As promised, this was kale week. You can check out a post on kale, a recipe for a raw salad, and one for the cooked green. Both recipes are super easy, and kale on your table, raw or cooked, will deliver vitamin A, fiber, calcium, and all sorts of other goodness. In addition, it provides a welcome respite from the piggery sure to be present one week from yesterday.

LCF Update 11-17-17

Elsewhere, this LCF Update 11-17-17 looks at how others are handling next Thursday. Every year, various publications offer helpful checklists for keeping your sanity. This year, I have 2 favorites:

  1. The NY Times has approximately one million recipes, which is really no help at all. Also, I made that number up, but I bet it’s close. What IS a huge help is their wonderful Thanksgiving guide. The advice covers cooks at every level, each course, and suggests menus and timetables. And then, should you need to get away from football, you can head over to the Watching site to get all sorts of recommendations to play as a background to your carb coma. Yep, everyone, don’t blame the turkey. It’s carbstravaganza out there, and you’re gonna be sleepy if you’re doing this party right.
  2. I love Bon Appetit’s Thanksgiving Lessons feature, which frankly is more entertaining and useful in magazine form, at least from my p.o.v. But by all means, access it from the link above if that’s your jam (and you probably can’t find the mag in stores at this point for love or money). It’s another fine practical approach, one suited to either the novice or the pro and the rest of us somewhere in the middle. I especially like Lesson 2, “Mix Up a Signature Punch.” Punch: fun to say, even more fun to drink. Skol!

Just because menu sharing is fun, here’s what on the docket chez Bauer et al:

  • Some sort of filo pastry bc I have some filo to use up; probably spanikopita plus a dairy-free mushroom version for the house vegan.
  • A big salad; I’m thinking fennel, arugula, citrus, sunflower seeds in a mustardy vinaigrette, but I could change my mind.
  • The turkey, of course. We brine it. Steve and my son eat it. But its TRUE importance is for:
  • THE GRAVY. That is all.
  • To sop up gravy, potatoes mashed with parsnips and garlic, a couple of kinds of stuffing, biscuits.
  • I’ll also whip up some vegan gravy. It’s not difficult. Gotta make my vegan happy.
  • Various veggies dishes: sauteed kale for sure, green beans without glop, maybe some squash of some kind.
  • A pecan-date pie in an oatmeal crust (I’ve been using this recipe for years), and a pumpkin chai cheesecake, sort of riffing off this. When it come to desserts, I do not screw around. I do recipes. Except when I riff, and then yes, I kind of do screw around. This picture is an uncredited photo from Cooking Light, btw.
  • LCF update 11-17-17: Pecan oatmeal pie from Cooking Light

This year, I particularly like Cooking Light’s Pre-tox diet (whatever that means). I don’t know if I’m eating it before a detox, or if, as I suspect, I am eating it to give my body a teeny bit of a break pre some serious tox. Of course, I’ll have to adapt, as I am not down with all the chicken. I don’t eat much in a normal week, and why on God’s Green would I eat it before…turkey? Bizarre. But it’s a nice balance in a magazine that generally has a very sensible approach to eating.

LCF Update 11-17-17: What’s Cooking Elsewhere

Steve and I went to see Loving Vincent, and I am now a proven ogre because I really didn’t like it. This is easily my favorite take on the movie. In a nutshell, my beefs are:

  1. Van Gogh is all there in his paintings and letters. The detective story/conspiracy theory angle is cheap.
  2. VG’s paintings journey to a place that has little to do with realism. Yet the characters are simply some sort of digital rotoscope painted-over versions of the actors. So we see every millimeter of a squint or a corner of a mouth upturning in a smile, all of it flickering continually, producing a colossal headache.
  3. As Jonathan Jones notes in the linked article, Van Gogh remains tremendously accessible; the lines at his museum in Amsterdam are lengthy and undeterred by rain.
  4. This picture, which is a close up of a blow-up at said Van Gogh museum. I reiterate, dude does not need to be all mystery-ized to be interesting.

lcf update 11-17-17 and Van Gogh's eye

But as I say, I do not have a popular opinion, not for the first or hopefully last time. Friends raved about this thing; “Best thing I’ve ever seen anywhere!” Ah, well. To each his own.

Meanwhile, over on the nightstand, and entirely by coincidence, Will Gompertz’ What Are You Looking At? The Surprising, Shocking, and Sometimes Strange Story of 150 Years of Modern Art, has been mostly a treat. There has been one unfortunate recreation of the Impressionists, of whom VG was NOT a member (he’s Post), nervously swirling their coffee while Monet says things like “Sacre Bleu!” I mean, not really, but it’s definitely that corny in other ways. But by and large, Gompertz does an excellent job of giving context to everyone from Manet on up through Duchamp, Kandinsky, and I imagine I’ll eventually get to Jeff Koons, who I do need help making sense of, because I saw that Whitney show a few years ago, and I just don’t really get him.

Also enjoying (so far) the dystopic The Last Policeman by Ben Winters. Plague, hard-boiled detective, no future in America’s dreaming, etc. Fun! Seriously, if you can’t see the charm in reading dystopia in these surreal times, I cannot help you.

I listened to The Queen Is Dead as I promised my daughter. My future as a Morissey fan remains shaky; he sings in the cracks. But I do like the title cut quite a bit. Meanwhile, I just discovered Gershwin’s Cuban Overture, a delight, even though it’s kind of a Spanish version of An American in Paris, which is kind of a Franco-cute version of Rhapsody in Blue. But it’s all Gershwin, so I’m pretty happy about that.