CANDY. Yes it’s totally bad for you, addictive even, spikes your blood sugar, gives you diabetes, and has little other nutritional value. It makes for excellent stained glass when melted inside gingerbread cookies. My mother figured out this trick when we were kids, and we’ve been making them every year since.
Decorating the Christmas tree was a sweet task growing up. Christmas trees should be edible, minus the needles and trunk. We lade its branches with candy canes, cookies, and any other sugary treat that tastes good after being left out for 3 weeks at room temperature.
While we don the Susie Homemaker aprons for our slightly noxious baking spree, we realize, well, it’s fun to do this once a year. Gingerbread is one of my favorites. It’s spicy and used to make miniature edible Gretel houses. What’s not to like? Of course once you add on the finishing string of lights on your tree, these stained glass numbers really shine. This is about as close as I get to a church on Christmas. Ahem.
What’s your favorite Christmas music?
In the past I have avoided holiday music whenever possible. This year we’re making a point of playing it at home. I’m looking for input on favorite Christmas classics. What gets you in the mood?
The slaving. The spread. The whirlwind. THE TURKEY. The food. The company. The pie. The piled plate. The tryptophan. The fire. The passing out. Ahh, tis the holiday.2 Comments » Keep reading »
“One scoop of creamy mashed potatoes. Four peas.” On Thanksgiving mashed potatoes are my jam. Whipped to perfection, they are a creamy, buttery pile on your plate stuffed between turkey and another more colorful side, dripping with homemade gravy, and begging you to fork them first. My mother has always made them with garlic, whipped with butter (or ghee), and spiced with a hint of herb. Since I don’t eat turkey, mashed potatoes and stuffing are Thanksgiving to me. And OH BOY, I don’t really miss that turkey one bit. Just drizzle me some of that gravy.1 Comment » Keep reading »
Stuffing is one of those things that you wish you made more than once a year, but then you get around to baking the cornbread a day early, assembling the ingredients, and baking it in the oven for an hour. You realize it’s become a lengthy task to keep you busy while the turkey is cooking. Well, thanks for that. The time we take to make stuffing these days has graduated it to my favorite Thanksgiving dish.1 Comment » Keep reading »
I’m breaking new ground this Thanksgiving: organizing a holiday menu, being away from my family for turkey dinner (sniff), and killing two birds with one stone (heh) and visiting both families during the weekend. We’ll be cooking with Matt’s family for Thanksgiving and then dropping in on my own on Saturday. Cooking in a new kitchen always levels you: there’s unknown oven heating times, range heat differences, the challenge of remembering every single ingredient you need in advance, and the unknown palettes to please. We are going to cook the shit out of this meal.1 Comment » Keep reading »
The spice of the pepper, savory crunchy sage, and nutty Reggiano make this the perfect side dish for a soup. The key, my mother learned, is that you need to take the sage leaves off and place them in a bowl, uncovered, so they remain crisp.5 Comments » Keep reading »
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There is never an excuse to throw away stale bread. Although breadcrumbs and croutons are the easiest ways to make use of an old loaf, bread putting is definitely the post satisfying. Matt and I headed to a pick-ur-own in upstate this weekend. In addition to scouring for the sweetest apples, pulling heads of cabbage from the ground with our bear hands, and trying to determine what a ripe eggplant looks like, we picked up a few small sugar pumpkins. Once baked, the skin turned an amazing orange-brown. With my slightly stale loaf of whole wheat and fresh pumpkin puree, I set out to make delectable peasant food. After weeding through some totally pretentious recipes, I gave a call to my mother, who reminded me of its simple roots. Pumpkin aside, I tried to stay true to what bread pudding should really be like: easy, comforting, and sweet.
These went fast, like within minutes. I’m picky about my squashes, but acorn squash has a soft, yammy texture and is not too sweet. Add in some fall spices, and it’s a savory dessert (before you have dessert, of course). The combination of sugars also caused some giggling and repeated reciting of Steve Brule. Yes, it has come to natural sugar highs. Maybe I’ve graduated from HFCS?8 Comments » Keep reading »