Thursday, November 25, 2010

Nostalgia Tastes Delicious

A question that I've been asked a lot in the last week is "oooooh, what are you making for thanksgiving?"  I think most people are asking because I am doing The Project, and since there are a lot of thanksgiving-y recipes (they even have a whole list of them on their facebook page!)  they think I'll be cooking up a storm.  But alas, I am not. And I'm perfectly fine with that. 
If I lived closer to home, I would be helping my mom (and I'll do what I can once I get home to help) but I wouldn't be cooking my own stuff.  Because in my family, Thanksgiving is not about new recipes.  It's been the same dinner, almost exactly, for the last ten years. Ten years ago was the addition of Corn Pudding, which my mom got from a high school friend of mine's mother. Before that, though I imagine that it had been unchanged for a decade as well.
Turkey, mashed potatoes, regular bread stuffing, rice stuffing, sweet potatoes (mashed), green bean casserole, cauliflower with white sauce, creamed onions, gravy, turnips, corn pudding, pickle and olive tray, cranberry sauce and rolls.  Plus a slew of pies for dessert (in case you were wondering, a slew is the technical term for a lot of pies).
It's my favorite holiday for two reasons: the food, and my family. As far as the food goes, If I had to choose a last meal, it would be Thanksgiving dinner.  I love the fall flavors, the turkey, the sweet-tartness of the cranberry sauce against the savory mashed potatoes and gravy, the mellow buttery corn pudding, and the herbed breadiness of the stuffing. 
I have a great family and we are really close- we get together a bunch of times a year, and we vacation together too.  But this is one of those events that everyone is present (well, mostly, depending on the year- this year we have everyone!) , and there is lots of laughter, and joking, and silence at the dinner table until everyone has devoured their first plateful of food.
This year, I'm thankful for my family, my sister moving to Baltimore, my awesome friends, for a fun project to work on, and my bitey cat, who is right now, hissing at the furniture in my parents' house. 

Friday, November 19, 2010

Things I Need to Do Before I Leave Baltimore for Thanksgiving

Yes, I know I could have done this on a piece of paper, but I think having it out in the universe to hold me a little bit more accountable.

Clean My Apartment- it is kind of a mess right now, and I want to have it nice and clean and organized so that when I come back the Sunday after Thanksgiving, I can just relax.  Also part of clean my apartment but deserves a bullet:

Clean out my fridge. Seriously. It's gross in there.

Figure out what Project Recipes I'm cooking this weekend.  and cook them. (or bake them)  Right now it's looking like butternut squash cider soup, overnight madelines, baked mushrooms, Rice, maybe chocolate chip cookies? If any of you have suggestions, I'm open to them.

Make three batches of crunchies to take home to the Jerz. (if I do not do this I... fear for the reaction of several of my cousins)

Go to target and pick up the odds and ends I need.

Call the apartment complex and get them to replace the light bulb in my light fixtures It's been out for awhile, but sheer laziness has been preventing me from calling and just having them do it already.

Clean out my car

Update my ipod with most recent podcasts.  I am leaving at five in the morning and am willing to bet my sister will be sleeping for the majority of the trip up there. So, podcasts galore!

Get Earl's stuff ready. 

It looks like I've got my work cut out for me, I'll check back on Wednesday with a status update.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

29/29th #4

4) Enter a cooking contest. (a real one. not one at work. With real judges and everything) 

Done!  I entered the cookie contest that the Baltimore Sun is having.

Thanks to Julie to alerting me to the contest!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Ten things that are making me happy right now

1) My new project is trucking along! 1,097 more recipes to go!
2) Thanksgiving countdown has begun. Sixteen Days!
3) Averted near panic today when I thought I was scheduled to work the saturday after Thanksgiving. That would have sucked mightily.
4) Hanging out with my sister and Lauren this weekend - Holy Frijoles for drinks and Rocket to Venus for drinks! (Rocket to Venus is my new favorite place. Try the deep fried pickles. And the Bahn Mi)
5) Sunday Night Dinner with Jackie on Monday
6) Having Wednesday off this week (awesome)
7)  Planning out the things I'm going to make for The Project while I'm at home.
8) Earl the cat surviving a second story jump off of my apartment balcony, completely unharmed.
9) The Weepies Concert is coming up!
10) 11 days until Harry Potter!

Monday, November 1, 2010


So I don't imagine that I have a whole lot of readers that don't overlap with those who A) follow me on twitter, or B) are friends with me on Facebook,  but for those golden few (and those who didn't see the announcment yesterday because they were being awesome and halloweening)  I wanted to tell you about my new project.

I am going to cook all the recipes in The Essential New York Times Cookbook.  (and blog about it!)

I'm not setting a timeline (I think it'll probably take me about three years) because the book has over 1,000 recipes. I'm really excited about the whole project!

So head on over and check it out!

Val cooks the NYT