Wednesday Morning Open Thread

Busiest travel day of the year. A NYTimes reporter is live blogging her travel day. And I thought I was in a blogging rut.

Open Thread.

< DWTS: Jennifer Grey Wins, ABC Averts Disaster | Justice For Some >
  • The Online Magazine with Liberal coverage of crime-related political and injustice news

  • Contribute To TalkLeft

  • Display: Sort:
    I'm going across town for dinner (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by andgarden on Wed Nov 24, 2010 at 10:12:00 AM EST
    tomorrow. It's a real hardship because you can't take the subway crosstown north of about 50th St. :D

    I am driving to friends' home about (none / 0) (#7)
    by oculus on Wed Nov 24, 2010 at 10:14:03 AM EST
    5 miles west.  Don't expect any TSA trouble.

    I got you beat (none / 0) (#9)
    by CST on Wed Nov 24, 2010 at 10:32:52 AM EST
    I'm taking a 10 minute walk to my parents house.  We live in the same zipcode, shop at the same grocery store, and share the same train station.

    The one hardship being there is this lot that I could cut across if they didn't lock the fence all the time... so I'll probably have to walk around it, adding at least 60 whole seconds to my trip.

    The best part is, I can do my cooking at home and walk it over, so I don't have to share the kitchen with my mom, her sister, and her mom, all giving me conflicting instructions on how to make pie and the correct way to set the table.  The one thing they always seem to agree on is that I'm "doing it wrong" :)


    If you watch enough cooking shows (none / 0) (#12)
    by andgarden on Wed Nov 24, 2010 at 10:42:40 AM EST
    you'll find that one person's "helpful cooking tip" is another person's food preparation myth.

    For my money, the best tip is to not even attempt to cook a whole turkey in your oven. Unless you take special care to protect the breast meat (Alton Brown suggests an aluminum foil cap after you brown the skin), it will be bone dry by the time the dark meat is cooked. If that little plastic button pops, make sure you have extra gravy on hand ;-).


    Easy solution to this, btw (5.00 / 1) (#14)
    by gyrfalcon on Wed Nov 24, 2010 at 10:49:14 AM EST
    Ice down the breast for half an hour or so before putting the bird in the oven-- use those things you put in coolers in the summertime, or plastic bags with ice cubes, or easiest of all, sacrifice a couple bags of frozen peas or other small veg pieces.

    HT to Cook's Illustrated for this discovery.


    My solution is to only eat the dark meat (5.00 / 1) (#22)
    by ruffian on Wed Nov 24, 2010 at 11:51:43 AM EST
    even the best cooked white meat is too dry for me.

    ditto (none / 0) (#24)
    by CST on Wed Nov 24, 2010 at 12:11:31 PM EST
    and I leave the arguing over how to cook the turkey to others :)

    I'll stick to pie and potatoes.

    White meat is for leftover turkey sandwiches smothered in mayo/gravy.


    White meat is also good for (none / 0) (#29)
    by nycstray on Wed Nov 24, 2010 at 12:21:18 PM EST
    stir frys. Absorbs the liquid and becomes nice and juicy  :) I'm also going to make a white chili with some. And of course my furry crew gets the white meat as I won't share my dark meat with them, lol!~

    yup - put enough mayo on it (none / 0) (#37)
    by ruffian on Wed Nov 24, 2010 at 02:28:28 PM EST
    and I'll eat it cold. But a slab of warm white meat is not my idea of dinner when there are better options on the table!

    I have the bird butterflied, then (none / 0) (#40)
    by Anne on Wed Nov 24, 2010 at 03:13:53 PM EST
    brine for a good eight hours or more.  With the bird now able to be laid out flat, it can be positioned so the dark meat and the white all have the same exposure - and it roasts in much less time.

    This year, with 15 at the table, and most people wanting white meat, I'm doing a whole, butterflied bird, but I'm also doing a breast that I cut off a second turkey and de-boned.  I will tie the two breast halves together, wrap with the skin, and grill over indirect heat.

    Since the butterflied bird roasts flat on a rack that sits over a pan with the dressing in it, the juices drip down onto the dressing - but the problem is that there are no pan drippings...I solved that problem by roasting the rest of that second turkey, so - voila! - lots of pan drippings and fond for gravy.

    Several years ago, I discovered a Cook's Illustrated recipe for green bean casserole that puts the gag-a-rific Campbell's soup version to shame; it's a little more labor intensive, but using fresh haricots verts, fresh mushrooms, real cream, etc. makes all the difference in the world.

    Coming down the home stretch now - might even be able to relax with a glass of wine or two tonight!


    2 things I banned from the menu (none / 0) (#42)
    by nycstray on Wed Nov 24, 2010 at 03:46:04 PM EST
    gag-a-rific Campbell's soup green bean casserole (great name!!) and sweet potato casserole with marshmallows on top. I'm cooking so I'm controlling the menu including what one family member would bring {grin}

    The whole green bean casserole thing (none / 0) (#43)
    by Anne on Wed Nov 24, 2010 at 04:37:08 PM EST
    started a couple years ago, when my brother mentioned that it was one of his favorite Thanksgiving dishes; since we seem to have made a tradition of doing Thanksgiving at my house, I had an executive decision to make: I knew if I "assigned" that dish to him/my sister-in-law, we were going to get the Campbell's version, and honestly, that stuff makes me gag.

    So...I googled a bit and found a recipe for one that, as I mentioned, uses fresh beans and mushrooms.  I couldn't assign them the dish AND tell them what recipe to use, so I decided I would make it myself.  It is the only green bean casserole I would ever eat, it's that good.

    I found it here, at A Veggie Venture - which, by the way, has an abundance of excellent vegetable recipes.


    Thanks for the links! (none / 0) (#44)
    by nycstray on Wed Nov 24, 2010 at 05:29:44 PM EST
    My mom alerted me that my niece might bring the GBC and that she had found a sweet potato cas that she wanted to try (I said no marshmallows and mom said oops!). So I found other ways to prepare those that I think will still work for her, ahem, taste buds :) I threw a mini rant along the lines of "I'm not coming over just to throw a turkey in the oven and then have everyone bring all this crap! I SAID I was cooking D*mnit!" For the 20 yrs I haven't lived in the same state, if I wasn't visiting and helping my mom, no one else lifted a finger. I'm kicking her out of the kitchen and doing the meal this year, so it's not the year to co-op my meal planning, lol!~ I set down the rules after that. I own the kitchen and no one is allowed there or in the family room off the kitchen while I'm cooking unless they are watching the game {grin} Mom's teaching niece how to make cranberry/orange sauce and pumpkin cheesecake today, so she feels involved and I can still control the menu :)

    Still haven't been able to like (none / 0) (#48)
    by Anne on Wed Nov 24, 2010 at 07:16:22 PM EST
    sweet potatoes; I have kind of an issue with vegetable dishes that have to be doctored with sugar and marshmallows and masquerade as dessert, lol.  I also have a problem with baked ham covered with pineapples and cherries - and I don't eat mint jelly with lamb, either...

    Our kitchen is open to the family room, so I can be in the kitchen doing what needs to be done, and still be a part of the celebration - we actually designed it that way; with a breakfast bar/counter between the rooms, people can sit on stools on the family room side and still feel like they're part of what's going on.

    With so many things that have to hit the table, and a lot of plates to be dished up, there has to be a plan - and I'm happier when I can control it; I tend to be fairly territorial in the kitchen, so I'm grokking your "rules," lol.

    I really have to work on my tendency to be too anal about everything, and remember that as long as we all end up with good food, and have a good time, the holiday is a success.

    Best to you and yours this Thanksgiving; I always appreciate your comments, love your love of food and animals and support of local foods and farms.

    Have a great day!


    Sweet potatoes IMO are much better (none / 0) (#49)
    by MO Blue on Wed Nov 24, 2010 at 07:29:58 PM EST
    when they are prepared simply. Baked with a little butter and seasoning or french fried. If you are into spices, french fried with a little bit of chipotle is tasty.

    I'm thankful that green bean casserole (none / 0) (#45)
    by MO Blue on Wed Nov 24, 2010 at 05:55:25 PM EST
    and sweet potato casserole with marshmallows on top never became part of our family traditional meal. OTOH I am normally in charge of making the stuffing at my daughters house Christmas day. Much to my chagrin, the last couple of years she has replaced some of my standard ingredients with alternative ones. This year I'm bringing my own ingredients so it will be made exactly the way I want it. If I'm going to make it, it is going to be made my way, d@mnmit.  

    lol!~ I bring my own ingredients also (none / 0) (#46)
    by nycstray on Wed Nov 24, 2010 at 06:19:54 PM EST
    Mom did have me send her a list so she could PU some for me (and she knows how I shop!). I'm glad I'm such a b*tch when it comes to controlling the menu. Mom buys a really nice free range turkey, it would be a shame to serve it with canned soup casserole and marshmallows!!

    Tonight I'm making Alice Water's skillet cranberry upside down cake and an apple/cranberry chutney with apples from my tree :) Also have some buttermilk culturing to make a buttermilk dressing in hopes of keeping the bottled crap off the table :O


    Definitely not in your league or (none / 0) (#47)
    by MO Blue on Wed Nov 24, 2010 at 06:53:29 PM EST
    others on blog when it comes to cooking. Pretty simple cook at the best of times. Now that I live by myself, I rarely cook anything that can't be zapped in the microwave or prepared in less than 20 minutes. Probably wouldn't object to the substitutions for the stuffing if it improved the taste but it did not.

    Never had cranberry upside down cake but I really like apple/cranberry chutney.


    Will you be reading this biography? (none / 0) (#10)
    by oculus on Wed Nov 24, 2010 at 10:38:14 AM EST
    Looks interesting (none / 0) (#13)
    by andgarden on Wed Nov 24, 2010 at 10:43:33 AM EST
    But I don't really have time to read it right now. Maybe in January. . .

    I was hoping you would join kdog (none / 0) (#51)
    by oculus on Thu Nov 25, 2010 at 12:48:42 AM EST
    and me in mid-Dec. at Miller Theatre.  

    Motor Trend Editor Rips Rush, (5.00 / 2) (#6)
    by Stellaaa on Wed Nov 24, 2010 at 10:13:25 AM EST
    Enjoy reading this article.  Wonder why other editors don't take them to task like this, but a car magazine does it?


    Happy Thanksgiving to the best bunch of people on the inter tubes.

    Particularly liked the ending (5.00 / 1) (#8)
    by MO Blue on Wed Nov 24, 2010 at 10:18:51 AM EST
    If you can stop shilling for your favorite political party long enough to go for a drive, you might really enjoy the Chevy Volt. I'm sure GM would be happy to lend you one for the weekend. Just remember: driving and Oxycontin don't mix.

    Glad to see you back commenting here. You were missed.


    Happy T-Day to All! (5.00 / 1) (#25)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Wed Nov 24, 2010 at 12:14:50 PM EST

    Hear Hear... (5.00 / 1) (#38)
    by kdog on Wed Nov 24, 2010 at 02:29:01 PM EST
    not sure if I'll be signing back in, so I urge all my pals to forget all the nasty and all the b.s., at least for a day, and be thankful for the food on our plates and wine in our cups, our family and friends, and all the little joys taken for granted that make this crazy ride worth the effort.

    Special thanks to our hostess, contributor, and all of you in the commenting community.  You're a special bunch of knuckleheads:)


    I bet you insist on plenty of marshmallows (none / 0) (#53)
    by oculus on Thu Nov 25, 2010 at 12:57:33 AM EST
    atop your Thanksgiving sweet potatoes!

    On rare occasions a Republican (5.00 / 1) (#34)
    by MO Blue on Wed Nov 24, 2010 at 01:45:21 PM EST
    politician says something that makes a whole lot of sense.

    Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R) tells Human Events he thinks Congress should be a part-time institution and borrows a line from Mark Twain, "Our liberty, our wallets are safest when the legislature's not in session."

    He adds: "Make politicians part-time. Give them term limits. Don't let them become lobbyists. When they have to live under the same rules and laws they passed for the rest of us, maybe you'd see some more common sense coming out of Washington, D.C. Instead you got a permanent governing political class. link

    Not sure of the part-time idea but I sure wish that this would become become the new reality for politicians.

    Don't let them become lobbyists.

    When they have to live under the same rules and laws they passed for the rest of us, maybe you'd see some more common sense coming out of Washington, D.C.

    happy thanksgiving BTD (none / 0) (#1)
    by Dr Molly on Wed Nov 24, 2010 at 09:51:15 AM EST
    My tasks today:  fresh cranberry sauce, corn pudding, stuffing, and apple gingerbread.

    Tomorrow: the turkey, vegetables, and maple cake.

    That should do it.

    Never had apple gingerbread (5.00 / 2) (#2)
    by MO Blue on Wed Nov 24, 2010 at 10:06:58 AM EST
    Sounds good.

    Happy Thanksgiving to all at TL.


    It's really good. (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by Dr Molly on Wed Nov 24, 2010 at 10:08:30 AM EST
    you can serve it with a lemon glaze, or with whipped cream, or with lemon sauce, or with just about anything!

    hope you have a nice holiday.


    And, a happy Thanksgiving to (5.00 / 2) (#19)
    by KeysDan on Wed Nov 24, 2010 at 11:27:36 AM EST
    you, Blue, and yours (including your colleagues here at TL). Always thankful for your insights.

    Thank you for the kind words (5.00 / 1) (#28)
    by MO Blue on Wed Nov 24, 2010 at 12:20:36 PM EST
    and wishes. Best wishes to you and your family during the holidays. I always respect and value your comments.  

    Sounds good (5.00 / 1) (#16)
    by Zorba on Wed Nov 24, 2010 at 11:25:07 AM EST
    My jobs today are making a squash pie, a chocolate chip pecan pie, spanakopita, and tyropita (Greek spinach and cheese pies).  Tomorrow, the turkey and a crown roast of pork.  And two types of stuffing- Greek chestnut-rice stuffing, and an oyster bread studding.  (I think I may be overdoing things a bit.)  A Happy Thanksgiving to all!

    That's "stuffing" (5.00 / 1) (#17)
    by Zorba on Wed Nov 24, 2010 at 11:26:27 AM EST
    not "studding" (remind me to look at spell check!).  On the other hand, "studding" could be interesting........   ;-)

    Must say my visual image of (5.00 / 1) (#30)
    by MO Blue on Wed Nov 24, 2010 at 12:22:48 PM EST
    "studding" is interesting.

    Chocolate chip pecan pie (5.00 / 1) (#26)
    by MO Blue on Wed Nov 24, 2010 at 12:15:18 PM EST
    Down right sinful - but oh so good. It is all things chocolate that prevent me from taking these extra pounds off.

    Back to the gym on Monday for me.  


    this time of year (none / 0) (#32)
    by CST on Wed Nov 24, 2010 at 12:28:06 PM EST
    is terrible.  Between mid-september and new years, we have 4 birthdays in my immediate family, halloween, thanksgiving, christmas, and new years.

    That's a lot of cake/pie/etc...

    I put on like 10 lbs every fall that I have to fight off in the winter/spring.


    We start in October (none / 0) (#33)
    by MO Blue on Wed Nov 24, 2010 at 12:39:19 PM EST
    with birthdays. One in Oct, one in Nov, one in Dec and two in Jan and one in Feb. That covers all the birthdays in the immediate family. When my mom and dad were alive there were two in Oct and two in Feb. Same day birthdays for my daughter and her husband and my dad and my oldest grandson. My son was born on Thanksgiving day.

    Unfortunately, this time around I have about 20 extra pounds that don't seem to want to go away even when I am eating less and exercising more.  


    Wow (5.00 / 1) (#27)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Nov 24, 2010 at 12:17:40 PM EST
    I'm impressed. You should post your recipes sometimes. You sound like a wonderful cook!

    I'm Greek (none / 0) (#35)
    by Zorba on Wed Nov 24, 2010 at 01:53:14 PM EST
    It's kind of "in the genes," but thank you!  When I get a chance, I may post some of my Greek family recipes on an open thread.  (Of course, a lot is sort of "free-form" and unmeasured, because I learned to cook from my folks, who learned to cook from their folks.  My grandmother and her sisters used to give recipes by saying things like "A fistful of this, a teacup of that," etc.  Usually spoken in Greek.  But, over the years, I've converted a lot of recipes to actual measurements because people request them.)

    sounds wonderful... (5.00 / 0) (#31)
    by Dr Molly on Wed Nov 24, 2010 at 12:27:53 PM EST
    ...especially the two kinds of stuffing! I love oyster dressing, but no one else in my family likes it so I rarely make it.

    Crown roast of pork is always so nice - makes such a beautiful, festive presentation on the table.

    Have a great holiday.


    Oyster stuffing is great (none / 0) (#36)
    by Zorba on Wed Nov 24, 2010 at 01:55:22 PM EST
    And fortunately, we all like it a lot.  We're in Maryland, so I always feel like we need to have the oysters in some form or another.

    Hold the presses - maple cake? (none / 0) (#39)
    by ruffian on Wed Nov 24, 2010 at 02:29:46 PM EST
    that sounds wonderful!

    It's amazing!!! (none / 0) (#41)
    by Dr Molly on Wed Nov 24, 2010 at 03:25:23 PM EST
    want the recipe? :)

    Yes! (none / 0) (#50)
    by shoephone on Wed Nov 24, 2010 at 08:56:26 PM EST
    Is it an easy recipe? I'm not much of a baker, but I love anything with maple in it.

    Some friends brought a maple coffee cake to my end of summer BBQ and the rest of us were in foodie heaven after scarfing it down.


    I don't know. I think the NYT (none / 0) (#3)
    by oculus on Wed Nov 24, 2010 at 10:08:08 AM EST
    blog is pretty interesting.  Espec. since I am not traveling by air the day before Thanksgiving w/3 kids 5 and under.

    We are almost there. Ready to leave home, that is. Suitcases packed and in the car. Loading the dishwasher. Just overheard: the 5-year-old asking, "Daddy is it O.K. if I get the pat-down? I don't want anyone to see my privates."
     [Italics added.]

    man oh man... (none / 0) (#11)
    by kdog on Wed Nov 24, 2010 at 10:42:36 AM EST
    is there such a thing as a class action suit for child abuse?  If so we need to serve some papers to Uncle Sam stat...that's such a heartbreaking question from the 5 year old.

    Media looking out for your rights. :( (5.00 / 1) (#15)
    by MO Blue on Wed Nov 24, 2010 at 10:58:59 AM EST
    Don't touch my junk? Grow up, America.By Ruth Marcus

    The uproar over the new procedures is overblown and immature. The marginal invasion of privacy is small relative to the potential benefit of averting a terrorist attack...
    "Don't touch my junk" may be the cri de coeur - cri de crotch? - of the post-9/11 world, but it's an awfully childish one. We let people touch our junk all the time in medical settings.

    Isn't it wonderful having the media cheering for the government depriving you of any or all rights. You want the rights guaranteed to you by our Constitution. How childish of you. No wonder the American public are so poorly informed.


    Not just the media... (none / 0) (#18)
    by kdog on Wed Nov 24, 2010 at 11:26:43 AM EST
    I love to read letters to the editor in the local papers...far too many voicing support of the TSA nudie pics and rub-n-tug policy...it's depressing how cowardly we've become as a people.

    "Freedom isn't free" as the saying goes, one of its costs is accepting risk.


    I've noticed a MSM (none / 0) (#23)
    by brodie on Wed Nov 24, 2010 at 11:53:09 AM EST
    pushback in the last few days against those protesting the new TSA procedures.

    Tweety Matthews is vigorously defending it along the lines of What if we don't and a terrorist gets through?  He seems to want as much security on airlines as possible, personal liberties and the Const be darned.

    Ed Schultz also was seen on his teevee show wondering what all the fuss is about.

    Today, Green Glennwald takes to task The Nation where a couple of reporters imply that the Don't touch my junk! fellow is a libertarian connected to some Koch-driven RW political strategy to expose the TSA and damage Obama.  I tend to agree with GG.


    I have to disagree (none / 0) (#21)
    by lilburro on Wed Nov 24, 2010 at 11:44:01 AM EST
    I will read some mindnumbingly banal things at work (for example, why do people recap TV comedies?  Look at the list of shows they recap over at the AV Club.  It's crazy.  And why, why on God's earth do I read them?) but that is just too much.  Is she actually getting paid for that?

    Maureen Dowd (i know, i know), (none / 0) (#20)
    by KeysDan on Wed Nov 24, 2010 at 11:41:46 AM EST
    had an interesting column in todays NYT op-ed.  Some harder to find details on the "Number Two Taliban" commander who turned out to be a fraud (fitting right in with most of the cast of characters).  

    According to Ms. Dowd, the British had spent a year developing this grifter as a source and, despite a heated debate and CIA skepticism (but, apparently not enough), General Petraeus bought in to it. The poseur was flown around, attended NATO meetings,  assets put at his disposal, and he was paid in "the low six figures."

    Curiously, the Afghans let the faker retreat over the border to Pakistan, and he was not held to determine if he was, in fact, a faker or an enemy agent.  Another fine mess we have gotten into.

    Excellent material for John Le Carre's (none / 0) (#52)
    by oculus on Thu Nov 25, 2010 at 12:50:24 AM EST
    next novel.  Most recent one focuses on banking industry.