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.
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
This is an often-NSFW, mostly gluten-free kitchen notebook that also occasionally threatens to turn into something else and fails, thus remaining its same old cryptic and superficial self. These posts begin to fail to explain (start at the bottom).