Which is why I am doing yet another Thanksgiving post. And speaking of the Post and Thanksgiving, when did the Washington Post Food Section get an injection of relevancy? I am so loving Wednesday's Food Section, answering some basic Thanksgiving questions and giving some of the basic recipes. I love that the Food Section is not trying to track or make trends. This week it's about giving some recipe and tips that address problems of the home cook. For example, the difficult thing about mashed potatoes is that you have to make them a milisecond before you serve them, because cold or lukewarm mashed potatoes...BLECH. They solve that problem by turning the mashed potatoes into a casserole that stays warm in the oven so that you can make them ahead of time. BRILLIANT! All of the questions they answer are ones that even experienced cooks have asked themselves before like, "What's the best way to roast a turkey and how long does it take?" or "I'm not a gravy person, and don't really know how to make it. But at Thanksigving everybody seems to want it. Help!" For this week's food section, the editors realize Thanksgiving isn't the time to be avante garde. I'm sure even vegetarian conceptual artists in SoHo are opening up cans of Burpee Fried Onions to make green bean casserole for Thanksgiving. The Post food writers chose recipes that were interesting but not threatening. They do the basics of roast turkey, herbed bread dressing, and mac 'n cheese. Even better, they acknowledge that NOONE wants offbeat ingredients like jalepeno peppers in their cranberry sauce. Their more adventurous recipes include a Prosciutto and Cornbread stuffing, corn pudding, and mixed greens with pears and balsamic vinaigrette. While they include some non-traditional ingredients, the recipes themselves aren't out of the ordinary.
By the way, if you ever disagreed with me that Ina Garten is a co-dependent mess, watch her first Thanksgiving episode. She talks about how she wanted to serve a Virginia ham for Thanksgiving but all of her friends screamed at her to serve a turkey. Of course she caved and served the turkey. She spends the WHOLE episode talking about how you have to make Thanksgiving EXACTLY how people had it growing up. So she makes brussel sprouts for one person and then makes two kinds of cranberry conserve because one person doesn't like nuts. It's like that Thanksgiving episode on Friends where everyone is telling Monica how to make mashed potatoes (lumpy, with tater tots, with peas). Ina, you're hosting the party and doing all the work. Serve whatever the hell you want.