[75] Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Garlic

How to Cook Everything, Revised Edition by Mark Bittman

One of the tricks to planning Thanksgiving, they say, is to make as much ahead as possible. I believe them. I believe them as I have never believed them before. I still don’t know who “they” are, but I utterly believe them.

I just didn’t listen to them much.

Honestly, this is because I struggled to plan a Thanksgiving feast for four that would still be fairly traditional, with way too much food, without being WAY too much food. I also couldn’t decide what really needed to be made the day of the celebration. Some things, I knew could be made ahead (the mashed potatoes and cranberries, for example).

I knew the brussels sprouts really needed to be made Thanksgiving day. I hesitated on roasting them, since my oven would be fairly busy most of the day, but decided that a roast during the turkey’s rest period would be just fine.… Continue reading →

[74] Firm Cranberry Sauce

How to Cook Everything, Revised Edition by Mark Bittman

This Thanksgiving, there was great temptation to jettison anything I don’t like to eat. After all, I’m the cook. Also, there were only going to be four people eating. Finally, our guests would have NO IDEA what’s traditional and what’s not.

I’m telling you this because, yes, I was tempted to dump the cranberry sauce. It’s never been a Thanksgiving food I enjoy. Bill, however, wanted some and I’d bought a pile of cranberries for cranberry liquor (to be posted sometime in February), and had some leftover. Also, I wanted another recipe for this challenge. Man, that’s a song you all have heard before, eh?

I’m really glad I made it. It’s still not my favorite food, but I did enjoy this batch. Probably my tastebuds have matured and the added sugar helps.… Continue reading →


I’m waiting for the “Coq Au Vin”:http://metacookbook.com/archives/142-73-Coq-Au-Vin.html photos to upload to flickr, and I am struck by a few things. One, I really take too many photos. Partially, it’s because I remember learning in photography class that it was a good way to learn (and I do). But it’s also because I just don’t frame a photo very well. My good friend Mel has a true talent for photography, and she says that her eye is just always framing shots. Mine is not. I struggle with framing every moment I shoot. I truly enjoy photography, but I recognize that I’m rather bad at it. (We won’t, for now, discuss the fact that either my camera or I is “not quite level.”:http://www.flickr.com/photos/metacookbook/5232960958/in/set-72157625529838404/)

Something that makes it worse is my lighting.… Continue reading →

[73] Coq Au Vin

Cover of Cooking for Two

I can’t remember why I decided to make this recipe. The sane and reasonable reason would have been, “Because I didn’t want any leftovers before Thanksgiving” and that may have played a small role. However, probably not as large a role as you might expect. I think the biggest reason was wanting something that wasn’t out of How to Cook Everything. Basically, I wanted to cook out of a cookbook we haven’t used in awhile.

On top of that, a very sane Thanksgiving reason also encroached. Not only did I not want leftovers before the big food day, I knew I wanted more freezer space as I cooked beforehand and for leftovers afterward. So I did a lot of digging through my freezer to see what I could use.… Continue reading →

[72] Baked Potatoes

How to Cook Everything, Revised Edition by Mark Bittman

You guys, I have to be honest with you here. The first photo for this recipe was, apparently, taken at 10:42 pm CST on the day before Thanksgiving. That means I was tired and stressed out, but also desperately seeking yet another recipe to be executed.

You see, Thanksgiving was not the glut of recipes I expected it to be. Largely, this is because I had to keep the feasting down to a reasonable amount for four people. As you can imagine, this was hard to do. When I thought we might have between eight and ten, I was thinking maybe four or five pies and several sides and a monster turkey and so on. When it finally came to just four people, I had to 1) reign in my instincts quite a bit and 2) give myself permission to make things I’d been drooling over for days, even though they didn’t apply to the challenge.… Continue reading →