Thankful (But Not for Grasshoppers)

I had just finished my last post about my pal Mike and his wife Bridget harassing me from Oaxaca with their photos and videos of delicious meals, when they returned — bearing gifts!

There was a lovely and colorful dishtowel, a jar of black mole paste which to this cook is as good as its weight in gold, and there was a small jar of chapulines — roasted grasshoppers.

Chapulines

Chapulines

On the adventurous eater scale of 1 to 10, I consider myself about a 7. I’m no Anthony Bourdain. But I’ve recently been venturing more deeply into the euphemistically named world of “variety” meats, have sampled the slimiest offerings the world’s oceans put forth, and am a fan of such culinary curiosities as Japanese fermented natto and the stinking durian. There’s not a lot I won’t try, at least once. But one taxonomic class I have steadfastly resisted ingesting is that of the insect. More

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Thankful

I was sitting in the dentist chair a few mornings ago, trying to find my Zen place as the hygienist plunged Medieval devices of torture into my mouth. I was feeling thankful that I only had to do this twice a year. Although these days, all things in the world considered, there are a lot of worse places I could be.

Saltimbocca-style turkey

Saltimbocca-style turkey

“Maybe if you re-branded teeth cleaning as a kind of ‘spa day’ for your mouth,” I said to the dentist, “people would be less apprehensive about it. You could call it a ‘denticure’.”

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Leftovers

For a lot of people, one of the best things about Thanksgiving is having leftovers. My stepfather loves to make sandwiches with leftover turkey and stuffing, which is just plain wrong in my opinion.

Turkey hand pie made with Thanksgiving leftovers

Turkey hand pie made with Thanksgiving leftovers

We received several invitations to “Leftover” dinners in the days after Thanksgiving. As I mentioned in my previous post, my friend, Vic, had the idea to do a gourmet-ish small plates dinner with Thanksgiving leftovers on Friday (which necessitated our regrets to a subsequent leftovers dinner invitation from our other friends, Bob and Shoba, for the same night). More

Thankful for Stuff (not Stuffing)

I’m a bit of a non-traditionalist, particularly when it comes to Thanksgiving. I think turkey pretty much sucks, stuffing does nothing for me, I don’t like pumpkin pie and cranberries are weird.

Kind conquerors feeding the savage Indians at the first Thanksgiving

Kind conquerors feeding the savage Indians at the first Thanksgiving

So I faced a dilemma when my in-laws asked me to bring a turkey. I joked with my mother-in-law that I was going to solve the dry-turkey problem by serving mine medium rare. She laughed uneasily. More

Skinny Girls Roadshow LIVE from Sonoma — Tearing Down Thanksgiving

As my mother, who is sitting in the next room, can attest, I’ve always been a bit of a rebel. If you knew my mom, you would realize I come by it honestly.

Turkey confit on the stove

Turkey confit on the stove

When it comes to Thanksgiving, I’ve certainly got her to thank for my rebelliousness. After years of bucking the standard Thanksgiving traditions — particularly turkey, stuffing, gravy, et. al. — we were dragged back into the fold by partners and family members who favored a classic approach to the holiday. I did manage to produce an interesting German Thanksgiving dinner one year for my wife’s family, who at that early stage in our relationship were already confused and confounded by me. More

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