolest voice, "it's all just like an old Flemish painting, isn't it?"

The pheasant probably weighed about five pounds. I left it with Billy and Ben to roast over the living room fire while I went up to bathe and change.

Dinner was about an hour late. The pork was tender and sweet. The pheasant was pretty tough, yet it had a particularly wonderful flavor and one that I have tasted neither before that Thanksgiving nor since. It tasted, I thought, just a little bit like turkey.

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