Thursday, November 15, 2007

Thanksgiving Planning

Wow, it's been a long time since I've posted anything! Work has been particularly exhausting, daylight hours are short (I need to learn more about indoor photography pronto!), and it's dark and stormy out at least once a week. On top of all that, L and I are both at home today with rain spattering hard against the windows, steaming mugs of tea (Plantation Mint for him, Twinings Prince of Wales for me), a very warm and snuggly pup, and some kind of nasty flu. Clearly, life is trying to kick my ass right now.

The good news is that quiet days like this inspire me to get ready for upcoming holidays! With that in mind, I've spent some time this month poking through a few reliable sources for Thanksgiving inspiration.

The New York Times has an entire food section devoted to Thanksgiving dining. If you haven't already, I recommend taking a minute to sign up for login privileges- it's free, the Dining and Wine section is often a good read, and they don't fill up your inbox with annoying messages. This week's Thanksgiving articles are at best insightful and inspiring (mashed potatoes aren't as complicated as some people like to think and save-the-day vegetarian entrees- see column on the right for recipes), and at worst interesting breakfast reading (As Six Turkeys Tussle for a Title, Degrees Challenge Pedigrees).

As always, the Epicurious Complete Thanksgiving Guide and the Food Network's Thanksgiving section are both great resources, especially if you have time to read recipe reviews, though I don't recommend bothering with the "I substituted grapefruit juice for the wine, collard greens for the turkey, peppermint extract for the herbs and baking soda for the shallots, and it came out awful. This recipe is terrible" type reviews. As you might imagine, they're not terribly helpful, though I'll admit that they are often highly amusing!

And of course, the usual blogging suspects have started posting holiday recipes left and right (don't vegan pumpkin whoopie pies sound good?). I'd bet good money that they've been tested and retested, tried out on friends and critiqued in comments sections by devoted readers, so you know they'll be stars at your Thanksgiving (and/or holiday) table!

If you're interested in learning about how Thanksgiving celebrations have evolved, I recommend reading Giving Thanks by Kathleen Curtin and Sandra L. Oliver. Kathleen Curtin is the resident food historian at Plimoth Plantation in Plymouth, Massachusetts (what a cool job, eh?!) , and the book profiles the recipes and history of Thanksgiving from the first celebration to present day traditions.

I'll be narrowing down my list of recipes and making grocery lists soon, and I'm sure that at least some of you will be doing the same. I'll try to post some of my own recipe suggestions and reviews soon!

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