November 2009

Get a New Grain: Oats

With all the different types of oats out there it can get confusing. Is one superior to the other? Is one healthier than another? Here’s the simple scoop . . .

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Pumpkin Spice Oatmeal with Toasted Pecans

This breakfast is downright decadent; like a pumpkin pie in a bowl. Don’t let its sumptuousness rob you of pleasure though, this dish is super-healthy too. It’s loaded with fiber from the pumpkin and whole grain goodness from the oats.

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Making Leftovers Lovable

Leftovers have an inherent challenge built into them. “Make me as inspiring as I was yesterday,” they seem to say. Once you’ve done the reheat and the sandwich, though, then what? Here are three ways I’ve learned over the years to live up to leftovers’ dare.

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Sweet Potato-Kale Bread Pudding

You can bake these little bread pudding muffins a few days ahead; cool and refrigerate. Reheat them in a low oven while the turkey rests. You also can cook this in a 2-quart baking dish instead of a muffin pan, if you prefer.

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Turkey Time

You’ve read the story about heritage breeds, but what does all the rest mean? Here’s a closer look at what picks are out there to help you choose the bird that’s right for you.

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cider-gravy-thanksgiving-side-dishes

“Sans Pan” Cider Gravy

This is a great gravy to use when you’re grilling a bird and don’t have a pan to collect the juices. A quick turkey stock made from the neck and giblets (removed before the turkey roasts) is enhanced by a nutty roux and brightened by a splash of apple cider. As Nickie says, “it’s the perfect autumnal gravy.”

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Lentil Soup with Roasted Pumpkin

Lentils are a staple food in Eritrea, and every time I prepare them I recall my years there. Adding cubed roasted pumpkin lends this soup vibrant color and transforms it into an ideal Thanksgiving starter.

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grandma-frieses-whole-cranberries-thanksgiving-side-dishes

Grandma Friese’s Whole Cranberries

Grandma Friese was famous in our family for writing out recipes that began with things like “Take a bottle of cream…” without any indication, for those of us who grew up in the post-milkman era, what the size of a “bottle” might be. And that’s the way this recipe was originally handed down to me. She used to make these cranberries way ahead of time and let them ferment; they have quite a kick.

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Carving New Traditions

Thanksgiving always felt like something I was supposed to love but never really, in my heart of hearts, did. But everything changed between Thanksgiving and me three years ago with one little word: Noemi.

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A Story of Heritage Turkey

Turkey is the iconic American bird. The species is native to the Americas, but many of the breeds that populated our country’s agricultural landscape throughout the centuries were a mix of indigenous wild turkeys and domesticated ones bred in Europe from stock originally exported from the New World. To me, though, turkeys are a living illustration of how much our country’s food culture has changed in the past fifty years. Read on for more of the story . . .

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