News of tragedies has been heaped upon us, the fortunate, and actual tragedies have made the end of 2012 catastrophic for so many families. Our hearts go out to them, most of all to the parents who lost children in Newtown, CT, and all parents who have lost children of any age. (If any of my readers know actual parents, I urge you to read the novelist Ann Hood’s moving and useful words on helping the bereaved.) Meanwhile Congress seems certain to throw our economy back into recession in what is a colossal disgrace of a house divided, and I think the lot of them should be run out of town on a rail. One of the shamed, Senator Joe Manchin, put it rightly when he said, “Something has gone terribly wrong when the biggest Read On »

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My dad made this cranberry sauce when my daughter was very young. He was mystified, as I recall, having never cooked cranberries before, always used the kind with can-ribs, sliceable. That his granddaughter loved it made it very special to him. He continued to make it. His granddaughter is no longer four but rather seventeen and she will be making it this year (and so did I, because I wanted to share it in this post and think of my dad while it cooked). It’s really simple, can be done today or the day of (or several days ahead, next year). Just throw everything in the pot, bring it to a simmer, and set a timer for 90 minutes. It will thicken up, but you may want to give it another 20 minutes if it’s Read On »

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  It’s Thursday as I write this, a week before Thanksgiving. This year we’re driving to the Hudson Valley to celebrate with Donna’s big and growing family—something like 21 adults, a few teenagers, and a few youngsters. Donna volunteered me for the gravy because, well, let’s face it, gravy is a no-brainer and will travel well. (Recipes for stock and Friday Cocktail below.) A no-brainer if you make excellent turkey stock now! I’ll be doubling or tripling the below recipe this year. Today, I’ll be roasting drumsticks, wings, and necks. (I read on Wednesday in the Times that the venerable Jacques Pépin picks the meat off the neck of the turkey and adds it to the gravy. I might try that this year.) Roasting them will give your stock a nice flavor. All that golden brown Read On »

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Video: Learn how cranberries grow and how they are harvested, via Yahoo.

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The history behind the dish and how it is celebrated in Texas, via Lubbock Avalanche Journal.

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