• Posted by Califia Suntree on December 5th, 2008, 10:30 AM

    It was my birthday this week, celebrated in style with recession-proof half-priced burgers and $1 happy-hour oysters at my neighborhood haunt, 68, here in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. My friends know me well, so I got several edible gifties—a Bedford Cheese Shop gift certificate, a Momofuku feast, Jacques Torres chocolate-covered Cheerios, French macarons—and a book called Wet Cats, which is inedible but delightful nonetheless. I also learned that sometimes, blogging pays off. In a previous post, I drooled openly over the blue (make that “Caribbean blue”) Le Creuset that was the local Casserole Cook-Off’s first prize. Well, it turns out my friends actually read this, as they got me the beaut you see here, in mama and baby sizes. My first Le Creusets! I feel like I’ve made it. And I didn’t even have to prove my casserole skills first! Of course, now I will be making them lots of casseroles—starting perhaps with deer chili. (The baby pot will have a single serving of deerless chili, just for you Carrie!)

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  • Posted by Karen Dill on November 25th, 2008, 3:58 PM

    My first memories of Thanksgiving in the Appalachian mountains of North Carolina were of simple seasonal foods spread on a rough plank table in my mother’s old home in Madison County. Located in the far west of North Carolina, bordering eastern Tennessee, Madison County used to be known as rough country (moonshiners, family feuds) though it’s now home to a plethora of organic farmers. My mother’s people, the Treadways and the Sawyers, were raw, hardworking clans with bodies long and lean and spirits naturally suspicious of outsiders. Their hands were calloused from labor and their faces weathered from days spent outdoors and worn with the constant worry of survival in the wilderness that they called home. Read on… »

  • Posted by Karen Dill on November 25th, 2008, 3:46 PM

    This old-fashioned stack cake made with dried apples, molasses, and spices is a traditional centerpiece of the Appalachian Thanksgiving table.


    1 pound dried apples
    1 cup brown sugar
    1/2 cup granulated sugar

    2 teaspoons cinnamon Read on… »

  • Posted by Califia Suntree on November 19th, 2008, 3:54 PM

    On November 10, the holiday feasting season officially began (in my mind) with the Fourth Annual Casserole Party, which was created by Emily Farris, friend of Spooning and author of the brand-new cookbook Casserole Crazy. First place went to the creators of Caulifornication, a creamy cauliflower concoction; those lucky cooks got a turquoise Le Creuset pot, which is officially the most beautiful piece of cookware I’ve ever laid eyes on. Anyway, all that Pyrex and communal feasting made me realize that it’s time to get the folks together to eat and be merry. In that spirit, Spooning will be launching a new theme, Gather ‘Round, which will open with a terrific piece by Karen Dill about her first memories of Thanksgiving, celebrated with her rural mountain relatives. Moonshine and home-cured ham? Yes, please!

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