Reading Material: Pre-Thanksgiving Edition

Maddie pup in Central Park, New York, NY  | Image:  Laura Messersmith

Maddie pup in Central Park, New York, NY | Image: Laura Messersmith

Thanksgiving is everything that’s best about the holidays – there’s a great dinner, no shopping stress, and plenty of time to nap in front of the fire in between movies and board games. One of my all time favorite memories is of Thanksgiving a few years ago when everyone was home at the same time – a rare occurrence now that my siblings and I are married and/or scattered across the country. There was a giant snowstorm prompting a cabin fever initiated sledding party on the giant hill behind the house, which naturally lead to hot chocolate spiked with ancient booze of unknown provenance from the liquor cabinet. Sabra crème de cacao, even if it’s from a dusty bottle, tastes amazing in homemade cocoa.

The one drawback is city traffic insanity – nothing like sitting at a standstill on the West Side Highway to put a damper on the spirit. So, Mike, Maddie, and I will make the great migration “over the river and through the woods” Tuesday night. Cross your fingers that we make good time! I’m on point to help with dinner and after the wonderful Friendsgiving we attended last weekend I’m thinking very seriously of re-creating the menu. The only thing I’m leaving out from the traditional spread is green bean casserole. It might draw some flak from Mike’s direction but I’m hoping with the Winter Greens Gratin on the table he won’t notice….

Whether you’re a host or a guest, I’ve collected some Thanksgiving-appropriate reading material to help you prepare for your own festivities. Happy Thanksgiving!

Reading Material:
I can only imagine the sorrow of the people who lost loved ones or were touched by the terrorist events in Paris last weekend, so it’s heartening to see Parisians fighting back by holding tight to their cultural touchstones. #tousaubistro (via Eater)

If Thanksgiving had a fairy godmother it would clearly be Ina Garten arriving in a swirl of kosher salt and fresh herbs. Hamptons Magazine has the inside scoop on how she prepares. Or you could watch her Food Network special with Bobby Flay…not that I’ve had it on repeat or anything.

Most of us will be grocery shopping this weekend for the great cooking marathon that is Thanksgiving. Food52 has some advice for surviving what is sure to be a hectic day at the store without forgetting a key ingredient.

We’ve all been there: Thanksgiving morning dawns and the bird is still solid as a rock. What to do!? The Kitchn has some wisdom on how to handle frozen turkeys.

Are you spending time with family over the holidays? Probably a good moment to brush up on back issues of Dad Magazine so you’re prepared for the dinner table conversation. Applicable to uncles and fathers-in-law. (via The Toast)

A brief pause during this most American of holidays for another piece from Eater on the Great British Bake Off. I am seriously Jonesing for more GBBO and it is killing me that PBS only has 1.5 seasons. Cruel!

Reading Material: Daylight Savings Edition

Farmers Market Apples

Ever have one of those weeks when it’s just hard to get going? I wake up, head full of all the things I’m going to accomplish – recipes to test, errands to run, posts to write. It starts innocuously enough – just a little light lingering over morning coffee which quickly spirals into a morning spent futzing around on the Internet. (If that’s what you’re doing here right now, don’t worry I won’t tell!) All of a sudden it’s lunchtime and that perfectly reasonable to-do list, well let’s be fair, maybe it was a bit ambitious, has gone out the window.

Let’s blame the time change or the busy October we just wrapped up, because it was that kind of week around here. Some progress was made but I’m afraid I procrastinated a bit. Whoops. It’s good news for you though, since I’ve done the heavy lifting you can futz in a slightly more focused way. You’re welcome.

Reading Material:

Recipe alert! Deb Perelman of the fantastic blog Smitten Kitchen once again, has intuited what we all truly need in our lives. This time it’s a recipe for Oven Fries and I can’t wait to try them!

Bon Appetit has a formula to help determine how much counter space we really need. Filing this away in case I ever get to design a kitchen that has more than one work space…

I almost overlooked this interview with legendary cookbook and literary editor Judith Jones in Eater and I wouldn’t want that to happen to you! Want more JJ? Check out her memoir The Tenth Muse to learn how hugely influential she was in introducing world cuisines to the U.S.

Speaking of careful editing – Paste Magazine is fed up (pun 99% intentional, so I’m part of the problem) with this list of words they wish would disappear from food media. Do you agree? Or do you nom nom nom?

A strong cup of coffee in the morning is one of life’s small pleasures, but the lovely writing of this piece makes a compelling case for bad coffee. (via Serious Eats)

Reading Material - Halloween Edition

Vineyard  |  North Fork, Long Island  | Image:  Laura Messersmith

Vineyard | North Fork, Long Island | Image: Laura Messersmith

Welcome to the all trick-or-treat edition of Reading Material in which I tip my pointy witch’s hat to Halloween. I thought this photo of the vineyards at dusk I took last weekend was appropriate to accompany the moody occasion, yes?

Hope you're all ready to go - treats acquired, costume elements collected, I have my black horn rimmed glasses all ready to go to fulfill my decades-long dream of doing a couple's Wayne & Garth costume when Mike and I attend an SNL-character themed party on Saturday night. What? Don’t tell me that Alice Cooper’s thoughtful discussion of Mil-ee-wau-kee isn’t one of the best scenes ever. Also, I personally prefer Tia Carrere's version of Ballroom Blitz - she wails!

Anywho, without further ado I give you some cool Internet links that celebrate tomorrow’s spooky and sweets-centric fun.

Reading Material:
All hail Chrissy Teigen for donning the scariest food-inspired Halloween costume evar. Hint: he has spiky blonde hair... (via Eater)

These food shots inspired by The Shining are hilariously macabre – who knew cupcakes could be so creepy? Yes, I have been saving this for today since I saw it oh, four months ago in The New York Times. Please don’t judge my commitment to sparkle motion.

Oh Pinterest. You are both a source of delight and heartbreak. I’m using that term loosely to describe these Halloween #pinterestfails, some of which are truly horrific. (via Buzzfeed)

I originally read about the fake restaurant/art installation Lura Café in Providence on Eater, but this piece at City Lab goes a little deeper. Quite a trick on the unsuspecting hipster population.

If you haven’t organized a costume yet Vogue has a great list of iconic and cult characters from TV and movies to help inspire you. Edward Scissorhands might be a triffle hard to pull off in 24 hrs, but I have faith in you!

Lastly, I came across this interesting piece from The Atlantic archives on how candy became synonymous with Halloween.

Reading Material: Pumpkin Edition

Farmer's Market Pumpkins  | Image:  Laura Messersmith

Farmer's Market Pumpkins | Image: Laura Messersmith

Ina Garten continues to be an inspiration in so many ways – culinary, of course, but I also love her philosophy on life, career, and knowing when to say “yes” and when to say “no.” (via Eater)

Fall wouldn’t be complete without a seasonally appropriate reading of this classic, and comedically expletive-filled McSweeney’s piece. It is decorative gourd season and now you can celebrate with a commemorative mug.

Bradley Cooper’s new movie Burnt about a Michelin star-seeking chef looks interesting, but what I’m really anticipating is the new Bond movie: Spectre…! (via Wired; YouTube)

Bon Appétit asked Sloane Crosley, author of I Was Told There’d Be Cake, about her morning routine. Her book that made me laugh out loud as I read it, and now that I know about her love of cereal I’m pretty sure we’re kindred spirits.

Buzzfeed has gathered and actually cooked several horrific mid-century recipes just in time for Halloween! These are serious crimes against food - think Jell-O molded everything and a lot of boiled ham (eww.)

In this, the season of pumpkin spice, it seemed appropriate to introduce you to Pumpkin the Raccoon. Yes, I feel ridiculous following a raccoon who already has 253,000 followers on Instagram. But, look at that face! Also, the images are hilarious and well-shot, so. (via Bored Panda)

Pumpkin the Raccoon  | Image:  Rosie Kemp

Pumpkin the Raccoon | Image: Rosie Kemp