fair and balanced.

First things first, let's not forget this. I mean, the household we were in wasn't forgetting anything: I was pretty much greeted with the phrase (delivered in a cynical deadpan) "let's celebrate some genocide".

So we "did", the way you probably really only do as an ex-pat, with about half "traditional" Thanksgiving dishes, and half....well, other things. Pictured: mashed potatoes; stuffing; a very good cauliflower-halloumi thing with a parsley pesto; some authentically African shrimp and manioc stew made with dried shrimp and dende oil; green beans in tomato sambal; corn on the cob; turkey; my pumpkin-runner bean salad; some very orangey sweet potatoes; a beet and walnut salad; and the rest I can't remember except for a really really good homemade hummus and a surprisingly realistic vegan paté made with agar agar and miso. Not pictured: opening the champagne all over me.


oh the weather outside is etc.

What's this, a blog post?

Yeah. It's just that nothing has been happening.

Okaiiiiiiii, not true. Some things happened.

1) I got a piece of rice stuck in my iPhone headphones jack. Three pieces of rice actually. And? Contrary to popular opinion, I was able to get it/them out using only a wooden toothpick and American ingenuity. Oh, right what was my iPhone doing being submerged in a bag of dry rice? Yeah a friend of mine? Knocked it into a bathtub full of water, where it sat for about 5 seconds. It's totally OK now!!!

2) I have been on tour!!! In the Netherlands!!! This never happens!!! I have so far visited the teeming metropolisses of Eindhoven (above), where our tour bus/car was broken into and our driver's belongings were removed and then probably discarded moments later after discovering they were "only" clothes, and Utrecht (below), where I may have set personal records for Most Unintentional Feedback, Fastest Broken String Change and Fastest Load-Out. Next up is Baarle-Nassau on Saturday and then Rotterdam in December.

3) But before all that: Thanksgiving. It's always a challenge to figure out what to cook, well because I make it one: I wait until the whole menu is set, then ask, "so what else do you still need?" This year's answer is "something vegetarian that's not potatoes, and not orange- or yellow-colored."

OK, how about this. It's really good and you can make it ahead of time, I adapted it from here.


roasted pumpkin and runner bean salad with spiced pecans, cranberries, maple vinaigrette.

1 kg (about 1 large or 2 medium) pumpkin or butternut squash, peeled, seeded, quartered, and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1/2 cup (120 ml) extra-virgin olive oil, divided
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
800g runner beans
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
pinch ground cloves
pinch cayenne pepper
1 tbsp light brown sugar
1 1/2 cups (about 8 ounces; 250 grams) pecans
2 shallots, finely minced (about 4 tablespoons; 40 grams)
2 tbsp (30 milliliters) date syrup
1 tbsp (10 grams) whole grain mustard
1 tbsp (15 milliliters) sherry vinegar
1 cup (about 6 ounces; 200 grams) dried cranberries