I often get questions along the lines of "What is it exactly that you do?" Some people have a difficult time imagining a life of a cookbook writer, especially one who loves working with other people to create the book at hand. Many of my writer friends would never consider co-authoring a book with someone else, much less ghostwrite. Well, to each their own. I love learning new things from my clients, but most of all, I love being the guy who comes in on a white horse to wrangle the book into shape.
I have a burning question: Why would anyone serve canned cranberry sauce when homemade is so easy and delicious? Essentially, you toss fresh cranberries and sugar in a pot, bring it to a boil, and gussy it up with various flavors. Every year, I create at least one new cranberry sauce and each year, I declare that one my favorite. This Thanksgiving, I am making this beautiful, garnet-colored sauce, a recipe that I developed for Driscoll's Berries. The bright red of raspberries complements the darker scarlet of the cranberries, and the flavor is sensational.
Thanksgiving may mean a beautifully roasted bird, but also means countless questions on how to get the turkey and all of those side dishes and desserts on the table! If you have any questions on how to pull off this most food-centric of all American holidays, please post it here and I'll get back to you.
One of the rules of blogging is to never apologize or explain when you've been away from posting for a long time. Well, rules are made to be broken. I just want to say that I have been very busy with publishing projects, one after the other, and one can only spread one's self so thinly. One of these books, THE ESSENTIAL JAMES BEARD COOKBOOK, was published just as Sandy hit. Another book I worked on is THE NORDSTROM FAMILY TABLE COOKBOOK, with Nordstrom executive chef Michael Northern and his amazing talented crew of chefs from around the country. Coming up next year, look for THE MODEL BAKERY COOKBOOK, from the famous Napa Valley family-owned destination bakery, and a few other books where I am behind the scenes doing my thing as a general helper-outer. I am continuing to look for a way to reprint KAFFEEHAUS.
Thanks to everyone who contacted me directly, especially those of you who have attended my classes over the years at Chef Central, The Silo, Adventures in Cooking, and Draeger's. After teaching Thanksgiving cooking classes for over twenty-five yeas, I thought that I should treat myself to a year off. I am gearing up for another holiday-related cookbook that will put me back in the fray, so you just may see me at a some of the venues again.
There...we are caught up. So send over those holiday questions.
Still trawling for Thanksgiving menu ideas? Check out the recipes that I've created for Driscoll's Berries. I've cooked up appetizers, side dishes, and desserts--all easy and delicious. (OK, the individual appetizers are a little fiddly, but it's a holiday.) I'll be posting them in the next couple of days, but I am especially fond of these Brussels sprouts. I love the way the sweet berries balance the earthiness of the sprouts, and you will, too.