Is it, by any chance, 54 degrees and drizzling there, Chicago? Because here in Seattle, it's sunny-bright and cold as hell, with a freezing wind chill on top of it. Feel free to go check the temperature here on the internet and make fun of me, Chicago. I'm happy I'm innocent of how actually, really goddamn cold it gets there. For us in Seattle, right now it's seriously cold, and that beaming thing in the sky is scary. (Luckily, it's almost dusk.)
• One butternut squash • One large onion • Butter • Chicken broth (large can or carton) (organic is better) • Salt and fresh-ground pepper • Cinnamon • Nutmeg • Organic sour cream
I took you home and cut you. I scraped your cute insides out. I put some olive oil on you. I set you in a pan filled with a half inch of water and put you in the oven at 400 degrees for 45 minutes. Then I browned a huge onion and some butter in a stock pot, with lots of salt and pepper. When I took you out of the oven after 45 minutes you were all hot and mad, but you were pretty soft, so I took a spoon and scooped you out of your skin and put you in the stock pot with the browned onions, and then I poured a giant can of chicken broth over you. Then I just let you bubble for a while. Bubble, bubble, bubble. Simmer I guess is the word that people who know what they’re doing would use. I’m not a cook. All of this made me so nervous. I got all these instructions from a friend, and I was sure I had some of them wrong. Chicken stock? I kept thinking. Bock, bock, bock!
After a while bubbling in that chicken broth you went real soft. Your orangey hunks become a chunky puree. I gave you some more pepper, and some cinnamon, and if I could have found the nutmeg I would have given you some of that too. I tried you with a spoon. God damn! I could have just eaten you like this, but I was feeling fancy, I was in the mood to go all the way, so I got out the blender and blended you. In batches. With the help of a mug, since I don’t have a ladle. Once you were smooth, I poured some of you into a bowl, with a plop of organic sour cream in the middle, and I ate you.
It was snowing. You were so good.
It's maybe supposed to snow, a tiny bit, here this weekend. Until then, just SUN AND BRRRRRR.
Everything in Violet Sweet Shoppe is incredible. Their shortbread is my favorite, available in a variety of flavors like pistachio (THE BEST!), chocolate, lavender, and lemon. It’s buttery and crumbly, as the best shortbread is, without being too dry—it goes perfectly with a cup of coffee or tea...
When I was growing up, the rain never stopped. From September through June, it was rarely heavy, but never ending, with the clouds a wet wooly blanket pressing down from above. Now Seattle has days of eerie, creeping autumn fog, trying silently to warn us about climate change; we've got thunderstorms and flash floods, the kinds of downpours that, back in the day, would take a solid month (day and night) to eke out. In summertime, we've got record-breaking stretches of sunshine, glorious and terrifying; in fall and winter and spring, we see the sun too, days of glare and much colder air.
It used to be that a childhood in Seattle gave you a tolerance for a certain constant low level of depression, or at least a reduction in general expectations (a helpful thing in life). Gratification is easier when the baseline is chilly water falling through gray air; a couch and a blanket and a book, with a bowl of soup on the way, seems pretty good...
1. So turkey the bird, Turkey the country. Mere coincidence? Not at all. Europeans somehow got the notion that turkeys came from the East. The French thought India and called them poulets d'Inde (the Germans, fantasizing even more specifically, placed turkeys in Calcutta, calling them Kalekuttisch). The English — and you saw this coming, didn't you? — imagined the birds came from Turkey. 2. OK, so where DO turkeys come from? Scholarly opinion seems to settle on Mexico, where the Aztecs first domesticated the birds. So, in a sense, the traditional Thanksgiving dinner is, at its heart, a Mexican feast. Ole!
Maybe this is why the RWNJ's don't mind the big-box stores opening on Thanksgiving—the whole allegedly American feast is centered around an undocumented alien bird for the love of God! Obama pardoned one! This is amnesty, rewarding fowl lawbreakers! Go buy stuff now, that's the Murcan way!
Now, off to the couch, with the beer and the food and the football. America, Fuck Yeah!
As you certainly know, the whole internet got indignant last week when a lesbian server was stiffed. On a credit card slip where a New Jersey couple should have written in a tip, one of them instead penned a nasty, anti-gay note. "I'm sorry," said the note, "but I cannot tip because I don't agree with your lifestyle & how you live your life." What totally bigoted buttmonkeys—right?
A family contacted NBC 4 New York claiming their receipt from the restaurant shows they did leave a tip, and provided what they said was a credit card statement as proof.
The husband and wife, who asked to remain anonymous, showed NBC 4 New York a receipt that appeared to be printed at the same minute, on the same date, for the same $93.55 total, except with an $18 tip.
They also provided a document they said was a Visa bill, which appears to indicate their card was charged for the meal plus the tip, for a total of $111.55...
A manager and the restaurant owner insisted they had the original ticket for the $93.55 charge, but would not produce the receipt for NBC 4 New York and could not explain why the family's credit card was charged for more.
Video here. No wonder people think gay folks are crazy.
Perhaps you missed the $3 million worth of Manischewitz advertising? In that case, be aware: Thanksgiving and Hanukkah are colliding tomorrow for the last time in 70,000 years. (And for the first time since 1888.)
In 70,000 years, only robots will be allowed to comment, so speak up while you still can. What will you be cooking? (Hopefully not this.)
Scientists have uncovered a 3,700-year-old wine cellar in the ruins of a Canaanite palace in Israel, and chemical analysis shows this is where they kept the good stuff.
Samples from the ceramic jars suggest they held a luxurious beverage that was evidently reserved for banquets, researchers said.
"It's not wine that somebody is just going to come home from a hard day and kick back and drink," said Andrew Koh of Brandeis University. He found signs of a blend of ingredients that may have included honey, mint, cedar, tree resins and cinnamon bark.
1700 years after the proposed age of this excellent cellar, a man in Galilee who claimed to be the son of the person who created the entire universe, performed his first miracle at a wedding: turning water to wine. The master of the banquet offered this critique of that wine:
[The master of the banquet] called the bridegroom aside and said, “Everyone brings out the choice wine first and then the cheaper wine after the guests have had too much to drink; but you have saved the best till now.”
In short, the man who claims to be the son of the entity that made everything does not make bad wine.