A Thanksgiving Side Trip to Italy
Doug is the devil. Today he casually mentioned to me that “brining turkeys is out. Dry brining with salt is what they’re doing now. Didn’t you see it in the New York Times?” Doug, who wouldn’t know a dry brine from a dry brisket, telling me this three days before Thanksgiving? Diabolo.
2 AM. What am I doing up now, listening to Cree Summers? I’m waiting for my lasagni to finish cooking. The lasagna is my idea for a simple meal to serve to guests the days before Thanksgiving. It just got… a little out of hand.
Started the evening making brownies. Katherine Hepburn’s, to be exact. Pulled the recipe from a book from one of my best college friends, Frank DeCaro. “The Dead Celebrity Cookbook” is his compilation of the best recipes of the deceased, and it’s burning up the Amazon charts. Dead talk show hosts, dead guest stars from the series “Batman,” dead Golden Girls, all of them apparently liked to cook. Very funny and kitschy, and occasionally, as is the case with Ms. Hepburn’s brownies, quite helpful as a cookbook. I once performed a monologue from “Suddenly, Last Summer” in Katharine Hepburn drag in front of a crowd of drunk, post-Gay Pride Day revelers in Chicago and got stranded without my real clothes— but that’s a story for another day. Let’s move on.
And, finally, in the wee hours, the lasagna is done, ready to be cooled:
Rustic, but packed with flavor. Hopefully it will hold it’s form. My mother used to live or die on whether her lasagna was firm enough for her father on Sundays, but for me, as long as it tastes good, I don’t mind if it devolves into some kind of pasta stew.
A lot of you have been inspiring me with your comments on cranberry sauce ingredients— Grand Manier! Tangerine! Horseradish! (really? I need to taste this one) and on your own preparations. Ace, I admire you for making a stuffing no one but you will eat. I’d do that too (roasted brussel sprouts with hazelnuts and corn!) but Doug not so gently reminds me that I’m already overextended, and I know he’s right. It is, 2:30 now, yah? For those of you who can’t believe so much could be written about one meal, well, my hubby has this to say on the subject.
Tomorrow, Thanksgiving prep starts in earnest… Need my comfortable shoes. And yes, Doug, you will hear about it.
Topics: brownies • Katherine Hepburn • lasagna • ragu. • Suddenly Last Summer
I have had the pasta attachment for my KitchenAid for 10 years. I have never used it. You have inspired me…maybe I will make pasta this weekend to serve with the turkey leftovers. Time to dig out my James Beard "Beard on Pasta" cookbook, a little gem I found at a thrift shop. As it says on the cover "from macaroni and tortellini to chinese cellophane noodles". Sounds perfect for someone I know….