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All of the food mags are coming out with their Thanksgiving issues. I’ll be passing on any tips that aren’t 100 percent recycled from last year. A I read Martha Stewart Living on making gravy all I could think was that none of these magazines tell you that if you give a bird a nice brine bath prior to cooking, those tasty drippings, the foundation of all gravies, will make yours inedibly salty.
As you begin jotting down ideas for your Thanksgiving menu, don’t forget to plan a smaller October event: a nice, big German meal. Use GermanDeli.com for inspiration as well as implementation. You can get everything there for a comprehensive smorgasbord.
Wine cocktails are not a no-brainer. In fact, some might say that wine sniffers and cocktail swillers are fundamentally different and never the twain shall meet. These days, though, that seems a bit old fashioned. As cocktail trenders struggle to stay relevant, they must glom on to the beer boom as well as the original tippled trend: vino.
Perhaps you think savory souffles are more trouble than they are worth. Perhaps you are skeptical that egg and cheese can be a main course. Or perhaps, like me, both thoughts have crossed your mind. I’ve seen souffle recipes here and there lately, and they don’t do a thing for me. Just a lot of effort for a puffed up omelet.
The three-month countdown is upon us. Yes, it is time to start thinking about your Thanksgiving menu. The mother of all menus, this one requires time and R&D like none other.
Over the years the organ meat of the turkey has played a special role at my dinners. Often eaten furtively in the kitchen by the cooks (washed down with what people assume is our first bottle of champagne) unwilling to share. The guilt got to us eventually, so the last year that I cooked, we made a chicken liver pate to pass around. Suffice to say, it didn’t go down that well or, rather, nearly at all. We threw it out a week later.
I admit I’ll probably never jar jam–I don’t eat much of it anyway–and canning just seems impossibly complicated–all that sterilizing. Yet I am fascinated by DIY kitchen projects and am hugely impressed at the feats of others, so I’m always on the search for the manageable. Bonus points for things that sound really difficult, but are actually easy–like pickling.
In the New York Times Magazine today, Mark Bittman lays out the basic tenets of clam baking. It’s fun to read, especially since his mantra is don’t get too drunk to early.
I don’t think I will ever orchestrate a clam bake. It’s a ton of effort and even the simpler “boils” I’ve done on the stovetop have proved unsatisfying. One element always seems to dominate the others, so I’ll probably stick to clams in the French style or simple boiled lobsters and corn.
Smack in the middle of summer, Mark Bittman hits the current trend at its peak. In The New York Times Magazine today, he covers the ultimate kid treat, the frozen pop, adds a little sophistication, a la fresh fruit, and …
Nuts! You’re late already for an afternoon barbecue and you are supposed to bring something but spent the day reading the Sunday Times instead of preparing. Bringing beer or wine is obvious, but, perhaps, you pride yourself on going the extra …
Check out Food & Wine’s slideshow of pickles and make plans for the weekend. Pickled vegetables are unbelievably easy and give a longer shelf life to the season’s bounty. They also brighten up any dish, sandwich, cheese plate, you name it. F&W covers the basics, along with some kimchis and sauerkraut, and suggests some intriguing combinations like tomatoes and fennel and onions, honey, and rosemary.