The best part about the Thanksgiving meal, as far as I am concerned, is the leftovers (this is why, however, we eschew having turkey again for Christmas). Given that blogging and blog readership tend to lighten up during the holidays, and since there are enough virtual Tupperware dishes of leftover blog topics near to hand, why not take the opportunity to make a meal of them?
Here's a tasty morsel sent my way by Bill West, a meme that asks me to open the latest book I am reading to page 161 and transcribe the 6th sentence. Well, Bill, I'm deep in Christopher Hibbert's Redcoats and Rebels: The American Revolution Through British Eyes, and page 161 contains a quotation from British Lieutenant Martin Hunter, a participant in the Battle of Germantown. Line six (by my reckoning the sixth full sentence) reads; "I think I never saw people enjoy a charge of grape before, but we really all felt pleased to see the enemy make such an appearance and to hear the grape rattle about the commander-in-chief's ears, after he had accused us of having run away from a scouting party." Anyone of my readers who wishes to take up this meme yourself and pass it along to others is welcome to do so.
The ecology blog carnival Oekologie #11 was at 10,000 Birds back on November 15th, where readers will find a grand assortment of the best in Eco-blogging on display. Likewise I highly recommend spending some time at the 6th edition of Beautiful Africa, celebrating the many ways that this continent and its highly diverse ecology and cultures represent more than just a sad litany of degradation, corruption, war and famine. If you haven't already had the opportunity to sample the 1st edition of Cabinet of Curiosities, why not "drop in one evening for a mess of potage, our specialty, just aubergine and carnation petals, with a six-shilling bottle of Mule du Pape, a feast fit for a King?" And if you would like to host one of the upcoming CofC editions, contact me with your preferred month and we'll hook you up.
The much anticipated 2007 Cliopatra Awards for the Best in History Blogging are now accepting nominations in a handful of categories through the end of this month with voting to begin in December. If you have a favorite history blog writer, a great new history blog, superb blog post, series of posts, group blog or individual blog with an historical focus that you would like to nominate for this honor, you may do so here.
Finally, I enjoyed one of the best pecan pies I have ever eaten over Thanksgiving. I was the cook, but the recipe came from the November 21st Culinary Corner segment of north country public radio WAMC's Roundtable Program. The secret is the rum. In case you can't find the recipe in the WAMC archives, I offer it here in full:
November 21, 2007
Jasper Alexander of Hattie's Restaurant in Saratoga returns to tell Joe how to bake the perfect pecan pie.
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 2/3 cup light corn syrup
- 2 tablespoons dark rum
- ½ stick butter
- 3 large eggs lightly beaten
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 2 cups broken pecans
- ½ cup pecan halves
- 1 ½ cups flour
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 6 Tablespoons cold butter cut into small cubes
- 1 ½ Tablespoons vegetable shortening
- 3 teaspoons cold water
To make the crust:
1. Combine flour, sugar and salt in a food processor
2. Add butter & shortening in small pieces and pulse until it resembles course cornmeal
3. Slowly add cold water until the flour just begins to clump. (you will need to add less water than you think)
4. Stop the food processor and take some of the flour and squeeze it in your hand. If the flour stays together, you have enough water.
5. Turn the dough on to a floured work surface and kneed together. Careful not to over kneed.
6. Wrap dough in plastic and refrigerate for 1-2 hours
7. Roll out dough...
To make the filling:
1. Combine brown sugar, corn syrup, rum, salt, vanilla and butter in a non reactive sauce pot. Slowly bring all ingredients to a simmer, whisking frequently, making sure the sugar is dissolved with out reducing the mixture.
2. Remove sugar mixture from the heat and allow to cool for about 10 minutes.
3. Combine chopped nuts and Eggs
4. Pour into the pie shell and top with pecan halves.
5. Place in oven at 350 degrees for approximately 35-45 minutes or until the center of the pie no longer wiggles and the nuts and crust are a golden brown.
I guarantee that there will not be leftovers (at least not in my house). Bon Appétit!