Signs of Thanksgiving; Nap Time

Just a quick note to check in and to let you know that I've emerged from my cookbook-writing cave and have survived the ordeal. Mister MA stepped right up to the plate and kept this desk jockey well nourished and nurtured. He gets a gold star.

This is all to say that I'm taking the day off from writing in this space in order to recharge and dish up something delicious in tomorrow's space.

Even in seclusion, I noticed that the word "Thanksgiving" has begun to surface in the usual places. Local farms are now accepting orders for Thanksgiving turkeys. Yesterday, I noticed a sign-up sheet at the Smithfresh Meats stand at Columbia Pike farmers' market. Local apple cider is here too, a welcome addition to my fridge. Keep your eyes peeled for the much-anticipated arrival of pear cider, a nectar of the goddesses that is usually available for a few short weeks.

Monthly food mags have begun releasing their Thanksgiving issues; I've already received my holiday copies of Bon Appetit and Food & Wine. Once a few more arrive in the mail, I'll report back on the coverage and trends for this season.

Have you seen any other signs of Thanksgiving in your recent travels? (I don't mean to alarm, but it's 6 1/2 weeks away) Share your T-Day alerts in the comments area below. Tomorrow is chat day; Drop me a line if you're in the neighborhood.

By Kim ODonnel |  October 8, 2007; 11:08 AM ET Fall Produce , Thanksgiving
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Please email us to report offensive comments.

Hey Kim, the FM Jazz station in Baltimore was playing Christmas carols (yes, Christmas carols!) in September. Unbelievable.

Posted by: Leah | October 8, 2007 4:26 PM

I made Paula Wolfert's Hummus (recipe below) and it was just fantastic. My only change was to use a whole head of roasted garlic, instead of any raw. I got no garlic flavor though. What did I do wrong? How can I bring out the roasted garlic or roasted red pepper flavor?

Makes 4 cups

1 1/2 cups dried chickpeas, soaked overnight
1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
3 garlic cloves, peeled
3/4 cup sesame seed paste
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice, and more to taste
Cayenne or hot Hungarian paprika
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
2 teaspoons olive oil

1. Rinse the soaked chickpeas well and drain them before putting them in a saucepan and covering them with plenty of fresh water. Bring to a boil; skim, add one-half teaspoon salt, cover and cook over medium heat, about 1 1/2 hours, until the chickpeas are very soft (you might need to add more water).

2. Meanwhile, crush the garlic and one-half teaspoon salt in a mortar until pureed. Transfer the puree to the work bowl of a food processor, add the sesame seed paste and lemon juice and process until white and contracted. Add one-half cup water and process until completely smooth.

3. Drain the chickpeas, reserving their cooking liquid. Add the chickpeas to the sesame paste mixture and process until well-blended. For a smoother texture, press the mixture through the fine blade of a food mill. Thin to desired consistency with reserved chickpea liquid. Adjust the seasoning with salt and lemon juice. The hummus can be kept in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week.) Serve, sprinkled with paprika and parsley and drizzled with oil.

Posted by: roasted flavor | October 9, 2007 7:38 AM

Hi kim,

For me, a sure signs of Thanksgiving is the beautiful golden-brown leaves around town. Or fresh produce or product that remind us of the fall, apple cider, pumpkin pie, or something with cinnamons. Please note, I never make any of the above before due time. But it seems everyone else is getting, or rushing into the fall. I dine at one of my favorite restaurant yesterday, and sure enough there's a cocktails of something-Tini with apple and cinnamons. It was so good, perhaps fall should arrive sooner!

P.S. there's also a dessert make from a baked whole-baby pumpkin, filled with custard - It would be a very impressive potluck dessert for my next Thanksgiving (because I'm sure there will surely be at least 3-5 the usual pumpkin pies.) Do you have a great recipe for such sweet-thing?

Posted by: love2cook | October 9, 2007 2:06 PM

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