Kitchen Confessional: Burnin’ Down Da House

Confession

Now that the turkey leftovers are gone, the tryptophan torpor has receded, and we’ve physically and emotionally pushed away from the Thanksgiving table, I need to get something off my chest. A kitchen confessional, if you will: On the Holiest of Holy Days for culinistas all over the country, I failed miserably at the stove. Twice.

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It was far and away the worst hatchet job I’ve ever committed–and it was at baking, my bailiwick. In the 20-something years that I’ve been cooking Thanksgiving dinner, yes, I’ve forgotten to take the giblets packet out of the bird; yes, I’ve both under- and overcooked the turkey; and, yes, I’ve neglected to heat the stuffing to the ideal (read: salmonella-free) temperature. But I’ve never, ever failed to whip up gasp-inducing desserts. But I can’t take full responsibility for my fumble: I mostly blame Twitter and Instagram, because if it weren’t for me snapping pictures of my marvelosity in the kitchen for public consumption, I would’ve had a relaxing holiday, and the members of the Roxbury volunteer fire department would’ve been able to finish their meal undisturbed. Read more »

Trick or Treat for the Childless

Demon

Every Halloween, in the elevator of my apartment building, there’s a sign-up sheet for residents willing to welcome treat-or-treaters. It’s never a long list, mostly just a few names of people pressured into opening their apartments so desperate parents have a few places their kids can beg for candy. See, in the city it’s considered poor etiquette to hit up another hi-rise for Halloween hooch–some parents would even say it’s dangerous without a background check and saliva sample of every tenant.

And each October, with all good intentions, I promise myself that this will be the year I’m one of those people every parent is grateful for and every kid loves. The one who dresses up in some whacked-out bizarre—but not child-molester bizarre—costume and hands out high-sucrose booty by the shovelful. I’ve even gone so far as to come up with schematics of how I’ll transform my apartment’s gallery into a chamber of horrors rivaled only by Dexter, with synthetic cobwebs, red Karo-syrup blood, and a severed hand or two poking out of the coat closet for added effect. Read more »

P is for…Paris. And Peace.

Poilâine Miche

For our anniversary two weeks ago, The One and I snuck off to Paris, gleefully ducking work and responsibilities. It was a short trip, as trips to Paris go: burst in on Saturday, mope out on Wednesday. Which in actuality equates to in Sunday and out Tuesday, because the first day I arrive anywhere in Europe is completely lost. I collapse on the bed, snore in whatever foreign language I happen to be trying to mimic, then instinctually wake up just in time for dinner. And on the last day I fret: Did I accidentally leave my passport somewhere? (A logical question, as I’ve lost it twice.) Is our luggage going to fit in the overhead compartment, even though it did coming over and we bought back nary a thing? (No, not even mousse de foie gras.) Read more »

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