I was delighted to see this article in the New York Times this morning. I have not yet inherited a role in the Thanksgiving festivities in my family other than patron and critic. I still leave the cooking to the generation ahead of me.
My biggest challenge is to reverse engineer the recipes and create a guessing game, (Is that thyme you used?” “Curry too?!”). However, I do think I will try this recipe at home. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/14/dining/an-impressive-thanksgiving-appetizer-squash-on-toast.html?src=me&ref=general
Bitman is a huge inspiration of mine and has been ever since I first saw him on the Spain on the Road Again series. I was nearly in tears when Don Quixote came around the bend with Sancho Panza and prepared a meal for the crew. As a lover of Spanish literature and food, this was like living a fantasy. Who wouldn’t want to travel back to the dusty Extremadura region and have a meal and a few drinks? (for a peek at my attempt of some of my own Spanish literature, see my fiction blog). Also in the series was Mario Batali, on whom I had developed a huge crush when I was 16 years old, not your typical sex symbol, but the didactic way in which he spoke about cheese just did it for me.
As a gift, years later, my mother bought me Bitman’s “How To Cook Everything,” which is an incredible resource. Oddly, though, I don’t often use recipes. It sits on my shelf as a reassuring wealth of knowledge, asserting itself as boldly as its bright red cover when I need a hand at dinner. I read recipes to get the gist of a dish, but I usually, rightly or wrongly, try to intuit what the dish needs.
I’m going to have to try the squash toast out next week and report back. Last night I did not cook, as I still had leftovers from my summer meal. Instead, I was able to enjoy some delicious Hudson Whiskey. Tonight I have to attend a work function, but this weekend I will get to it and look forward to expanding my repertoire and trying this simple variation on a theme.