Thanksgiving break is a great time to catch up on carbohydrates books. Since I tend to think that novels have a time and a place, I thought it would be a good idea to highlight a few that I think are perfect for Thanksgiving: books that need to be devoured while you’re curled up in a comfy chair with a hot drink, books that require more thought than beach reads but aren’t so heavy that you won’t be able to get through them during the long weekend. Thanksgiving reads need to have a little bit of prestige, dysfunctional families, and food.
When other people say fall staples, they mean tights, scarves, and boots. I mean food. I love autumn because there are so many flavours that never really show up in the other seasons. Pumpkin, baked apples, butternut squash. Homemade soups like potato leek, pumpkin, spicy carrot, or butternut squash are all healthy and filling. I also eat a ton of fall-flavoured pastas in sauces made of browned butter with sage and rosemary. My girl Mindy Kaling (I can say this because she once tweeted at me), inspiration to women everywhere and comedy genius extraordinaire, is featured in a Healthy Choice commercial for pumpkin ravioli with sage and apple (which, full disclosure, I haven’t actually tried). Apple cider and lots of chai are key, too— plus you can spike them! My boyfriend and I had spiced vanilla chai and hot apple cider with Meyer’s dark rum last weekend in Athens and they were so, so good.
I love to play around with fall flavours in less traditional ways, too. I saw a recipe for pumpkin cinnamon rolls that looked amazing, and a few weeks ago I made pumpkin spice madeleines from a recipe I kind of threw together from a bunch I found online. You can find it below the cut. I love madeleines because they are scalloped and gorgeous, referenced in a great literary work (Proust’s Rememberance of Things Past), and cakey without needing icing. You could add a quick glaze to these if you really wanted to, but they don’t need it. Enjoy!
Last year, I made a last-minute gift guide and posted it to Tumblr, hoping to encourage people to support charities and other good causes while doing their holiday shopping. I plan to make a new one this year, but below is the 2010 version, updated.
What’s wonderful about charitable donations is that you can print out a nice certificate to let people know that you’ve donated in their name and hand it over with baked goods or a small gift that can be bought last minute. I’ve suggested some items that will pair well with each of the organizations below.
of trying to write a blog that will focus on living life away from the computer is that I am typing it on my laptop while sitting in front of last week’s episode of Top Chef. That some of the people with whom I’m going to share this I only know through the internet. That my smartphone (when did that officially become a spell-check-recognized compound word?) and iPod are both within arm’s reach. But I’m also drinking hot chocolate with spiced marshmallows that I made from scratch while I’m wrapped in a blanket that I crocheted— and that’s the point. Our generation spends so much time online that we forget how much there is to do away from the computer. We’re stuck staring at screens for school, for our jobs, to communicate with loved ones who don’t live nearby. We forget how much there is to do that isn’t social media or online shopping, and I hope this blog will chronicle some of those things: baking and sending packages and feeling the weight of a good book— a real book, made with actual paper pages— in your hands.
Because I couldn’t decide on a name or a theme and wanted to make sure that I did things properly, I put off starting this site for ages. Now that the end of the year and all of its festivities are quickly approaching, though, it’s time to just commit and begin sharing holiday ideas before it’s too late. This is undeniably a work in progress— everything about it from the name to the site design will probably change—, but I hope y’all enjoy!
Thanks for reading,