Last Friday, AKA Halloween, I was full of faux-pity for my fellow parents who were Trick-or-Treating with their youngsters. Why? Because the temps went from long-sleeve-but-no-jacket-necessary weather to freaking freezing cold in a matter of two hours. I was smug in my "my teenage children are at various Halloween parties, thus I remain indoors and toasty warm" stance.
So when karma came back to bite me Saturday morning while spectating at my daughter's cross country race via 40-degree temps and 25-mile-per-hour winds, I really couldn't complain (though I did regularly threaten to set myself on fire to ward off frostbite. Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer is one of my favorite books of all time, yet I shall never visit Mt. Everest due to the way those people talk about frostbite with the same nonchalance a girl from Tennessee might talk about a mosquito bite or spotting a possum. There are other reasons I will not likely ever grace Mt. Everest, like the necessity to walk on a ladder over a massive crevasse, having to tether oneself to multiple others while dangling off particularly treacherous inclines, and highly questionable air transportation, but we shall save that discussion for a different post.)
Once we were home and I thawed my bones, I stayed put by the fire pretty much all day. Making chili. Putting away Halloween decor. Watching football. Drinking chai tea lattes. You know, November whatnot.
Which set me on the path of thinking about Thanksgiving, which is at my brother and sister-in-law's this year (thank you Baby Jesus that it is not my year to host.) But I will bring food. Because I like to cook. And because my husband has a very specific way he enjoys his sweet potato casserole (mostly brown sugar and melted butter with a sweet potato smashed in for good measure.) And I have a specific casserole I make and holiday season cannot commence until I have consumed it. Find the recipe here. But there's also the potential I'll try out a new dish or two.
Perhaps you're thinking along the same Thanksgiving-recipe lines, and if so, I'm going to tell you the first cookbook I grab these days --- and for the last several years since purchasing -- if I'm looking for new recipes: Cook's Illustrated Cookbook.
God Bless America, those recipes are dee-lic-ious. One of my favorite parts of Cook's Illustrated (there's a magazine, too. And it is advertisement-free!) is that if they ask you to do something that seems silly (toss the meat lightly from hand to hand until a loose ball is formed -- what the??), they explain it and it makes total sense. So that's a plus.
I bought the cookbook the same week it came out and happily paid the full-price of $40 (and it has been worth every single penny), but if you click that link above you can purchase it for $22.83. I'm not even kidding. It's a great housewarming or wedding or Christmas or hostess gift (and no, they are not paying me to say these things. See above re: no ads.)
It's just that good. And I like to share hopefully helpful information with people for whom I'm thankful.
And that means y'all.
Disclosure: Some of the links in the post above are affiliate links. So, if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive a miniscule affiliate commission. I only review things I have personally used and loved, and think you'll love too. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”