Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday, and after 3 straight years of late November and early December law school exams putting a celebratory restraint on this national holiday of excessive cooking, drinking, and feasting, I’m making the most of it this year.
This weekend, I attended my second Friendsgiving dinner for the month and celebrated even more jubilantly thanks to receiving the very relieving news that I passed the California bar exam (little yay; BIG SIGH). And now, mere days before actual Turkey Day, I broke my usual week-of-Thanksgiving rule of not eating any remotely American food before the big day.
I have no defense. I’ve been sick, sitting in pajamas and slurping on soup and sipping up tea all day for six days straight. I needed a change. I needed some crunch. I needed to use up the rest of the 1-pound bag of pretzel sticks I’ve been munching on since last Wednesday. And, because I’ve been almost entirely without energy, I needed a super easy, slap-it-together, stick-it-in-the-oven-and-let-it-do-its-thing answer.
So after 5 minutes of prep and 12 minutes of lounging on the couch while it baked, my spoon dove through the crunchy, crumbly, cinnamony brown sugar and pretzel topping into a ramekin full of warm, gooey apples, and I forgot all about that silly little pre-Thanksgiving rule of mine. (more…)
Mother Nature, your recent weather shenanigans have put me in an awkward position, alcoholically speaking. When San Francisco weather turned predictably frigid at the end of October, as it has done for all of the past five years I’ve lived here, I officially went into fall and winter mode. I made an Oktoberfest-inspired potato and bratwurst salad; and I baked a gorgonzola-crusted pear tart; and I lunged head first into butternut squash season; and I embraced hearty grains and winter greens; and I even purchased some apple brandy on a particularly bone-chilling day so that I could make a nice warm beverage to enjoy in front of the fire that evening. Then the Giants won the World Series, and suddenly, we’ve reverted back to Indian summer. And actually, it’s been even warmer than early September through late October. It’s been downright hot and incredibly sweaty. Need I remind you it’s November?!? How am I supposed to use the 7-pound sugar pie pumpkin I invested in when my apartment is blazing hot without even turning on the oven or stove? And more importantly, what will become of that apple brandy, which I longed to pour into hot apple cider and other cold weather cocktail concoctions?
This is all particularly frustrating to me because I’m a planner by nature. One look at my Google calendar will show you that I plan weeks and even months – and sometimes an entire year – in advance. That look will also reveal that I am serious about organization; you’ll see I’ve got not one, but five different calendars within the Google calendar: social/travel; birthdays; professional; deadlines; and Bar Method. (Yes, Bar Method has an entire calendar to itself. And it’s fabulously pink.) I probably have a problem. But I can’t help it, and it keeps me very aware of what I’m doing, where I’m going, who I’m meeting, and when all of this is occurring. Some might call me “thoroughly organized and incredibly detail-oriented;” others might go with “crazy.”
Either way, when I buy something like apple brandy, I expect to use it. For winter drinks. Maybe even for winter cooking. But I just can’t drink brown booze when it’s 80 degrees out. (more…)
Once upon undergraduate studies at UCLA, I met this hockey-playing electrical engineer. And eventually he wooed me with an ice skating date where he initially showed off his skillz (yes, with a “z” because I’m reasonably certain that’s how he perceived his skating and wooing abilities at the time) but then was kind enough to stop intimidating my elementary skater self and just hold my hand while we chit-chatted rapidly and skated (what probably seemed to him) woefully slow around the ice. And before long, I fell in love. With his mom’s chicken curry.
And him. But let’s be clear: that second part is beside the point here. And while we’re getting clear on things, I’ll readily admit that this is not a made-from-200-different-spices and requiring-lots-of-time curry. Rather, it is a very flavorful, easy-to-make, and healthy dish that benefits from using a good curry powder. And frankly (yes, I can hear all you food snobs out there gasping, “Oh no! Curry powder?!?!?), if this curry is good enough for Jay’s Vietnamese mother, it’s certainly more than good enough for me.
But back to the story … there I was, visiting Jay’s parents over spring break. (more…)