Thanksgiving Day means so much more than watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade and football games and eating like the true Southerners many of us are.

But so often we as parents and grandparents fail to teach our kids the true importance and symbolism of the Thanksgiving holiday.

Perhaps the best way to remind our kids, as well as ourselves, of what Thanksgiving is really about this year would be to start new traditions that place the emphasis back on what Thanksgiving really means—things such as faith, family, and community—in fun, creative ways.

One tradition that our family is going to start this year is our own “Sacher Tablecloth”
  

        The Sacher Tablecloth is a part of the legacy of the  Sacher hotel in Vienna, birth place of “The Original Sacher-Torte.”
              
        The story behind the Sachertorte…In 1832, Franz Sacher, had been working as the sixteen-year-old apprentice of the personal chef of Prince Wenzel von Metternich.

         A recipe for Sachertorte and more information about the cake can be found here on the website of the King Arthur Flour Company.

            
          Prince Wenzel von Metternich requested that his chef create a special dessert for several important guests, but the head chef got sick and turned the task over to Franz Sacher instead.

          The Sachertorte supposedly delighted Prince Metternich’s guests, but the dessert received no immediate further attention.

               
            Eduard Sacher, the son of Franz Sacher, carried on his father’s culinary legacy and completed his own apprenticeship in Vienna with the Royal and Imperial Pastry Chef at the Demel bakery and chocolatier. 

            During this time he perfected his father’s recipe and developed the torte into its current form. 
              

              In 1873 Eduard Sacher opened his first restaurant on Kärntner Straße. 

              In 1876 Eduard Sacher established the Hotel Sacher.

                  
                In 1880 Eduard Sacher married Anna Fuchs, the daughter of a butcher.

                  Anna Sacher became known as the “grande dame” of the Vienna hospitality industry. She was well known for her constantly smoking cigars, her hobby of breeding French bulldogs, her commercial skills, and her eccentricity.
                      
                  Anna Sacher established the Sacher into one of the finest hotels in the world and a favourite meeting place of celebrities, aristocracy, and diplomats. 

                  She reigned the roost for nearly forty years…from the year 1880 when she married into the Sacher family…until the year 1930 when she passed away while in her suite at the Sacher Hotel.

                     
                     
                    Anna Sacher knew that the prominent guests that ate and visited the hotel were her best means of advertising for the Sacher Hotel and her own calling card to fame.

                      Famous guests that have dined or visited the hotel over the decades include Emperor Franz Joseph…King Edward VIII and Wallis Simpson…Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip…Prince Rainier III of Monaco and Grace Kelly…President John F. Kennedy…Leonard Bernstein…Plácido Domingo, and John Lennon.

                      One evening after an evening meal held for a departing archduke, Anna Sacher sent her head waiter to get a fresh tablecloth. 

                      Anna Sacher invited her one hundred guests—including Archduke Franz Ferdinand…Crown Prince Rudolf…Archdukes Ferdinand, Karl Wilhelm, Ludwig Viktor, Karl Stephan, Leopold and Franz Salvator…King Milan and his son Alexander of Serbia…and Grand Duke Nikolajewitsch of Russia—to sign their names on the tablecloth. Soon she embroidered the names, washed out the ink, and hung the cloth on the wall of the restaurant for all to admire.
                        
                      Your own family also needs at least one such legendary Sacher tablecloth of its own…with the signatures of all the rulers(?!), queens, princes, and princesses in your own royal blood line to enjoy not only this Thanksgiving, but for who-knows-how-many-more Thanksgivings to come…and perhaps even hang on the wall of the dining room for all to admire.

                      So this year, encourage each of the kids, and the adult kids, at your Thanksgiving dinner to sign and date the tablecloth, using fabric markers…(explaining that this does not mean signing every real tablecloth that they see from that day forward)…

                      Honestly wish that I had started this thirty years when Kurt and I first got married so that our grandparents’ names and my Dad’s name were embroidered on the tablecloth also…

                        

                      Sacher Torte

                      Prep:  Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray 9″ round cake pan with cooking spray and line with parchment. Spritz the parchment lightly as well. 
                      Make the cake batter…

                      1. Melt 1C bittersweet chocolate in microwave.
                      2. Beat 8 eggs yolks.
                      3. Add melted chocolate, 1/2C melted butter, 1tsp vanilla.
                      4. Beat 8 egg whites, 1/8tsp salt until they begin to foam.
                      5. Slowly add 3/4C sugar.
                      6. Beat on high speed until whites hold a stiff peak but are still glossy.
                      7. Add 1C King Arthur Unbleached Cake Flour Blend

                      Bake the cake…Pour the batter into the pan(s). Bake 45 minutes. Remove from oven. Cool in pan 10 minutes. Turn onto wire rack to cool completely. Be sure to peel off the parchment circle while the cake is still warm.

                      Fill the cake: Split the cake layer horizontally, using a long, sharp serrated knife. Strain 1/2C apricot jam through a fine sieve to remove any bits of fruit and make a smooth filling. Spread onto cake. 
                      Make the glaze..Place the filled cake on a wire rack over a parchment lined baking sheet. Melt 1C bittersweet chocolate in the microwave. Add 1C boiling water. Pour glaze over the cake. 

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