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This Charming Man

November 11, 2007

As I mentioned in the last post, like it or not we’re in the holiday season.  I like to call this time of year the Trifecta of Fat.  First Halloween, and the joys of eating more chocolate than the entire population of Switzerland packs away.  Then comes Thanksgiving, and the pie-testing I put the family through as I experiment with what hopefully is the perfect pie for the big day.  Then, Christmas, sprinkled with a bit of Hanukkah for good measure.  You wonder why those new year’s resolutions get made.  We can’t stop eating!

Of course, yesterday I was in total nesting mode.  The only thing the family had on the docket for the day was Little IT’s soccer practice at 8:30a.  When we got to the field, it was a swamp from the rains the night before, so we called the practice off.  That freed us to head to the mall for some errands, and then home so Little IT could have a playdate.  I walked into the kitchen and didn’t walk out until after dinner.  Call it nesting, call it what you want, I just call it fun. 

The recipes of choice for the day came from my favorite Food Network personality Alton Brown.  He’s really not a true “personality” in the sense of being an Emeril, Giada or heaven forbid, Rachael Ray.  He’s a food hacker at heart, someone who teaches you the science behind cooking in an effort to help you cook everything better.  I started watching him on “Good Eats” right after Little IT was born, and it’s still one of the shows we watch together.  I take most everything he says as gospel.  If Alton says to do that, it’s worth the effort.  The two notable exceptions were the “cure your own bacon” and “cook a roast in a flowerpot” episodes.  Despite that, my track record with Alton is quite good.

Yesterday, I whipped up:

* Alton’s chili, in slow cooker instead of a pressure cooker, but just as yummy

* Alton’s baked beans, which cooked overnight so we could wake up to yumminess

* Alton’s French Onion Soup. Best I’ve ever tasted, and I bought the electric skillet just to make this. The investment was totally worth it. The recipe in the link above is incorrect. I know this because I printed it out years ago and still have it. It’s 10 onions, not 5. Makes a huge difference I am sure.

I don’t want this to be a food blog, but Alton’s not a food guy.  He’s a hacker at heart (Mac guy too) and if you’re thinking of cooking, he’s the go-to guy for any assistance. 

Not to brag, but in between all those savory goodies, I also baked 2 dozen cookies and a pan of brownies for Veterans Day.  That’s because tomorrow, Little IT goes with the rest of the area Girl Scouts to bag cookies, make cards, and deliver them to local veterans.  It’s such a rewarding and heartwarming activity, and I’m so proud she and the troop does this.  Last year I went, and was surprised, shocked really to see how many people bought cookies instead of making them.  I mean, these people were willing to give their lives for our country, the least we can do is break out the Betty Crocker for them.  Some of the Veterans get dressed in their uniforms while they wait for the girls.  Others actually sit on the front porch, they’re so excited to get the visitors.  I hope they enjoy my cookies!

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