Thursday, October 30, 2008

The Great Pumpkin

Tonight we had the pleasure of having our friend Lindsay over for dinner. Lindsay makes things easy because she generally just wants me to make roasted root vegetables and stuffing. While I didn't have the ingredients necessary for the latter I was more than prepared for the former.

I decided to go classic with the salad. I used up some of the lettuce, arugula, and mache in the fridge along with some goat cheese, chopped pecans, and dried cranberries. Not breaking any new ground but it was still pretty delicious. Too bad the Coach Farms low-fat goat cheese costs more than our monthly rent.

For a second course I made a risotto with the carrots and turnips from the farm, a little pinot griggio, some ricotta cheese, Parmesan, and the turkey stock from Canadian Thanksgiving. I also seasoned it with a touch of cardamom, sage, cinnamon, and cayenne.

For the main course: roasted root vegetables with baked chicken breast and roasted potatoes. The root vegetables consisted of celeriac, turnips, carrots, and leeks all from the farm. Also, I chopped up the forgotten parsnips from Canadian Thanksgiving for good measure. Jen had made a pear chutney yesterday and we accompanied our chicken breast with it.

I'm not a big fan of baking a chicken breast. In my book you can only bake cookies, muffins, and cakes. Meats are never to be baked. Technically I guess the chicken was roasted but I think if one you refer to it as baked you can try and pretend that it was healthier than it actually was.

After dinner Jen carved the pumpkin with Lindsay while we all enjoyed It's The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown. Well, we all watched It's The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown. I may be the only one that enjoyed it. Lindsay may have enjoyed it. Jen did not enjoy it because she has no love for the depressing antics of the Peanuts gang.

For dessert we had apple slices with whipped cream and caramel sauce. There was also a healthy helping of whipped cream out of frame.

Then Jen and Lindsay finished their political statement-free carved pumpkin. No endorsement for president, just a jack-o-lantern designed to strike fear directly into your heart. Your local and organic heart.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Pumpkin Eaters

After an early night to sleep I woke up feeling rested but still not excited about my 6:00AM drive into New Jersey. Today I was contented to know that I didn't have to drive all the way to Vernon, New Jersey, but still wary of the state in general. I may have even reconsidered some of my harsh peanut references from yesterday. Some of them.

This morning I exited the apartment and was greeted by a harsh arctic blast of wind accompanied by pouring ice cold rain. As I tried to get into my car the umbrella turned inside out and I struggled to get control of the apparatus and turn it back inwards. As I reached up and pulled on one of the extending metal bars my hand slip and sliced my finger clean open, spilling blood all down my arm. This was the same finger that I'd foolishly cut open with a razor blade a month or two ago.

Frustrated I simply forced the opened umbrella into the backseat, causing it to buckle and collapse.

There in the back seat was my Windbrella, an umbrella my mother purchased for me for such occasions. I think I even heard it trying to suppress laughter as I grumpily took my place in the driver's seat and wiped the rainwater from my face.

My trip home from work was much more uneventful. I took the car by the farm share, avoided any unpleasant run ins with any traffic cops, and picked up this week's haul:

1 sugar pumpkin, 1/2 pound of arugula, 1 1/2 pounds of potatoes, 1 1/2 pounds of turnips, 1 head of lettuce, 1 head of garlic, 4 chiles, 4 pounds of pears and a 1/2 gallon of cider. After I got home I realized that I'd missed the 3/4 pound of braising mix but I think we'll be okay for this week.

After not getting a sugar pumpkin yesterday and not being able to find one at the supermarket earlier in the day I was delighted to get the pumpkin in our share. I hadn't been expecting it because farmer Ted hadn't mentioned it in his weekly email. I quickly hollowed it out and toasted the seeds with a little olive oil, cayenne, cumin, and salt. I cut up the pears and served them over the lettuce and arugula we'd just gotten with a drizzle of olive oil and finished it with some shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano.

I normally don't take much care in salad making but I was quite happy with the way this salad turned out.

I immediately tossed the hollowed, seasoned pumpkin into the oven to roast it and soften it up. While it was roasting I prepared a stuffing for the pumpkin out of the farm onion, pepper, garlic, jalapeno, and even some diced potato. I added some ground beef, cooked it down and then fortified it with some plain bread crumbs at the very end.

This stuffed pumpkin has been a family tradition for years. My mother made it around this time of year every year when we were growing up. Jen got the recipe from my mom a few years back and has made it for me here but with Jen working late tonight I realized that I did not have the recipe or know how to make it. I chose to improvise my version of the stuffed pumpkin instead.

For dessert I sliced up some pears and apples, made some whipped cream and finished up the last of the pomegranate. It was pretty tasty but I wished I'd had more time to bake it into some sort of delicious cake instead.

Today was a much-needed improvement over the fiasco that was yesterday. That is unfortunate considering that we both had to work today.

Somehow we managed to eat half of that massive pumpkin tonight. I look forward to tomorrow when I polish off the rest.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Days of Crap and Roses

Today started poorly. I got home from work at 5:45AM and only got a few short hours of sleep. While I slept Jen spent her entire morning and some of the early afternoon at the Social Security office being treated to the level of customer service one can only get from a set of self-hating government employees.

Our plans of getting a somewhat early start on our day's trip to New Jersey was thwarted and we left around 1:00PM.

I'd just like to start today by saying that I hate New Jersey. I hate the shape of the state (it looks like a stupid, idiotic peanut), I hate the people in the state (they act like stupid, idiotic peanuts), and I hate the traffic and the smell, and the tacky strip malls and everything else about anything that occurs within the borders of the garden state.

The purpose of our trip was to do the following:

  • Get a large pumpkin for carving.
  • Get a small pumpkin for eating.
  • Get $20 worth of apples that would only cost us $10 at the grocery store (or $0 through our farm share).
  • Get some apple cider donuts.
  • Go to Crate & Barrel to use our wedding gift certificates.

    I don't want to spoil the ending but let's just say that it was not completely accomplished.

    After about an hour and a half in horrible traffic on I-80 we eventually made it through some sketchy parts of nightmarish New Jersey and found our way to the farm.

    90% of the apple orchard had trees which didn't have apples any lower than about ten feet high. After a few expertly executed leaps I was able to snatch a few to toss into our bag. The unfortunate part was that after landing I would inevitably step onto a slippery apple and almost land flat on my back in the dew-covered apple graveyard.

    But it was pretty cool because we saw a giant deer leaping about up the trail. He was leaping ahead and when we finally reached the spot where he was we found trees that were loaded with apples. It was a lot like he was our spirit animal.

    I found this sign off on the side of the road. That wasn't actually a Macoun apple, it was a Cortland but what an awesome sign.

    We looked everywhere and could not find any smallish pumpkins. We were planning on making a stuffed pumpkin for dinner but, alas, that would have to wait.

    Our attempt to find the Crate & Barrel on our way home was unsuccessful. We wandered around route 17 for a while but eventually decided to cut our losses and return home. This day had mostly been like getting repeatedly kicked in the crotch so we were anxiously awaiting calling it a night.

    I used some odds and ends to put together a salad with mache, almonds, horseradish, avocado, lime juice and olive oil.

    Our prize pumpkin joined us at the table as we enjoyed an organic Syrah with dinner. After today I think I was a little more in the mood for whiskey. Or Everclear. Or battery acid.

    We didn't actually have anything real to eat all day. We had some granola bars on the ride to the farm. At the farm we bought some delicious pumpkin cookies. And then we also had some cashews. However, no real meals were consumed until we returned home and had this spinach fettuccine with garlic and grated Parmesan.

    For dessert we had our apple cider donut with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and some sliced of one of the Cortland apples.

    After dessert we mostly lied around watching the Rangers/Islanders game and reflecting on how crummy the day had been. It's currently 8:48PM and I don't know if I'm going to last through the third period.

    Even if I wasn't low on sleep I think all of this prologed exposure to New Jersey must have some sort of medical affect.

    Even if that medical effect were a positive one (such as curing cancer) I think I would opt to stay out of that state.

    Well, tomorrow is one of our last farm shares of the season. Let's hope for something other than apples!
  • Sunday, October 26, 2008

    Curry in a Hurry

    Curry sauce, I am convinced, is the greatest thing that ever happened to the lazy cook. Today I came home from the gym ravenously hungry (yes, back at the gym -- knees need it, cholesterol needs it, and most importantly, I signed up for another 4-mile race in December and I have to build back up to it), and so I wanted something reasonably healthy and most importantly, that could be made in 20 minutes.

    Enter store-bought coconut curry sauce from Maya Kaimal. I chopped up one of the super-skinny eggplants, red pepper and a potato from this week's share, as well as some carrots. Saute, add sauce and simmer. Easy as pie. Even added half a frozen naan and some brown rice, and delicious. Brown rice is the worst, by the way. Blah blah, it's nutty and chewy and is heaped-up with fiber and all sorts of cholesterol-lowering goodness. It also has a totally weird and kind of gross texture, it takes forever and ever and ever to cook, and it is just not as delicious as basmati. But I eat it, cholesterol. Do you hear me? I eat it and I say yum, yum, yum and so there.


    Anyhow, that was dinner. Since Nate it at inventory I am watching copious amounts of "House" (which, by the way, I wish I wasn't because it always, always makes me cry and yet? Can't turn it off) and eating yogurt with pomegranate and having tea. I am also doing a few work things because I'm not going into the office tomorrow (awesome!) and yet somehow the workflow does not stop to accommodate my desire to get pumpkins. You can't have it all.

    Saturday, October 25, 2008

    Don't Take It For Pomegran-ted

    Today we invited our good friends, Hodge and Podge, over for dinner. We had a number of odd ingredients on hand and we thought they'd enjoy the way that we prepared dinner with no forethought other than cleaning out the fridge and the pantry.

    We started with some pickled herring which I served on a baguette slice with a little cream cheese. This starter freaked Jen out and might have made her sadder than anything I've prepared to date. Strangely she wasn't weirded out at all by the grilled octopus last night.

    For the salad I used up some of the remaining pomegranate on some mâche greens with sliced shallots and pistachios. Then I squeezed a bit of the pomegranate juice over the greens and drizzled with olive oil.

    I picked up some raviolis with sweet potato, walnuts, swiss chard, and smoked mozzarella. Raviolis are one of my favorite things to eat. Coincidentally, they are also one of the easiest things to make.

    I used up even more of the pomegranate on some yogurt and granola for after dinner.

    I feel a bit trendy using so much pomegranate. Pomegranate is the cranberry of the 00's and it's a bit overdone. However, at the end of the day it is in season and delicious even if insufferable yuppies insist on buying anything with the word 'pomegranate' anywhere on the packaging because they think it's going to give them enough antioxidants to cure them of all forms of cancer.

    We were done dinner remarkably early (by 7:30!) so the odds are quite good that there will be a second dessert at some point in the evening. I look forward to that with great enthusiasm.

    Friday, October 24, 2008

    As the Farm Share Winds Down, So Does Our Ability ...

    As the farm share winds down, so does our ability to make dinner. Tonight was a Plum Pomidor kind of night.

    I ordered the grilled octopus salad special and we had the calamari tagliatelle as well as Jen's favorite penne with ricotta.

    After dinner we accidentally watched some of that new show, Don't Forget The Lyrics, which might have been one of the worst things that's ever happened to me in my life.

    By the way: Don't Forget The Lyrics? C'mon, guys!

    Personally I would have named the show One Way Crap Ticket to Assville.

    Thursday, October 23, 2008

    No Sausages! Just Kidding.

    Jen and I were thinking that we would have a much later dinner than we actually had. In anticipation of such a late dinner I had a tremendous amount of toast, peanut butter and apples around 5:00PM. So much was had that I felt a little bloated. Jen also snacked at work and then learned that she was leaving hours earlier than previously thought.

    This put me in the unenviable position of having to cook dinner with far less time available than I thought and with little to no appetite.

    However, I'm never one to shy away from a challenge. Well, at least not from a challenge that doesn't involve me leaving the house or doing any real work.

    In the words of Slick Rick: Heeeeeeeere we go!

    I boiled up some of the farm carrots whole and just sprinkled lightly with salt and pepper. Also as an accompaniment I made some baked potato wedges out of one red and one yellow potato. We still have quite a few potatoes left.

    For the main course I browned up some Bilinski Sausages which are local sausages made here in New York State. This particular variety was the apricot and rosemary flavor. Jen commented that these would make great breakfast sausages.

    And that was it. Jen is starting to realize that she doesn't like green leaf lettuce. We got precious little greenery this week so I opted not to make a salad at all.

    Now it's time to watch the World Series and try to care about the outcome of the game. Last night we lost that battle and saw the awesomest episode of Psych ever!

    Maybe we'll go that route again tonight. Only time will tell.

    Wednesday, October 22, 2008

    My Hen is on the Cornish. Cornish.

    Tonight, after circling the block about a dozen times to find a parking spot, I had about 30 minutes to make dinner. It looked like it was fixing up to be a simple meal made primarily of recycled ingredients.

    Let's do it!

    For the salad I put together some of the lettuce with some sliced apples, crushed walnuts, apple cider vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper. I also made some cornbread croutons out of the leftover cornbread from the other night. As with most of our salads this one was 90% farm share, 10% things lying around in our pantry.

    Pomegranates are in season so I picked up a pair today and decided they'd go nicely tossed in some steamed broccoli. I also boiled a red a yellow potato from the share and served with a side of sour cream. Then I roasted the remaining Cornish hen and then made some cream cheese biscuits as an accompaniment.

    For the biscuits I took the remainder of my biscuit dough that I used for last night's pot pie. I sandwiched a small scoop of cream cheese between two pieces of biscuit dough and baked it in the oven. The result was pretty friggin' delicious. Traditionally a cream cheese biscuit will just have cream cheese mixed into the dough but I highly recommend this method. I'd like to try with a little jelly or jam for a breakfast treat. However, I would lose the cayenne if I tried that.

    And that's it. Not bad for 30 minutes in the kitchen. Rachael Ray's got nothing on me.

    Tuesday, October 21, 2008

    The Mother Root (Vegetable Pot Pie)

    This week was all about choice: We had a choice of 3/4 pound of chard, kale or arugula (I chose chard), 1 head of lettuce, 1 head of broccoli, 3 sweet peppers (I went with all red), 1 head of fennel, 2 extremely anorexic eggplants, 10 carrots, a choice of 4 potatoes, turnips or beets (I went with all potato), 2 heads of garlic, 4 jalapenos, and 6 apples. No corn and a much smaller supply of apples which is good because we've been keeping along with the apples but any more corn and I would have to leave it behind.

    Jen had to work late so I started off by slicing up some apples and layering them on top of toast with peanut butter which I then drizzled with honey.

    It might be the last of the lettuce so I just made a simple salad with crumbled feta, lemon, olive oil, salt and pepper.

    For dinner I combined many of the root vegetables from the farm: onion, carrots, celery, turnip, and celeriac, and cooked them down with some sage and thyme until tender. Then I tossed in the chard and some of yesterday's turkey stock and cooked it down. I thickened it at the end with a little roux, transferred it to a casserole dish and topped it with a quick drop biscuit dough which I spiced up with some ground cayenne.

    Originally I had intended to put some of the frozen turkey from Canadian Thanksgiving into the pie but I didn't feel the need to. Jen is not the largest fan of dark meat (in fact, some would say she hates it) so I opted for a "vegetarian" version. The result was pretty fantastic. It was free of any of the "nasty greasy grey chicken" that Jen despises but the medley of root vegetables was plenty flavorful enough.

    To my chagrin there were some hidden parsnips in one of the drawers in the kitchen. I discovered this much too late to act. Perhaps tomorrow I'll be able to figure out something to do with them.

    Only time will tell.

    Monday, October 20, 2008

    Corn & Cornish

    Today was a good day. It started with a trip to the DMV where I had the ambitious task of simultaneously attempting to get a New York State license (for the fourth time) and registering our new car. Equipped with several dozen pieces of paperwork proving that I am who I am and with an arsenal of psychologically prepared small talk I was able to trick the people at the DMV into giving me both my license and car registration. Of course there should have been no trickery necessary but I think we all know that that is not how the game is played.

    I returned home around 11:00AM realizing that no matter how many more failures awaited me today the day would overall be declared a major victory.

    As soon as I got back from the DMV I took last weekend's turkey bones out of the freezer and started up a turkey stock. One of my favorite things to do in October/November is to make turkey stock all day long. Not only does it make the house smell delicious but it's a great day to warm the house up on a cold day.

    For dinner I started out by putting out some snacks. I made a hummus out of edamame and tahini with olive oil, lemon juice and cayenne pepper. I put that out with some carrots on a bed of arugula.

    For dinner I made some cornbread using some of the massive amount of corn we had on hand and a little bit of bacon from the freezer. I also roasted some Cornish hens which I'd gotten from Pollo Rosso. I roasted them on a bed of carrots, onions and celery. I also made an apricot and honey glaze for the hens. Even without the glaze they were really tasty.

    We also enjoyed some Riesling with the hens. I'm not exactly sure where this particular Riesling came from (I think it was given to us by someone) but it was an excellent accompaniment.

    With tomorrow's farm share I knew I needed to clean out the greens from the fridge so I figured I'd steam some arugula with a little olive oil. However, I accidentally left the fire on and scorched the bottom of the pan. A small setback but nothing was going to get me down after my triumph at the DMV.

    Even with copious amounts of leftovers we're still in good shape for tomorrow's veggie pickup. Who knows what wonders will await us? Whatever it is I bet it will be more corn than I care to deal with.

    Sunday, October 19, 2008

    Pan-sitting Around

    So tonight I'm on my own (it's me and David Ortiz -- as I write this, the Sox are up 3-1 after three), and with no one around to witness if things go south, I thought I'd try out a recipe I've watched my friend Melanie make to delicious result many a time: pancit. According to Miss Mel (the mother of one of the best-looking babies around), the recipe is a Filipino classic -- it's definitely delicious, with all the best kind of home-cooked flavors a classic should have. As Mel makes it, it combines poached chicken breast with carrots, celery, onion and celery in a stirfry with chicken broth, a splash of lemon juice and soy sauce and rice noodles. Served with rice, of course -- Mel is second only to Debbie in rice-consumption evangelicalism.

    Anyhow, in some ways, I was perfectly placed to make pancit: there was a chicken breast thawed in the fridge, and I had rice noodles. In other ways, I was terribly placed to make it: no carrots, no celery, no lemon, no cabbage. So I improvised: I sauteed onion and garlic in a pan, and added pieces of chicken, then some farm-share veggies: green peppers, turnip and vitamin greens (I figure they're actually a long-leafed cabbage, so why not?). I also, after consulting the Internet, added some shrimp we had in the freezer (some home versions seem to include it, so I figured we'd bulk up the protein). I let it simmer, added some veggie stock (all we had) and soy sauce, and spritzed it with fresh orange juice (citrus is citrus, right?). I then set the rice noodles on top and covered it.

    And served it over rice, obviously.

    Overall, I was actually pretty happy with my ersatz-pancit -- it wasn't as good as Mel's, but it wasn't too bad, either. Making this again, I would definitely follow Mel's lead in poaching the chicken -- it really got dried out using in my method. And I underseasoned it, too -- more soy sauce, more citrus (the OJ was pretty good, I think), more salt and pepper. And I would DEFINITELY cut the noodles up -- they were unwieldy to eat. But in general, my first foray into the culinary world of the Philipines wasn't bad -- can't wait to try it when I actually have all the ingredients. Or better yet: to have it again at Mel and Jules'.

    Saturday, October 18, 2008

    . . . And The Potatoes Were Delicious

    If there's one thing Jen and I like it's watching a sporting event while we dine. It seems that the less we like the sport the more we enjoy it. I think it's the fact that if it's a sport we aren't that invested in (let's say baseball) then we are able to do other things without feeling bad. For example, Jen can spend several hours playing Text Twist after dinner and just look up whenever the commentators raise their voices.

    Jen and I spent most of the day in Brooklyn today. Jen was at a baby shower and I was helping friends move and then later helping them eat sweet potato fries and drink some Dogfish Head Punkin Ale. By the time we got home we were not very hungry but felt we had to have some sort of dinner.

    Ladies and gentlemen, hold on to your hats. Tonight's culinary marvel . . .

    Boiled potato! Yeah, that's right. I cut up some of the potatoes from the farm share, boiled them, drizzled a little olive oil and melted butter on them and added some ground black pepper. The result was delicious. Much like the carrots the potatoes have a very rich flavor and very creamy texture.

    The baseball game tonight started off oddly. TBS apparently had a technical error and was showing the Steve Harvey show instead of the baseball game. At one point they scrolled a message across the Steve Harvey show explaining that they were experiencing technical difficulties and gave an update with the score of the game. It seemed to me like if they were able to scroll words across the Steve Harvey Show then they should just be able to switch to the baseball game. Eventually that fiasco was fixed and we joined the game already in progress.

    And then we were able to return to playing Text Twist without having to listen to Steve Harvey.

    And the potatoes were delicious.

    Friday, October 17, 2008

    That's Corny

    All right, ladies and gents, tonight was back to the basics. After some holiday fare it was time to return to our largely vegetable-based way of life. On Tuesday we got another big batch of vegetables that we hadn't gotten around to using due to our surplus of Thanksgiving leftovers.

    I started by using one of our giant, orange-purple carrots alongside some ginger miso dressing. You can tell the carrots are huge since they are cut more into large wedges rather than long skinny sticks. They also happened to be remarkably flavorful with a softer texture than your average supermarket carrot.

    If you're wondering how many more times I can cop out by combining beets with feta cheese then the answer is: at least one more time. I added some dill which has been in our fridge for a remarkably long time. So long, in fact, that I'm a little scared to actually research it and see when we initially purchased it. That being said, it's in excellent shape. I think I can probably get a few more months out of it.

    After our salad we were able to enjoy some of the Piave which I foolishly forgot to put out for Canadian Thanksgiving. Our guests' loss became our gain as we devoured an unhealthy amount of the delicious cheese before moving on to our main course.

    Our freezer is pretty full and about 50% of it is corn which I have cut form the cob and frozen for later use. The tomalito we made last weekend used some up but there's still more corn than you can imagine, with little indication that it will be stopping any time soon. I used some of the onion, garlic, peppers and three ears of the corn to make a corn bisque. I added some shrimp and scallops at the last minute and gave it a little heat with some very potent cayenne.

    One of the ears of corn was cooked with the peppers and onions while I pureed the other two ears with the immersion blender, cooking it in a little vegetable stock. At the end I put in a tiny amount of half and half.

    For dessert we had some roasted potatoes with ketchup. When you're dealing with the amount of produce we have on hand you need to start getting creative about how you define dessert.

    Today was my first day off in a long, long time. At least the first day that I did not have to travel out of state, attend a wedding, or fulfill some obligation I had. Therefore I used it doing chores but mostly by just hanging out and doing nothing. So unfortunately I only started dinner about 20 minutes before Jen came home.

    I guess it could have been worse. We'll see what tomorrow brings as far as inspiration. Right now I'm feeling inspired to sleep in.

    Thursday, October 16, 2008

    More Leftovers

    Today was a long day. Not long in the sense of time, more in the sense of mentally taxing. Jen had an invitation to hobnob with some foodies and, unfortunately, I was unable to attend due to professional obligations. That left me to come home and fend for myself.

    With plenty of Canadian Thanksgiving leftovers I was able to assemble a quick turkey-free turkey dinner, a cheese plate, and a helping of our pumpkin pear caramel trifle.

    Complete with a Blue Moon and some now ancient TiVoed episodes of The Daily Show it was the perfect meal.

    Tomorrow I have the first full day off free of obligations in a long, long time. I plan on using it to do something interesting with our farm share and our leftovers. I hope to have something interesting to report.

    If I get lazy, just read this entry again because that's what we'll be having for dinner.

    Tuesday, October 14, 2008

    Talking Turkey. Hot Turkey. Hot Turkey Sandwiches!

    Today I brought the car by our farm share pickup spot to pickup this week's bounty. I was double parked for about three seconds when an NYC traffic cop began yelling at me about being double parked. I asked if it was okay for me to park there for 2 minutes and promptly got yelled at and lectured. She also told me that it was a $150 ticket (a lie, by the way) and asked me if it was worth it.

    What I wanted to do was tell her to go piss off but instead I got in my car, went around the block and parked in the exact same spot. Then I secretly wished that she would get hit by a car. Not fatally, just enough to teach her a lesson. Maybe enough to give her a bruised shinbone.

    Does that make me a bad person?

    This week we got: 1/2 pound arugula, 1 bunch turnips, 4 potatoes, 5 ears of corn, 1 pound carrots, 1 head lettuce, 1 root of celeriac, 1 head of vitamin greens, 1 bulb of garlic, and 12 apples.

    However, we did not use any of our new vegetables because we have plenty of leftovers from Sunday's Canadian Thanksgiving dinner. Instead we began with our trio of cheeses. Jen had apparently developed the perfect cheese-cracker combination yesterday and treated us both to a plate of the cheesed crackers. We also enjoyed some of the wine that was brought to the party.

    Our dinner was the traditional day-after hot turkey sandwiches. However, Jen and I have conflicting views on the architecture of said sandwiches so they were served two separate ways.

    Jen style: In this design we see the elegant "two slice" bread formation. The objective is to cover the stuffing and turkey while achieving maximum gravy absorption. The oven fries are accompanied by what I would consider an inadequate amount of ketchup.

    Nate style: A classic "open face" structure. Typically this is served with the turkey heated up within some gravy, however, Jen's design demands a turkey heated separately with gravy poured on top. Most Jen designs call for the thing that would dirty the largest number of dishes.

    For dessert we had a little more of Jen's friend Jennie's delicious apple pie with some Borough Market Cheddar. We also ended up having some leftover birthday cake. Sadly we will not be eating at home for the next two nights so I am concerned about the integrity of all our wonderful leftovers.

    I'm considering feigning illness to get out of the obligations that will cause me to miss out on our leftovers. Wish me luck.