Today is International Buy Nothing Day. It’s a great idea. Sadly, I have to decline. No, I’m not taking part of the Black Friday madness. I’ll be avoiding Walmart and the malls.
But my family does things differently, and we have our Thanksgiving meal on Saturday. That means today I’ll be picking up delicious treats to bring down to Connecticut. I’ll be making the rounds to find delicacies that aren’t widely available. Hopefully, The Cheese Traveler can help in that regard. Part of me is also seriously considering a bottle of Hederberg Meadworks to replace one of the bottles of wine I’d typically bring. I’d even be open to some special beers. Anyhow, my plan is to go shopping and see how the spirits move me, so to speak.
Most people see today though as the start of the holiday shopping season. The Christmas shoppers have much more time than the Chanukah shoppers. But that’s pretty much always the case. Regardless, I thought I’d share some of the things that are on my wish list, just in case it might be helpful for the food lover on your list.
It’s later than I expected and I’m behind in my cooking. So I have to make this short and sweet.
What are holidays without traditions? Well, we have one here at the FLB. Every year the same link gets posted, and readers are encouraged to sit around with their friends and families to watch the same eighteen minutes and thirty six seconds of audio visual material.
Some might think it’s about entertainment. But it’s not. Some might dismiss it as being about aging hippies. They might have a point. But it’s really about social justice. Which isn’t to say it’s not entertaining, because it is. And it all started forty eight thanksgivings ago.
This is the season for giving thanks. Tomorrow is Thanksgiving. The only day some people will sit down to eat a meal with their family all year. The day people cook food from scratch. The day that people fret about pairing wine with their meal. The day that people overwhip their cream (and send it hurtling towards butter, well past the silky soft peaks that complement a beautiful slice of pumpkin pie).
My family and I have already started our annual argument over the whipped cream. And I’m happy to take all their criticisms about its silky texture and restrained sweetness. All I really care about is the stuffing.
Tomorrow, the FLB will have its traditional Thanksgiving post. But before we settle into the holiday season, it’s probably a good idea to take care of some housekeeping. I’m sitting on a pile of questions that have been asked in the comments section of the blog. And dammit, I’ve made a commitment to answer them. You know, just so long as they include a question mark.
Don’t forget about the mystery link of the day. It’s there for two reasons. One, to make it easier to scan the long list of questions. Two, if you get tired of my shenanigans, you’ve got a convenient way to read something much more interesting. Or maybe not. You’ll have to click and see.
Now, without further ado, onto the questions.
Back in August, I had a night very similar to last night. I stayed up way too late watching video feeds from a country that I do not recognize as my own.
Personally, I wasn’t expecting an indictment. Were you?
It’s not the riots that I find troubling. Riots happen. We had one in Albany over something called Kegs & Eggs. There was one recently surrounding an annual pumpkin festival. Riots are destructive. Riots are upsetting. Cars can be replaced. Buildings can be rebuilt. And buildings don’t feel pain. Property is far, far less important than people.
Mostly what gets to me is watching an overmilitarized police force launching wave after wave of teargas canisters into a crowd of mostly peaceful protesters. And if this can happen in Ferguson when the eyes of the world are watching, do we as Americans still have the right to free speech and freedom of assembly?
There I was in East Providence, hungry, with only 40 minutes to eat. Honestly, I didn’t even know where I was. We had followed my mother to a music school where soon there would be a concert in memory of my aunt.
But I had my phone. And even though my uncle had his doubts, I was optimistic that Yelp could point us in the right direction.
Part of the trick is knowing how to use the app to your best advantage. It’s not rocket science, but I’ve been doing this for a long time now, and on the heels of this recent success, I thought I’d share.
Sometimes all it takes is just a gentle push. Othertimes it takes a bit of hand holding. Everyone’s path into cooking is different. I got tired of washing dishes, so I decided to start contributing to meals by making dessert.
These days, I believe in cooking. I think more people should do it. Yes, it can seem like a burden. But it doesn’t have to be.
One of the very first posts on the FLB was entitled Make Your Own Damn Sauce. I still believe that homemade pasta sauce is the gateway drug of home cooking. And that is one of the big reasons why I’m excited to be hosting this Sell Out Funday giveaway provided by Tuttorosso.
Elementary school is largely awful for teaching kids about food. Candy is given out as rewards, the students were encouraged by their teacher to buy Sunny D, and in music class they learned the fast food song.
And that’s without even stepping foot in the cafeteria. Let’s not even go there today.
When I was in grade school I had to do a project on Greece. Actually, I was on a team with my oldest friend ADS. Part of the project involved making a food from the country. Maybe my mom will remember how two fifth grade boys came up with Greek salad. I don’t. What I do remember was ADS wanting to shred the lettuce into itsy bitsy pieces like they did in Disney World.
We shredded that lettuce with our fingernails. By the time of the presentation, the salad was a disgusting mess. Our wooden bowl, filled with browning torn bits of lettuce, reeking of feta, and swimming in dressing was placed in the school refrigerator. Before we could present it to the class, some public-health minded janitor, threw the whole thing (bowl and all) into the dumpster.
Today, Young Master Fussy has an international culture project of his own. And just like any normal parent, I’ve taken it upon myself to use this opportunity to rewrite the wrongs of the past.