It’s the day after Thanksgiving. You just had a turkey sandwich with a few slices of apple and a schmear of cranberry, but there’s still a lot left. Why is it that of all the Thanksgiving side dishes, it’s the cranberry that hangs around for days? Whether it’s brandied cranberries, a basic homemade cranberry sauce or the one from a can, it’s always the last to go. This year, I’ve got an idea for you. Cranberry Black Pepper Sweet Rolls.
Thanksgiving really takes care of itself, doesn’t it? The meal itself is so steeped in tradition that you’re not really changing much, are you? Maybe you’ll have roasted Brussels sprouts this year instead of green beans. Maybe you’ll make apple pie in addition to pumpkin, but fundamentally, it’s the meal you grew up with. The point is, you know what you’re making or eating for Thanksgiving. The question is, what will you eat between now and then?
We have a week and a half of desk lunches to face before Thanksgiving fires the official starting gun for BS2 — that’s “Big Sweater Season.” Before you let it all go until January, have a look at this jeweled butternut couscous salad.
Growing up not far from Little Saigon, pho shops all had numbers — Pho 79, Pho 84, but somewhere along the line pho went mainstream and so did the names of the shops. So let’s get the jokes and gimmicky names out of the way upfront.
“What the Pho?” — Kids in my class were using this one as far back as junior high — in the late ’80s. Now, it’s a noodle shop in Bellevue, WA.
“9-0-2-1-Pho” — This is real. And yes, it’s in Beverly Hills.
“Jenny Pho” – Also real. In Issaquah, WA.
And of course, the king of all Pho shops…well, there’s an, um, king and he don’t serve burgers.
Creating a good pho broth takes hours, but there’s no reason you can’t do it. Put aside your worries about leaving a pot simmering on the stove unattended overnight, because you can make a good traditional pho broth in the slow cooker. I never would have thought of it, and then a lightbulb flicked on over my head when I saw the recipe on Serious Eats.
I bought a 4.5-lb. bag of Toll House chocolate chips at Costco. Joke all you want about whether or not anyone needs 12 rolls of paper towels or 6 packages of toilet paper at one time, but come the holidays, it’s the place to go. Need a 10 lb. bag of sugar for about the same cost as 5 lbs. at the grocery store? Costco. You’re doing spiced nut mix for an office party? Costco. You need to restock your bar? Costco.
So when I bought that bag of chocolate chips, it was without a lick of regret. I even felt like I was being somewhat restrained, since there was a 10 lb. bag of another brand. The thing is, I made this chocolate chip banana oat loaf with the regular chips but it didn’t produce the “chocolate in every bite” effect I was looking for. For that, you need the minis. Good thing I have no problem with keeping a well-stocked chocolate chip pantry.
We were on our way out the door to see Gravity around 11 am yesterday and Wolf went to open the garage door. Nothing. It had been a gusty morning, with acorns and pine cones plonking on the roof and leaves blowing out of the trees, but it was otherwise uneventful. Then, literally the moment we went to leave, the power went out. With my car trapped in the garage.
Having the power out on a not-a-work-day Saturday should have been a liberating experience. No power means no doing laundry, no puttering around all day on the Internet, no TV. It also means, for the most part, no cooking. No access to my car also meant not going anywhere. It meant sitting around and reading. It should have been a good thing, right?