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food focused

November 24, 2009


the book photos above are from nigel slater’s newest, “tender” (vol. 1). not surprisingly, this was the first book i bought here in the U.K. (i had trouble finding it in the U.S.). i can’t say enough good things about this book. it’s a must-have for anyone interested in growing their own small patch of fruit or veg. and if you live in a city and you can’t find the space to grow your own, but your heart skips a beat whenever you hit the farmer’s market — then this book is also for you. it celebrates eating in a very straightforward, unfussy way. these are mostly simple recipes that will surprise you – nigel has a way of putting together different ingredients in a way you have not seen before. i think i’ll always remember this as my first proper british cookbook … i can’t wait to get into the kitchen and prepare some of these dishes.

speaking of food and cooking; during this week leading up to Thanksgiving in the U.S., i have to admit that i’m going to miss this holiday! i’m getting together with a group of american expats on thursday night for a thanksgiving dinner of our own, and i’m sure we’ll have a great meal.  but it won’t be the same without some time spent in the kitchen on thursday morning. i always love preparing a few dishes for the feast … unfortunately, i can’t do much cooking this year since i’m still in temporary housing. but just as soon as i get moved into my own flat next week, i hope to cook up a storm. i really can’t wait.

so, please taunt me and let me know what you are excited to make for your thanksgiving feast … i’ll live vicariously through all of you!

  1. sarah chong permalink
    November 24, 2009 6:33 am

    i almost forgot there’s no thanksgiving in england, but that’s no reason to continue to give thanks (: i’m excited for stuffed mushrooms, garlic mashed potatoes, and pumpkin cheesecake. all homemade!

  2. November 24, 2009 7:48 am

    For the first time ever, I’m going out to a restaurant! My apartment is in too much upheaval to host. So we’re off to cozy Back Forty for turkey and sides and lovely cocktails in the middle of the afternoon. Happy Thanksgiving!

  3. November 24, 2009 7:56 am

    hi brian! shari just introduced me to “tender v.1” and it looks amazing. those pictures, huh? it’s on my list, but maybe it’s too hard to come by over here?…
    enjoy your first ex-pat thanksgiving! that sort of has a ring to it.

  4. November 24, 2009 8:16 am

    Nigel Slater has always been a big favourite of mine; I love his quiet, simple approach. The new book looks gorgeous.

    Looks like you made it to Leila’s!

  5. marthasnail permalink
    November 24, 2009 9:06 am

    it’s so true about nigel. so simple yet so inspired and then the book is just gorgeous to look at which makes it even more special. love your food shots too.
    our menu:
    heritage brined turkey
    pimiento cheese potatoes–a la the lee brothers (have to have something southern)
    tom’s family’s sausage stuffing
    rainbow chard
    homemade pumpkin pie with whipped cream
    enjoy your ex-pat celebration!

  6. November 24, 2009 9:14 am

    wishing you the happiest thanksgiving in your new home!

  7. November 24, 2009 10:09 am

    i am kind of sad to not be preparing more this year, but i am traveling by train to visit some friends. i will be contributing a southern pecan pie. hope you have a great time with new friends.

  8. November 24, 2009 10:23 am

    happy thanksgiving to you brian. i hope your thursday meal is full of delicious food and thankfulness. i’m most looking forward to pie. the making and the eating – pie pie pie. and brussels sprouts.

  9. November 24, 2009 10:29 am

    I love this book, too! When Tender was first released a few months ago, had it super-reduced (15£) so even with shipping to the US, it came in at about $30. So even once you’re state-side again, it still may be possible to indulge in a proper British cookery book now and then!
    I’m making a chicken liver pate and good old-fashioned pumpkin pie to bring to Thanksgiving at a friend’s house.

  10. November 24, 2009 10:43 am

    what a great looking cookbook.I think you inspired of getting it too : ).oh and don’t miss Nigels recipes in “the Oberserver” every Sunday : )

  11. November 24, 2009 11:03 am

    hi brian,

    what a beautiful book. i am very excited to host Thanksgiving at my house and cook in my new (though still unfinished) kitchen! my mom is making the turkey, so i’ll have some help. our menu is not finalized, but i know i’m excited to make mark bittman’s brussel sprouts with bacon and figs that was in the NYT a few weeks back.

    hope you have a great time.

  12. November 24, 2009 12:53 pm

    i’m also skipping the holiday for some beach time. i will be sad to miss out on turkey and all the trimmings.
    that book is truly amazing. on the wishlist it goes!

  13. November 24, 2009 1:28 pm

    Thanksgiving is in many ways my favorite holiday; relaxed and easy, just about cooking and relaxing with good friends and family. I’m actually still working on the menu – my inlaws have been in town and I’ve been busy! I hope you enjoy your celebration. The book looks beautiful.

  14. Pam permalink
    November 24, 2009 3:38 pm

    Tomorrow I plan to make Molly’s cranberry chutney w/ginger and dried cherries (although I just realized I forgot to get crystalized ginger) and a pumpkin/walnut layered pie from a long-ago issue of Southern Living. I love this holiday. Enjoy your expat celebration!

  15. Jean Prescott permalink
    November 24, 2009 8:50 pm

    I’ve read about “Tender, Vol. 1” on Nigel’s Web site. Afraid the big booksellers here don’t have it yet, but his other books have been right up my street (loved “toast”). I do believe we’re seeing more of you here since you left than we did when you were in Brooklyn. As for Turkey Day, I am a guest at someone else’s home for the feast, so I am bringing pecans toasted with cumin, red pepper and brown sugar, and corn pudding…made with frozen corn, I’m afraid, but creamed myself. Have a lovely day with the other expats.

  16. November 24, 2009 9:45 pm

    After two pre-Thanksgiving dinners last weekend, I am looking forward to eating something other than the traditional dinner. We’re contemplating making tamales. Happy Thanksgiving, Brian!

  17. November 25, 2009 6:38 pm

    I cannot wait to get my hands on that book! I think I’m going to order it from Omnivore Books, per Shari’s suggestion. It’s such a great bookstore.

    We’re at my mom’s house in Oklahoma, and here’s our menu for tomorrow:

    turkey + my mom’s gravy
    “Brother Timothy’s stuffing,” a recipe we’ve used for ages
    mashed potatoes with caramelized onions, garlic, and Parmesan
    sauerkraut cooked in gin, with caraway seeds
    salad of shaved Brussels sprouts, lemon, and Parmesan
    roasted butternut squash and chickpeas with yogurt sauce
    cranberry chutney
    Hoosier pie
    my mom’s apple crisp
    icebox pie

    Happy Thanksgiving, Brian!

  18. November 25, 2009 7:27 pm

    Happy Thanksgiving – and what pleasing photos, especially the first one!

    For Thanksgiving a friend and I are cooking together and I’m looking forward to it. She lives in a house with a big kitchen, and all her housemates are going to be out of town, and we always have a good time cooking together. The delight of a two-person Thanksgiving is that we don’t have to worry about whether our menu really coheres, as long as we both like it. Also, we’ve agreed that we aren’t going to be fussed about getting all the food ready at once – if we end up having many small plates over the course of the day, that’s fine. The plan:

    cranberry sauce with pears and cardamom
    caramelized corn with fresh mint, made with some of corn from our summer CSA share that we both have sitting in our freezers.
    roasted cauliflower with lemon brown butter and sage salt, because brown butter + sage = can’t go wrong, as far as I am concerned.
    sweet potatoes with Thai red curry paste and coconut milk
    – pumpkin pie from a Cooks Illustrated recipe, with a crust made from gluten-free gingersnaps

    – and possibly meatloaf, if my friend has time to cook some tonight.

    I am also excited about trying this lavender soda that I couldn’t resist buying when I saw it at Whole Foods yesterday.

  19. November 26, 2009 3:38 pm

    Are the food photos taken at Leila’s Shop?

  20. November 27, 2009 8:08 am

    that book is truly amazing,great,thanks

  21. November 28, 2009 1:11 am

    that book looks great!
    must see if i can find it

  22. November 29, 2009 11:47 am

    I’ve been desperately searching for that book here in the U.S. Now I really *REALLY* must track it down. Nigel is my cooking and gardening hero. The Brits just get “it” so much more than the Americans. Sigh.

  23. November 29, 2009 1:23 pm

    Those of you who live in the states can also purchase Tender through the amazing Omnivore Books in SF.


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