Getting spirited with comfort food and people we like a lot
This Week’s Marksisms
Last year for Thanksgiving, we thought it’d be fun to bring back some of our past guests to discuss their thoughts about the holiday, and the traditions that carry on from year to year. Like: Tom Colicchio enjoys lasagna as an appetizer and pork belly in his stuffing (Tom’s stuffing recipe here, though this one is sans pork belly). And Stephen Satterfield and I talked about whether Thanksgiving is worth defending. Also: Nigella Lawson, who enjoys the holiday despite being a Brit (you can listen to our standalone Nigella interview here), and Sheldon Simeon, whose dad calls turkey “devil’s meat” (try some of Sheldon’s recipes, including his Shoyu Dip with Sesame Crunch, here). The conversations run the gamut, from goofy to serious, and you can listen to part two — with Adrienne Cheatham, Senator Cory Booker, and Sesame Street’s Gonger; plus Marvette Meggett and her late, wonderful mother, Emily Meggett — next week.
It’s generally agreed that almost everyone in this country needs to eat more fiber (which is kind of the natural Ozempic). A simple piece that describes good ways to add fiber to your diet. Note there are plenty of “holiday-friendly” foods in there.
New (and Better) Dietary Guidelines?
The dietary guidelines may finally start talking about ultraprocessed foods. Not that that will help much as long as most of the foods we produce are ultraprocessed, but it’s something.
Is Food Choice an Illusion?
A detailed resource about monopolies in the U.S. food industry, from the Guardian.
A Perfect November Recipe
Presumably many of you have cranberries lying around at this point; so I wanted to draw your attention to a breakfast that would be perfect for next week. Your family, friends, whomever — will thank you.
Ironed Toast with Maple-Cranberry Compote
Makes: 2 to 4 servings
Time: 30 minutes
Waffles make brunch feel special. Cooking French toast in a waffle iron is even more special, since you still get all the nooks and crannies but don’t have to fuss with a batter. Some technical tips: The festive compote can be cooked up to a week ahead and stored in the refrigerator (ditto any that you don’t eat right away). Choose whatever bread you like, keeping in mind that fluffier, rich slices like brioche or challah will cook up softer than hearty bread like those that include whole grains. English muffins are a nice option, too. I encourage you to cook extra; leftovers reheat and crisp beautifully in the toaster straight out of the freezer.
- 2 or 3 satsumas or other small oranges like tangerines or mandarins
- 12 ounces cranberries (1 bag; about 4 cups)
- 1/2 cup maple syrup, or more to taste
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, or more as needed
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 8 slices bread, 1/2- to 3/4-inch thick (see the headnote)
1. Heat the oven to 300°F. Fit a wire rack in a baking sheet and put it in the oven. Heat the waffle iron.
2. Peel the satsumas, separate them into sections, and seed them if necessary; chop into bits about the size of the cranberries. Put them (and any juices from the cutting board) in a medium saucepan with the berries, maple syrup, and 1/4 cup water. Bring to a boil then reduce the heat so the compote gently bubbles and cook, stirring occasionally, until the cranberries burst, and the juices thicken, 10 to 15 minutes. Taste and add more syrup if you’d like; keep the compote warm over low heat.
3. Microwave the butter for a few seconds (or heat in a small pot) to soften it without fully melting. Whisk together the eggs, milk, vanilla, and salt in a shallow baking dish.
4. Brush both surfaces of the waffle iron with softened butter (or use towels). Dunk a piece of bread in the egg mixture until it’s saturated without falling apart, then put it right onto the waffle iron. (Or if your iron is large, cover the bottom in a layer of slices.) Close the lid and cook until browned. (The time depends on your appliance.) Keep the finished toast warm in the oven while you repeat with the remaining slices. Serve hot with the warm cranberry compote.
—Recipe adapted from Dinner for Everyone
See ya next week!