Thanksgiving is all about pie. But if you can believe it, there are people out in the world that dislike pie. I know many of them; they prefer cake or cookies or ice cream. While part of me would like to talk all sorts of trash on them, I sort of get it.
I used to dislike fruit pies and would skip the fruit part all together and just dip the crust in whipped cream. That was before I learned that there are apples in the world that should be baked and others that should never ever be touched with heat. This made the world of difference.
Because these people who hate pie exist, I wanted to give you an alternative. This persimmon pudding is like a spongy cake with hot salty and sticky toffee sauce poured on top. It’s warm and soft and salty and sweet and ahhh! I made this a couple times and each time I was like, This might be better than apple pie!
Gravy is my everything. While I love it on everything from stuffing to slices of turkey to mashed potatoes, I REALLY love it the day after Thanksgiving. You know, when things have dried up a bit and really need that dreaded word we all hate: moisture. Cranberry sauce helps too and so does mayonnaise, which is actually foreshadowing as to what’s to come next week, but for now, GRAVY!
This gravy is thick and smooth and delicious. It starts by using the drippings from yesterday’s turkey. And I’ll say that the drippings from that turkey and its dry brine are VERY salty drippings. But I added a few things to combat that saltiness so no need to not get on this lil’ gravy train (do you see what I did there?).
Isn’t Thanksgiving the best? Even planning Thanksgiving excites me so very much.
This past Friday my manuscript was due, so I’ve been scurrying, testing last-minute recipes, shooting, and writing a whole lot in order to make the deadline. Turning it in felt epic. And this past weekend was the first few days I’ve had off in a while, and even then I was working. But there’s something about working from bed that doesn’t feel like it actually counts as real work, so I feel back to normal, refreshed and ready to have another busy-ass week.
Pumpkin everything. Pumpkin ice cream, pumpkin pancakes, pumpkin cheesecake, pumpkin pie, pumpkin every which way.
That is the style of October, amirite? I’ve been thinking a lot about pumpkin these days, and desserts. I’m pretty sure it’s my bodily reaction to want more dessert and soup once the weather dips below 65. It’s all nature’s game plan.
We’re hurling toward November. How did this happen? I want October back! This week includes meeting some deadlines, figuring out (finally!) want Amelia is going to be for Halloween (maybe a banana?), and more recipe brainstorming. There’s a holiday at the end of this month and I need to be prepared so you can all be prepared, you dig?
I probably won’t be the richest grandma so I doubt I’ll leave copious amounts of money to a school or hospital; I won’t end up buying a ton of jewelery in my lifetime so there will be no diamonds (sorry, grandchildren); and there’s a good chance I won’t be leaving behind large amounts of land in the hills of Wisconsin (are there hills in Wisconsin?…you get what I mean).
My hope is that my grand kids will tell their friends about how their grandma looked so sweet and small yet she was strong, told sarcastic jokes and had a foul mouth. I hope they tell their friends that whenever I visited, I made them the most elaborate ridiculous lunches and wrote them the sweetest notes for them to find at lunch time. And I hope they tell their friends about how their grandma, with her super veiny hands, made the best pies ever.
1. If your dog is annoying you, an empty-ish (plastic) jar of almond butter will distract him/her for hours. HOURS, I tell you. Amelia sat under the couch and tried her hardest to reach the bottom of the almond butter jar. She failed, thus creating about four hours where I didn’t see her/hear her. Glorious. Pretty sure she was drunk on almond butter.
2. Pinterest will shave hours off your life. Hours. Lots of ’em. I feel like I’m actually liking Pinterest for maybe the first time ever.
3. Bar Method, my recent workout endeavor, will seem easy and calming and girly, but then the instructor will push you to work those lil’ muscles you never knew existed. and then the next day you’ll wake up barely able to move. It’s a good thing, apparently.
3. Persimmon and salt-cured fat (aka lardo) taste soooo good when they’re on the same plate! AHH! This salad is my new obsession.
This salad makes my Thanksgiving salad dreams come true. I’m a notorious lettuce-salad-hater. It’s from years and years of being forced to make the dinner salad growing up. They were sad. They were depressing. (Sorry mama.) And they were always made with terrible lettuce.
In an alternate universe, I have long hippie-flowing hair, I can wear long dresses (I’m so very short) and have the super power to go on walks in the forest and name every single flower I come across. I can gather a random medley of flowers, take them home and effortlessly arrange them in one of those antique-y looking vases. In this alternate universe where I’m a flower-whisperer, I’m guessing I probably HATE sunflowers. (I feel like most florists whom I’ve met do.) I’m a flower snob, guys.
In my non-alternate universe, I kinda like sunflowers. They’re definitely not my go-to flower at the market, but I like them in fall. They’re so warm and cheery and harmless. I will admit, they’re definitely homely, but I think that’s part of their charm. For the longest time I had no idea what that sunchokes were related to sunflowers. Honestly, for a long time I had no idea what the hell a sunchoke actually was. I thought it was an artichoke. I dunno. When I found out the two were related it all made sense. Sunchokes do sort of taste like nutty, the way a sunflower seed tastes. You can eat them raw, shaved in salads or pan sautéed and thrown in a hash with an egg, but I love them in soups. They make the creamiest, silkiest of soups.
When I was in third grade I had in a role in my first play ever and it was my all-time favorite, Oliver Twist. I sadly was only given one line in the whole dang thing (I was gunning for the role of Dodger but didn’t get it) and that was, “Can I have some more porridge, please.”
I made sure to make my eyes look really sad and puppy dog-like and used the best fake English accent I could muster up. I’m pretty sure it was awful. I remember never really knowing what porridge was at the time, and honestly my opinion of it as I grew older was scarred from that experience. I figured it must’ve been awful if all “orphans” could get their hands on was a big bowl of mushy porridge.
Porridge has made a big 180 in my head. Porridge would be pressed to find a bigger fan. This porridge love story starts with persimmons, the other love of mine.
I’ve been in New York this week on a trip that’s been mostly vacation, with a few meetings sprinkled throughout, and it’s been crazy amazing. While roaming around the city and eating all sorts of awesome things have been great, sleeping in has been the highlight. I never sleep in, and it’s not because I’m a super responsible, productive person, it’s because I have an animal that wakes me up way too early. It’s been a glorious week.
While I was writing PANCAKES, there were a lot of recipes that hit the cutting room floor. This was one of them. Not because it wasn’t worthy of being in print (it was!), it simply had to do with redundant. The Apple Pie Pancakes had already won its place within the book and there simply wasn’t room for a second apple pancake recipe. But I haven’t forgot about these apple ring pancakes. I’ve just been waiting for the right time to share ’em.