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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Now that the kids are back in school and Donna and I are back from travel, life returns to its homey routine. Which happily includes an actual late Sunday morning breakfast. It’s one of the best times to cook and can be one of the most satisfying meals of the week. First of all, I’ve got to say it loud: GRITS! Grits are fabulous and I can’t tell you how many people taste them and say they can’t believe people don’t eat them more often. Honestly, you should make them a staple (the butter-poached shrimp and grits in Ruhlman’s Twenty is one of my favorite dishes, period). Just be sure to use real grits (instant grits are not grits). I used Bob’s Red Mill here, because my grocery store carries them. But I highly recommend Read On »

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