painting of white turkeys in green grass by Claude Monet

Get Ready for Thanksgiving with Monet’s Painting of Turkeys & His Recipe for Carrots

Note: Claude Monet: The Truth of Nature opens in October 2019.

With Thanksgiving just around the corner, we couldn’t help but share this fitting canvas, which demonstrates the breadth of Monet’s sizable oeuvre. In 1876, Monet decided to spend the latter half of the year in Montgeron, France, accepting a commission to paint four decorative panels for Ernest Hoschedé, a wealthy businessperson who owned Montgeron’s Château de Rottembourg. Monet would stay on the Hoschedé family’s property through the summer and fall of 1876, executing his four commissions in addition to a number of canvases depicting the location and its idyllic surroundings.

Among the paintings he produced while in Montgeron is The Turkeys, depicting a rafter of turkeys on the Château de Rottembourg’s lawn. Notably, this is not Monet’s only link to the upcoming holiday. While the artist once claimed, “Beyond painting and gardening, I am good for nothing,” he was actually an avid collector of recipes and a devoted host.

Because Monet had a passion for good food, we thought it would be enjoyable to share one of the recipes he collected, so you can add it to your Thanksgiving table later this month.

carrots

Carrots à la Fermière

2 lbs large, orange carrots

1 bunch fresh parsley

1 bunch fresh tarragon

1 lemon

2 tbsp butter

4 tbsp flour

1 tsp granulated sugar

Salt and ground pepper to taste

Wash and peel the carrots, then slice them into 1/4-inch-thick rounds. Place carrots in a sauce pan and cover them generously with water. Season with salt and pepper and then cook on medium-high. After 15 minutes, drain the carrots and reserve the cooking liquid. The carrots should remain firm.

Chop the parsley and tarragon and melt butter in a frying pan. When the butter is completely melted, remove the pan from the heat and stir in the flour.

Return the pan to the burner and stir constantly, until the mixture thickens, then add the herbs.

Next, slowly stir in about 2/3 cup of the cooking liquid and bring the mixture to a boil. When thickened, add the sugar and the juice of the lemon.

Then add the carrots and more cooking liquid (around 1-1/3 cups) and stir gently.

Simmer the carrots for at least one hour, partially covered, on low heat. When the sauce is thoroughly reduced and the carrots are soft, warm a serving dish and arrange the carrots on it. Season to taste and enjoy.

Happy Thanksgiving! If you make the carrots, let us know. Post a picture on social media and tag @denverartmuseum or use the hashtag #MonetatDAM.

white turkeys on greed grass painted by Claude Monet
Claude Monet, The Turkeys, 1877. Oil paint on canvas; 274.5 x 172 cm. Musée d’Orsay; Inv. RF1944-18. Photo: Hervé Lewandowski. © RMN-Grand Palais / Art Resource, NY

Alexander Penn is a curatorial research assistant in the department of painting and sculpture at the Denver Art Museum. He has worked for the DAM since 2016, and his favorite artwork in the collection is Bjørn Melhus’s Still Men Out There.