Chances are you live a stone’s throw away from a Thai restaurant in your neighborhood, and you’ve got a go-to local favorite for pad thai. These days I often find myself traveling north of Berkeley, where there’s quite a few wonderful Thai eateries clustered in Albany, El Cerrito and San Pablo locales.
Now I don’t want to be a downer, but if there’s any day during the year when you might accidentally spread some bacteria or make someone sick, it’s Thanksgiving. But keeping your meal safe for your family and guests isn’t difficult if you take a few proactive steps. Here are some easy food safety guidelines for not only the holiday meal, but every day throughout the year.
What are the pros and cons of brining a turkey? What is the secret to perfect pie crust? On the day before Thanksgiving, food scientist and New York Times “Curious Cook” columnist Harold McGee joined Forum’s Dave Iverson in the studio to answer listeners’ last minute cooking questions.
This post was supposed to end much differently. You see, we did something special at my house for Thanksgiving this year. I challenged my mom to a “Stuffing Smackdown.” Now I’m one of those people that likes to do virtually everything homemade–and my mom does too, for the most part. But she likes bagged stuffing. In my unofficial stuffing research, I discovered that most people think adding their own combination of ingredients to Pepperidge Farm bags of stuffing counts as homemade. I don’t. The challenge was on.
Normally I stew beef, pork or chicken when braising, but last week I was in the mood for something a little different and ended up buying some turkey thighs instead along with pancetta, brown mushrooms and a bottle of red wine. I envisioned something between a coq au vin and beef bourguignon, but with turkey.
Looking ahead at this week, it would make perfect and predictable sense for me to contribute yet another Thanksgiving-themed piece to the steaming, teeming masses already out there. However, I will not.
I am not being obstinate. I am moving. After five+ years in the same tiny (albeit well-appointed) San Francisco apartment, my husband and I are relocating for the suburbs where he can have a five-minute bike ride to work and I can have a larger-than-life kitchen while ferreting out fresh food finds. So, taking advantage of the 8 days off Stanford gives their professors, we are talking boxes and bubble-wrap, not turkey.
As far as I’m concerned, side dishes are what make a Thanksgiving dinner great. Sure, I like turkey, but I truly love stuffing, gravy and mashed potatoes. For me, carbs topped with gravy make this holiday meal delicious. The problem is that most of us don’t make these three dishes very often, so preparing them once a year — for a table full of family and friends no less — can seem intimidating and make you feel a bit like Dorothy walking into the dark unknown forest with the Tin Man and the Scarecrow.
Thanksgiving is a huge business in this country. The U.S. Department of Agriculture reports that 45 million turkeys are purchased for Thanksgiving alone. Most of those turkeys are raised in confinement, on large factory farms, and are types which are raised for their large, white breasts. In the Bay Area, we have access to many types of sustainably-grown, free-range, and heritage variety turkeys that you may be interested in considering for your dinner table.
Happy Thanksgiving! This is my favorite holiday of the year (ok, I love Christmas too) because it’s a time when I get together with my friends and prepare a delicious feast (always a good thing in my book), and look back over the past year and think about how lucky and grateful I am for […]