Fun in the Kitchen

Today’s post comes from Barbara in Robbinsdale

The next couple of days will be very busy for people who like to cook, and who like to appreciate – by eating what’s cooked. If you’re not hosting the feast on Turkey Day, you may be contributing to the meal. In our case, we will be cooking on Wednesday, then transporting to Winona our favorite side dishes and a dessert, for a mid-afternoon meal with Friends on Thanksgiving.

For my part, I will refer to my two favorite cookbook authors, Laurie Colwin and Alice May Brock (of Alice’s Restaurant fame – the real Alice). My favorite things from Alice’s Restaurant Cookbook are the Stuffed Mushrooms on p. 104, and her irreverent attitude, which is (paraphrasing here): don’t get hung up on the details – improvise, don’t take it all too seriously. And I quote: “Wine and liquor are great for cooking, and also for the cook… in fact, more important for the cook…”

Laurie Colwin, a delightful writer who left us too soon, has just two cookbooks Home Cooking: a Writer in the Kitchen and More Home Cooking… (in addition to several works of fiction). Not sure what I like better, the stories about how she taught herself to cook, or the casual, irreverent approach to cooking. With chapters like “How to Disguise Vegetables” and “Alone in the Kitchen with an Eggplant”, she had me at the Table of Contents. What to do when you have too many red bell peppers? (“A large number of red peppers is a beautiful sight.”) Simmer in plenty of olive oil, etc., till you have what “some people might call… Red Pepper Conserve, but it will always be red pepper sludge to me.”

So I’ll bring my red pepper sludge, stuff some mushrooms, do something fun with sweet potatoes, and bring a pumpkin dessert. But I won’t get too serious about it.

Will you be cooking or appreciating this Thanksgiving, and what’s your favorite food to cook or appreciate?

54 thoughts on “Fun in the Kitchen”

  1. Good morning. I will be helping with the big family Thanksgiving dinner which is at our house this year as is usually the case. I am in charge of the salad and will help with other preparations while trying not to get in the way. We always have cranberries and there will be two kinds because some prefer one kind some prefer the other.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Husband is home from the Rez for two whole weeks, so while I go to work today, he will make the mashed potatoes, and dressing, prep the turkey brine, and buy last minute things we will need tomorrow. I love to make pies for Thanksgiving. Son and DIL have requested pumpkin and raspberry cream. Daughter and I love the butternut squash casserole that husband makes. Ooh, we love Thanksgiving at our house.

    I have a guest post that I will submit about something furtive I am doing on Saturday. I can’t submit the post until after the furtiveness is accomplished.

    Liked by 4 people

      1. Squash, onions, sharp white cheddar cheese, fresh bread crumbs, fresh rosemary. It is from Epicurious, Butternut Squash gratin with rosemary bread crumbs. It is husband’s specialty.

        Liked by 3 people

        1. Lisa, I am at work and i will be happy to share the recipe whe I get home at 5:00. You can also look it up on Epicurious if you don’t want to wait for me.


  3. The first Thanksgiving meal I made was while staying with friends on Cape Cod. I had recently discovered Adele Davis’ Let’s Cook It Right and did the slow oven roast plus her recipe for the stuffing/dressing. I still use it whenever I roast a turkey. Two things I love about the memory of that Thanksgiving…one that it was in Massachusetts and two that the house we were living in had pine paneling and with the evening lights the rooms were bathed in a warm, soft gold.

    This year I go to friends down the road, bringing my versions of the 5-minute Artisan Bread (stuffed with, I hope, sun-dried tomatoes, onions and blue cheese..a friend’s recipe…if it turns out) and a Waldorf Salad.

    Liked by 4 people

  4. Cooking AND appreciating. I’m always thankful that the fuel we give to our bodies to survive is so colorful, flavorful, diverse, and healthy for us when we eat the right balance of foods in moderate amounts.

    We could have been stuck with the diets of animals like cows, or moose, or predator fish (who eat the same thing–other fish). How boring to have to munch on grass AGAIN, for the 10,000th day in a row?

    My particular favorite dish to appreciate on Thanksgiving is stuffing (aka dressing) because I usually only make it once a year and always ask myself why I don’t make once a week since it’s so delicious.

    Happy Thanksgiving, Babooners.

    Chris in Owatonna

    Liked by 4 people

      1. Although my 2 delinquents always seem to appreciate it.

        They are particularly thankful for the extra big bowl of kibble we are leaving while driving to and from Iowa.


    1. One of my favorite dressings is from a recipe of wasband’s grossmama. Wasband never made a single batch (so he could be guaranteed leftovers cold for breakfast the next day). It is quite involved so the stove ended up covered with frying pans and stuck on apples, onions, bread and sausage. Even though the original calls for a generous blob of bacon grease and all the undrained fat from the sausage, #1 son has created a vegetarian version for his wife that isn’t bad.

      Liked by 1 person

        1. I can see the picture but it doesn’t appear at the top next to the peanut butter jar. I find it by scrolling down. Also, the comment box isn’t readily available. I wouldn’t have known to look for a fresh post today if it hadn’t been for the email I get when a new blog is posted.

          Liked by 1 person

  5. Morning all! I love Thanksgiving – any holiday dedicated to gratitude does it for me.

    We travel for Thanksgiving – up to the northern suburbs to some of my best friends’ (Alan & Julie) celebration. This year 10 grandkids, six and under. My oh my.

    There are several vegetarians in the crowd these days so I take my Sourdough Sage stuffing, which is always a big hit. I found the original recipe on the internet years ago but have modified it as time has gone by. I have to make twice as much as the recipe calls for because everybody wants to take leftovers home as well. This year I’m also doing apple crisp. I use the topping recipe from an old cookbook I got at Aamodt’s Apple Orchard, but I double it. You have to have LOTS of crisp on the top to make it right!

    And I’m also in charge of the “thankful project”. This year I decorated up some clothespins that we will write on (what we’re thankful for) and then we’ll put them on a wire wreath frame. Kinda like this:

    Liked by 7 people

  6. OT. Wasn’t sure if I should post it, but have decided to go for it. Dale and Nancy lost their pup, Diamond, this week. She was 16 1/2!


  7. Since I’m almost as old as Diamond, nobody expects me to cook. I’ll be at my daughter’s home holding a fork, not a turkey baster. I don’t know what to expect, as I have only known one Portland Thanksgiving, but I’m sure to enjoy my grandson.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Heading to my cousin’s (in town). Originally, she had 12 people on her guest list but it has shrunk to 6. The co-op had handy, pre-weighed bags of brussels sprouts so I bought one. They are 6 pounds so we’ll have plenty (with hazelnuts and cranberries).
    I’ll also be making my first ever pecan pie (it was requested by someone, perhaps one of the people no longer coming). I have some 35 year old Karo syrup around somewhere but I don’t feel quite right about using it so I searched for a recipe without corn syrup so I won’t have ANOTHER half used bottle for the next 35 years.

    I don’t have any must-have family recipes for TG. Starting a few years after my arrival in Minnesota, a number of couples held what is now called a Friendsgiving. We did that for a number of years until divorces and migrations ended it. Our old must-haves included creamed spinach and Don’s Fancy peas as well as some creative spin on pumpkin pie.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. We’re celebrating Thanksgiving at our friend Ann’s house with the usual 10 suspects.

    Ann is a gracious and welcoming hostess, but a good cook she’s not. Everyone – with the exception of Ann – know this, so we work around it by volunteering to cook whichever part of the meal we care most about. This year Tuula volunteered to do the turkey and stuffing, Kate will bake pies, and I’m making roasted Brussels sprouts with pomegranate seeds and hazelnuts. I’m also bringing two kinds of cranberries: Mama Stamberg’s cranberry relish, plus a homemade sauce. Ann will make a sweet potato souffle, her late husband’s favorite dish. A couple of bottles of wine, and we should be good to go. Happy Thanksgiving – my favorite American holiday.

    Liked by 3 people

  10. I always make too much food – today I added something called Indian Pudding – a cornmeal-molasses custardy concoction that, after the first 20 minutes in a hot oven, gets more scalded milk, and then a 3-hour run in a slow oven. Makes the house smell great – so good, in fact, that I decided we need a little something to sustain ourselves tonight and tomorrow morning. We have enough other stuff for that Big Meal tomorrow…


  11. How could this happen? The drawer i keep all my rolling pins and pastry cloths in is inextricably jammed, so that the only way to unstick it will be to drill a hole in the bottom of the drawer and poke something into the drawer to unlodge whatever is jamming the drawer. I went out tonight and bought a new rolling pin and pastry cloth so i can make my pies tonight. How dumb is this? We rattled and pounded and inserted thin metal things to no avail. I hope this is our only Thanksgiving crisis!


    1. I guess that the lefse rolling pin, the springerle rolling pin, and the French rolling pin are too many to stuff into a narrow drawer along with two lefse rolling cloths, sachet bags, cheese clth, and two rulers.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. I bake pies and rolls, and my role for the rest of the meal is to appreciate. Pretty much everything served on Thanksgiving is my favorite. A couple of glasses of wine with the meal kinda tops it off.

    I’m making the filling for the mock mince tonight. The rest of the baking takes place in the morning.


  13. missed the blog today. checked in and figured there was no new post.
    nice lead in bir. thanks
    i am cooking tomorrow in the midst of the pandemonium of my season this year with moving and all.
    happy thinksgiving

    Liked by 1 person

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