Saturday, November 29, 2008

Post-Thanksgiving Roundup

I'm doing a very short post now, but will post more within the coming week--taking advantage of vacation time. I promise that in the not-too-distant future my out-of-control work schedule will be somewhat tamed and I will be making more regular appearances. I'm also in the process of getting my own domain--more info on that to come.

This was our fourth year of hosting a vegetarian party, anchored not with Tofurky but with a seitan "pot roast." Much tastier, and surprisingly easy to make; most of the time involved is spent letting it cook, making it a good choice when one is laboring over the many side dishes. Photos can be found here. Despite our best efforts to get the guests to carry away as many of the leftovers as possible we still have a fridge and freezer full of food, and have no excuse for buying any more groceries for about a week.

I had to work the three days before, and spent some of the less-frenzied time surfing pre-Thanksgiving writing. This Slate piece details taste comparisons of vegetarian turkey analogs, though not really an equivalent of my homemade seitan. I'm not that crazy about Tofurky; as the reviewers do, I find it palatable but not great. With the seitan I get a lot more control over the final flavor.

Slate also amused me with this article about why food writers find this such a challenging holiday; it's hard to be truly inventive and write something new when the traditional meal structure is such a powerful force. "It's like redrawing the Kama Sutra when readers really only care about the missionary position," says the author.

Food Books
A bit ago I finally got around to reading Michael Pollan's In Defense of Food. As I had suspected, Pollan rather beautifully lays out the ethical and historical underpinnings of the Recipes of the Damned--even to the point of advising readers to avoid purchasing food at gas stations. Which means I can spend less time elaborating that in my book proposal, and more time making fun of Jell-O.

1 comment:

Samatakah said...

Last year I made an Indian feast for Christmas. I forget what I did the year before but it wasn't "the traditional." This year we'll be going traditional, despite my initial plan to make a big ole pot o' spaghetti and meatballs, since my brother, his wife, and her folks didn't get a Thanksgiving dinner (he had food poisoning). And someone has very kindly given me a Diestel organic turkey, so I guess I'll be exploring traditional American food this year. Not that I plan to do anything but roast the turkey and mash potatoes.