Saturday, November 29, 2008

Unintentionally Funny Quote of the Week

From Top Chef's Thanksgiving Episode...

Taylor Hawkins, drummer for the Foo Fighters: "It's one of those things you put in your mouth and you just don't know if you should chew or swallow."

- in response to Padma's question: "Why are you making that face Taylor?"

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thanksgiving's Best

"When I worked in a grocery store, I loved nothing more than watching last-minute shoppers panic. Sometimes even now, I'll pop into a grocery store, on a holiday, just for my own amusement. Thank you, lady trying to buy a turkey on Thanksgiving!"

--Amy Sedaris, I Like You: Hospitality Under the Influence

I realize I am someone who is lucky to be invited ANYWHERE, and especially lucky to be invited anywhere for the holidays. Right now, I am on my way to Thanksgiving at my friend Kimmy's -- she has been up since "dark o'thirty" preparing our feast.

I don't have a lot of "holiday classics" in my culinary repertoire (frankly, I consider them a little beneath me), but dues must be paid, and I dusted off the two absolute BEST Thanksgiving menu items I could muster.

The first is an undisputed crowd favorite: "Maker's Mark Sweet Potato Souffle." The title pretty much says it all. The second, is more controversial: my Dad's dressing.

It's very traditional (again, an area where I'm outta my league): cornbread, sage, celery, onions... you get the idea. I have only made it a few times in my life, but I have honed it. It is (if I do say so myself) perfect.

It's controversial because EVERYONE has their OWN version of stuffing -- what we call dressing in my family (presumably, because we don't stuff it into the cavity of anything, lest we all spend the holiday weekend at the E.R.; we're A. alarmists, and B. hypochondriacs).

Some people use oysters, some people use fruit and walnuts (what we call "waldorf salad"). Some people use bread, and on Martha Stewart just this week, somebody used canned cling peaches.

Yeah, it takes all kinds. Except: I think it DOESN'T.

It isn't just that theirs is different, everyone has to concede that mine is BETTER. My college roommate suggests, diplomatically, that when it comes to classics (meatloaf, turkey, chili, etc.) EVERYONE assumes theirs is "best."

Well... Maybe they do.

But they would be what I would call: Wrong.

(They gotta know if it starts with opening a can of anything or includes "cheez" in the title, it's NOT RIGHT. They might LIKE it, but it's not RIGHT.)

When I get invited somewhere, I bring my "A" game. If my dressing wasn't the best (not "my" best, but THE best), I would bring something I was better at. There is no diplomacy in my kitchen. There is no diplomacy in my CD collection. Or on my bookshelves.

BEST is meant to convey something different than "favorite."

For example, I had a good time at "Mamma Mia" this summer (good company, good times, beautiful day, Kentucky Theatre), but the BEST movies I saw were Before the Devil Knows You're Dead and The Savages. I loooooved Death Race, but it wasn't the best anything except the "best chance to see Jason Statham without his shirt on before the next Transporter.

I could go on... And I will...

But dinner awaits one block away.

And they'd BETTER like this dressin'.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

30 Rock Quote of the Week

"Meeting someone new... Ugh... All the nodding and smiling and sibling-listing -- and what's the upside? It works, and you have to have a bunch of sex... I just wish I could start a relationship about 12 years in. When you really don't have to try anymore and you can just sit around together and goof on TV shows and then go to bed without anybody tryin' any funny business."

- 30 Rock

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