It’s kind of hard for me to get my head in the game this fall - you know, for Thanksgiving and the holidays and all. I can hardly keep track of anything these days except the words on my computer screen, and even that’s touch-and-go. My brain is a wide-mesh sieve. The other day, I went out to breakfast with a friend, someone I’d lost touch with for a couple of years and ran into again only recently, and we were talking about my wedding. She wanted to know what time the ceremony took place, and - get this - I couldn’t remember. Could. Not. Remember. I was like, “Uhh, four? Or five? Or no, four-thirty?” The only good part is that later, when I told Brandon about my little memory lapse, he giggled and admitted that he can’t remember either. Heavens, he’s dreamy. We were meant for each other.
But all that notwithstanding, I really do want to talk about Thanksgiving today. I love Thanksgiving. It’s barely ten days away and approaching at lightning speed. I haven’t been cooking much these days, to be perfectly honest, but over the past few weeks, during lunches and in those late-night moments before my eyes cloud with sleep, I’ve come across some holiday recipes that made me itch to get to the stove. I don’t have much time to spare, but this weekend, feeling terribly decadent and devil-may-care about the manuscript and whatnot, I decided to do it anyway.
Oh ho ho. See that carrot soup up there? So pretty, right? So silky, so creamy, so delicious, it would seem, with white cheddar and a warm baguette? Oh, were it so. To tell you the truth, it was boring. Really boring. Like, I’ll-keep-eating-this-because-it’s-healthy-but-I’m-definitely-not-
going-to-enjoy-it-boring. It had tons of sweetly sauteed shallots, homemade chicken stock, and cream, and still, booooo-ring. I had it for lunch today and almost fell asleep.
Then there was the winter squash gratin from Julia Child’s The Way to Cook. Years ago, someone told me that it was a terrific recipe, and I’ve had it bookmarked ever since. I finally tried it on Saturday. It’s basically cubed winter squash - I used butternut - that you steam briefly with some minced garlic and fresh ginger and then fold gently with béchamel, top with fresh bread crumbs and gruyère, and bake slowly until lightly browned on top. I’d never made a gratin with béchamel - usually just milk or cream - but this was Julia, right? I love Julia. And butternut squash! And gruyère! It would be rich! It would be gooey! A Thankgiving homerun! You see where this is going. It too was only so-so: strange and slippery on the tongue, and with next to no flavor. It was like butternut squash with the volume turned down. It was wasted groceries, basically, and why oh why did I do that, and oh, what the hell, let’s have ice cream for dinner designer sunglasses sale
But in the midst of all this, my weekend of utter mediocrity, I remembered something. It came as a great relief. I think you’re going to like it. I know I do.
What I remembered was Shirley Corriher’s Touch-of-Grace Biscuits. Over the past several years, these little lumps of glory have come to be my Thanksgiving trademark, and though I wrote about them here three years ago, I thought it was high time to take them down from the shelf, dust them off, and trot them around again. I hope you don’t mind. Once you’ve tasted them, I doubt you will. I’ll bet even a snore of a carrot soup could look lively with one of these dunked in it Информция для турагентств Гонконг
Shirley Corriher is a well-known food scientist and author of a book called Cookwise, but even if you haven’t heard of her, this recipe will have you shouting her name from the rooftops. It’s based on her grandmother’s method for making biscuits, and though it’s a little odd on first glance, it’s utterly, utterly easy. Basically, you combine flour, sugar, and salt; rub in some shortening; and then stir in buttermilk and cream until the mixture looks like large-curd cottage cheese. Then, using a measuring scoop, you spoon up a biscuit-size quantity of the wet dough, dunk it in a bowl of flour, dust it off, nestle it in a cake pan, and repeat. The biscuits bake into a pebbly cake of sorts, like this.
Then you break them apart, wrap them in a dishtowel, put them on the table, and watch them go - because they do, fast. They’re uncannily light, moist and airy, with a flavor that’s both rich and tangy, buttermilk through and through. If you want to know what I’ll be contributing to Thanksgiving next week, when Brandon and I go to Oklahoma to celebrate with my mother, my aunt, my grandmother, three cousins, one cousin-in-law, two cousins’ boyfriends, one brother, one sister-in-law, one uncle, and one baby niece who is just starting to eat real food and loves it so much that she pants in anticipation - pants! - when she sees a spoon, well, this is it. I’ll probably be making two batches, actually, or maybe even three. Because we like biscuits. Much better than butternut gratin, in fact. I don’t know what I was thinking alexander hera