Guest Blogger: Tom Thibeault
As tradition dictates every year, we gather around with family and friends and share a meal in honor of the things we are thankful for in our lives. Certainly I am thankful for many wonderful people in my life: my beautiful wife Laura; my three-year-old triplets, Aiden, Brenya, and Christian; my parents, Debbie and Terry; my cousin Randy and his girlfriend Sarah; and my amazing staff at Adirondack Appliance, just to name a few. I am also very grateful for my friends, both old and new, and especially for my good friends Suvir Saran and Charlie Burd. I am both honored and humbled that Suvir asked me to contribute to his blog, and I will do my best to both interest and entertain you through my culinary adventures in our home this Thanksgiving. I hope that by sharing with you what I have learned from Suvir, I can inspire you to get into your kitchen and cook, share your passion with friends, and improve the quality of your life.
My relationship with Suvir and Charlie began a few years ago as a professional one. Our company would come to Masala Farm from time to time to fix ailing appliances and satisfy one of our many VIP clients. Every experience was always pleasant and prompt, but unfortunately, we never took the time to stop and smell the roses. Protocol usually dictates we keep to ourselves in the presence of such greatness!
One day this summer that all changed. Suvir and Charlie had gone months without a response from one of the companies that has product in their home, so they called us for some help. As the owner of Adirondack Appliance, I felt a personal responsibility to undo the wrong this manufacturer had inflicted on Suvir and Charlie through their neglect, and ensure the job was done to perfection. We responded promptly as we always do, however this time our visit was different. Suvir and Charlie opened their home to us completely. We arrived to piping hot biscuits, homemade jam, and the most amazing scrambled eggs on the planet. I was completely blown away by the two of them—instantly smitten by the legendary hospitality of Masala Farm.
Because I felt bad that one of our vendors had taken Suvir and Charlie for a ride, I brought a basket of vegetables to them from my garden. I was sent home with a basket of my own from theirs. Amazing vegetables, homemade jam, biscuits for my staff, and some of their epic heritage eggs! I instantly fell in love with that magical farm and its residents. In our encounter there, Suvir and Charlie inspired me to take my cooking to a whole new level. To venture inside the kitchen and really rethink the way I have been cooking and eating for years. So I went home and ordered American Masala immediately—I wanted to know everything about that place! About Suvir and his amazing recipes.
When American Masala arrived, I began to cook from it right away. The contents were life changing! I started posting the results online. The more I cooked, the more I learned about food, about flavoring food, about new ways of preparation. Amazing techniques and tricks. Suvir has brought my cooking to an entirely new level, one I thought I would never reach. By following his flawless instructions, I have learned so much.
Over the last few months, Suvir, Charlie, and I have shared many meals together, both online and at the farm. I even had the pleasure of attending the Epcot Food and Wine Festival with Suvir this year. Our friendship has grown and flourished in that short time into something I have only shared with very few people on this earth, and for that I am truly grateful. Knowing Suvir and Charlie is one of the greatest gifts I have ever been given.
In honor of that friendship, I have decided to dedicate our feast of thankfulness this year to the inhabitants of Masala Farm. Up until this morning I was going to create a spread consisting of recipes from American Masala and Indian Home Cooking, Suvir’s first two cookbooks. However, being the amazing and generous man he is, Suvir surprised me with an advanced digital copy of his newest cookbook, Masala Farm. I dove into it immediately, feverishly trying to take it all in. The book is glorious! It completely captures the dream I have been living for these last few months! Suvir and Charlie have perfectly depicted the magical life, experiences, and flavors of their enchanting home in Hebron. The photographs, stories, graphic design, and attention to detail make this so much more than your standard cookbook. Masala Farm is a true work of art, crafted with love and care, with Suvir and Charlie’s generosity oozing off every page. They’ve even included their friends’ recipes and given plugs to the small local farms and businesses they patronize.
I couldn’t help but abandon the menu I had been working on for over a week and try out some of these new masterpieces. I look forward to sharing Masala Farm with you through a few amazing dishes this Thanksgiving and will soon will write another post sharing my family’s journey through this awesome book. I hope you enjoy the blog and that I inspire at least one of you to get in your kitchen and create something beautiful. To make this endeavor a little more interesting, we will be cooking the bulk of it outdoors! Having access to some of the coolest toys on the market, I will be setting up an outdoor kitchen in our garage and highlighting some unique ways to approach Thanksgiving. I hope you all enjoy it and I will see you on the other side! Until we meet again!