Friendsgiving 2017

Vegan Pumpkin Pie.jpg

If you are one of the three regular readers I have you are more than aware that my Thanksgiving pasts are less traditional and more nomadic. In fact I can't recall the last time I emotionally binged on pumpkin pie at the same place two years in a row. I have rightfully declared my Thanksgiving tradition being 'no tradition'. And I stand by that. 

Almost three years ago I found myself standing in the elevator lobby of my apartment building trying to convince myself that it was okay for a middle aged gay man of no sports interest to attend the building sponsored Super Bowl Party. In the end the maternal guilt of my mother whispered in my ear and my 2 hours at that party were the catalyst for three years of relationship building leading to this year's Friendsgiving. 

This Monday before Thanksgiving I will sit down with nearly 30 people for Friendsgiving. None of them are blood related. But almost all of them are family now. 

We are 30 strong and most of us transplants to North Carolina. From as far south as Johannesburg, to the outskirts of The British Isles, as far west as the Alaskan Final Frontier, and as close as the BBQ capital of the world. Between California and New York we have most states covered. We are restauranteurs, lawyers, small business owners, artists, doctors, creatives, singers, craftsman, academics, and mostly all can be called smartasses. But despite our varied backgrounds we manage to not totally piss each other off on a regular basis. Perfect grounds for any dinner party. 

There is a meme going around that perfectly sums up this event. It roughly says something about how odd it is that as humans we just randomly meet strangers and then just start hanging out. 

So naturally I trusted no one else with desserts. I will be bringing a couple pumpkin pies and a cheesecake. 



Disappearing Brownies

Disappearing Brownies.jpg

This weekend was one of those weekends that I had little to no desire to cook. So naturally I baked. And baked enough to make sure I didn't have to cook. There is nothing wrong with brownies or cake for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. It is a holiday weekend afterall. 

I got this recipe from a friend and coworker years ago. She and her husband made their money operating gas stations and car washes in suburban Minneapolis. She was always good for a story about a family getting trapped in a broken car wash one Sunday after church. 

She called these blondies, "Disappearing Brownies", because, "I put them out and they are gone before I get one."

Turkey Sandwich

Turkey Sandwich with Mull of Kintyre Cheddar

2016 wrapped up with a bang (and not the good kind) and all I wanted was a damn turkey sandwich.

After dropping a teary eyed friend off at her apartment in the wee first hours of 2017 I raced home to peel off the champagne stained clothing, pulled out the building blocks of the simplest and yet so satisfying of sandwiches, and sat in silence to mentally recap what had gone down the previous 365 days. 

Things I Learned This Year Living In The South:

1. Life plans don't get derailed. They get rerouted. You just have to be smart enough to read a map to get back on track. 

2. There is something orgasmic about a well poached egg. 

3. To quote the great Chi-Chi from To Wong Foo, Thanks For Everything Julie Newmar, "No one is ever so rich as to throw away a friend." Some come and go. However brief their time with you it happened for a reason. 

Turkey Sandwich with Mull of Kintyre Cheddar




Hard Candy Christmas

Hard Candy Christmas

"Hard Candy Christmas", sung by Dolly Parton on the 1982 soundtrack to the film The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, is the ultimate non Christmas/Christmas song. In the film Ms. Parton plays a no bullshit madam of the most popular, yet never spoken about, whorehouse in Texas.  

Not to spoil this family classic for everyone I will only tell you at one point in the movie Ms. Parton's character suffers some setbacks that send her into a song (like most setbacks in life).

"Hard Candy Christmas" tells us that even when the going gets tough all you have to do is dye your hair, get a car, move away, get drunk on apple wine, learn to sew and everything will be fine. But if those are not great options for you the real lesson learned from this great song is when the going gets tough just hitch up your damn britches and get shit done. 

Collectively we've had a challenging year. Personally I am still reeling from the loss of Anton Yelchin while secretly hoping all rainbow foods die a quick social media death. Be it celebrity death, a presidential election, or worse I have to think it's best we take the advice of the most famous fictional prostitute in the modern age...

"I'll be fine and dandy. Lord it's like a hard candy Christmas. I'm barely getting through tomorrow. But still I won't let sorrow bring me way down." 

Happy Holidays y'all.  See you next year. 

Buffalo Turkey Open Faced Sandwich

Buffalo Turkey Open Faced Sandwich

It has been two days since Thanksgiving. And after multiple trips to the treadmill, a few jaunts around downtown on foot, and the occasional visit to the bathroom I am starting to feel normal again. 

I know, I know. Eating that double wide slice of cheesecake just hours after the main event wasn't the "most smartest" thing to do. But damn I needed some emotional support as I binge watched my post-apocalyptic teen movies that night. Nothing says "being thankful" than watching a bunch of super pretty young adults try and set a new social standard while fighting off the bad guys in perfectly pressed couture.  

Which brings me to today. The Saturday after Thanksgiving. Normally I would be in the throes of creativity and despair trying to figure out how to use the remaining 10 pounds of turkey, metric ton of mashed potatoes, and the now self aware cranberry Blob like creature living on the top shelf of the ice box. 

But instead I was sent home with a (double wide) slice of cheesecake, a generous slice of Hummingbird Cake (see my post on that here), and about 1 pounds worth of white meat in a Panda Express To Go box. The hostess was able to buy 1000 of these to go boxes for $.50 at the flea market three years ago. That is not an exaggeration. 

And because I never seem to have anything worth shaking a stick at (or a desire to use my car to get to a grocery store) I fell back to the classic game of chance and used only what was in my larder. I suggest you do the same. It's amazing what one can make when pushed to the limits of laziness.  

Please note this is one of those recipes that has no exact amount. Add cautiously and then generously as you see fit. 

Buffalo Turkey Open Faced Sandwich


***Note 1. Texas Pete did not sponsor this. It is just my hot sauce of choice and is always in my swag bag. 

***Note 2. This recipe is not specific and hopefully can be used as inspiration for any of the ingredients left over from Thanksgiving. Don't like Sourdough? Use White or Wheat. Don't like Muenster Cheese? Use a nice sliced Mozzarella or Cheddar. Don't like open faced sandwiches as they openly mock everything that is SANDWICH? Put another slice on top.