The Food Network has a series titled “The Best Thing I Ever Ate,” which proves to live up to its name. One episode featured a dish I believe is stunning enough to share.
Linguine with Mussels and Clams in a saffron/white wine broth is a dish worth a conversation nearly as long as its name. The flavor from this dish is all the right kinds of seafood saltiness and warm notes you would image a linguine dish to be. The recipe comes from the Tree Bistro in New York, which appears to have removed it from its menu. Luckily for you, I took a screenshot of the recipe they shared on their website. Grill up some French bread and enjoy!
Traditions make the most of the social fibers that string us all together. They connect friends, evoke culture, and normally share culinary delights with the power to forge bonds between even the biggest Debbie-downers. Hailing from a family that lacks our own, I’ve taken it upon myself to create a few original traditions to pioneer forward. May I introduce: The Thanksgiving Redo.
This tradition actually grew from tragedy. After a visit to a friends the night before Thanksgiving, I started cycling home. Only a block away from my apartment, I simultaneously turned to check a car behind me and hit a crater of a pothole. My feet were still on my petals after I flew over the handlebars and stopped rolling down the street, but my collarbone was in pieces. After immediately ensuring the three girls that witnessed the accident that I was perfectly fine, I went home and passed out.
The following day was spent in the ER, following a quick trip to Hubspot.tv for a quick beer and taping. Thus, my holiday was stolen, and I was ripe for revenge. I returned to Boston with one arm, and prepared an entire Thanksgiving dinner to feed friends. The Thanksgiving Redo was born.
The week following Thanksgiving provides the perfect storm of elements to create a holiday party. Friends return to their routine home, people normally need to recover from their relatives, and, most importantly, all Thanksgiving food goes on severe discount. A quick trip to Market Basket provides $10 turkeys, cheap herbs, potatoes galore, and discounted fresh cranberries.
Here are the secrets to preparation: Always get fresh cranberries, they go quickly. Three bags are ideal, two will suffice. Add some fresh orange juice and zest and you’re golden. Brine the turkeys. It makes the juiciest turkey you could imagine, brings out the flavor of the meat, and makes the cooking time only four hours. For our redo I cook two turkeys, brining them for 24 hours beforehand as they defrost. Follow the brining mix below, invite all your friends over, and prepare to hear all the stories of drunken relatives.
- 6 Quarts of Chicken (or vegetable) broth
- Fresh Thyme
- Fresh Sage
- Fresh Rosemary
- 3/4 cups granulated sugar
- Salt, Pepper, and Lemon Zest
Counting the number of holidays on the calendar, it quite obvious one’s favorite comes down to personal preference. Depending on the ranking order of colored eggs, chocolate hearts, or Turduckens, your favorite time of year could fall on any season. However, for those from the “Live Free or Die” state, an assumption that the Fourth of July takes precedent over the rest, isn’t stretching the truth.
Growing up on Arlington Pond in North Salem, NH did provide its advantages. Primarily, it served as a front row seat for a rural interpretation of true independence. All the festivities start with a short road trip to Sparks Fly Fireworks in Concord. Not only supplying the most visually stimulating fireworks, Sparks Flys also sells everything at buy-one-get-one-free. Thus, you buy a 500 gram Openfire cake, you get a 500 gram Loud-n-Rowdy cake. Perfection. Next, you secure a lakeside, or better yet a boat, spot to watch as neighbors compete in a fireworks display and thousands of dollars explode overhead.
Feeling a bit more rowdy? Many individuals (including my younger brother) take it to the next level by shooting a charge out of a cannon. Yes, you read that correctly. You’ll know it happened when the foundation of your house shakes, and an applauding chorus resounds across the lake. Roman candle fights push the limits, as well as trucks riding by shooting fireworks out of their bed into the tree canopy above. When the last cake is fired and the bonfire dies, you’ve just experienced a true holiday celebration.
God bless America.
Three hour, late night rides bundled in blankets. Brief naps and watching lights stream by would pass the time. Perhaps even a bulky portable TV would glow a Disney VHS. An arbitrary battle over the minivan’s wide back seat would normally commence the journey, yet every trip to Grandma’s house would end in the same warm welcome.
While the traditions and destinations differ, most trips to one’s Grandma’s house evoke the same warm connotations. Secret treats, funny tasting water, treasured ice cream shops, and vintage furniture make for plenty of delights to explore. Some of the Wolynec traditions involve flying paper airplanes from the top of the stairs into the living room, mandatory trips to Pepe’s Pizza, double-cones at Dip Top, sledding hills on the golf course, put-put golf on the driveway, and wiffle ball games.
Making the home further unique was my grandfather’s architectural design of the lofty living room, cubby entry mudroom, and my grandmother’s garden spanning the entire property. On my last visit to this home I captured the elements of this place that hold the greatest significance from years past.