One of the albums I remember most from my childhood is Pete Seeger and Arlo Guthrie Together in Concert. RIP, Pete. You made the world a better place. My uncle would have been very sad to hear that you're gone, but maybe he's got a better seat at your concerts now.
Last night a neighbor and I were talking about music from our childhood days and he remembered a song from Sesame Street that I hadn't thought of in years called "Someday, Little Children." We then discussed some other gems, including the soundtrack to Really Rosie and various songs from the Sesame Street Alphabet Album ("Would you like to buy an O?"). It's looking like I have to buy some music for my nephew!
Tomorrow I leave for a week in Oaxaca, Mexico. As you may know, Oaxaca is ground zero for mezcal, and I'll be spending a great deal of time visiting palenques and learning about mezcal production (this is, after all, a USBGNY trip). For those of you who aren't joining me on the trip, you can play along at home, and make yourself a Division Bell (or go to Mayahuel and have one there).
Division Bell 1 oz Del Maguey San Luis Del Rio mezcal 3/4 oz. Aperol 3/4 oz. Maraska or 1/2 oz. Luxardo (Maraschino) 3/4 oz. fresh squeezed lime juice Shake well with ice, strain into a cocktail glass. Twist and squeeze a grapefruit peel over the glass. Rub the rim of the glass with the peel, then discard it.
As you may recall, I was the lucky recipient of a Fitbit One this year (thanks, Mom & Stephen!). One of its features is sleep tracking -- it tells you how many hours you slept, how long it took you to fall asleep, how many times you woke up and how many times you were restless during any given night. Looking at this information has been fascinating to me. Since I got it, I learned that generally I might wake up once during the night, and am restless from one to three times per night. During the time that I have been sick (including the night before I started to feel crummy), I woke up at least three times and was restless upwards of ten times, including one night when I was restless twenty six times and one night when I was awake five times. No wonder I've felt so exhausted. Last night I didn't wake up at all and was restless nine times -- an improvement at least. Here's to hoping for less restless sleep going forward.
2014 isn't treating me well so far -- although New Year's Eve was lovely and filled with friends, food and laughter, I've been hit by a cold that keeps me up coughing all night. This was fine when I could lounge about and nap during the day, but it doesn't work so well when I have to go to work. Definitely ordering soup for lunch.
Happy and healthy 2014 to you all (and to my body, which didn't get the memo about the "healthy" part)!
Some of you may already know of my love for Turducken. Someday, I plan to make one from scratch, which involves deboning three birds (and that's just to start), but until I have the kitchen space to do this, I'm going to stick with getting pre-prepared Turduckens when the craving strikes. A few years ago, I had the opportunity to try a Turducken -- you can read about that adventure here. This year, I was fortunate enough to be offered yet another Turducken opportunity from the folks at Echelon Foods.
Thawed and ready to roast
I learned a few things from my prior Turducken experience: first, a full-on Turducken barely fit into the largest roasting pan my scaled-down NYC apartment oven cold handle. Also, said NYC apartment is not large enough to fit enough people to eat an entire Turducken. So this time, I chose wisely. In addition to their full-size Turduckens, Echelon offers when they call a Turducken Premium Roast: "De-boned duck and chicken breasts are wrapped up with sausage stuffing into a whole turkey, also deboned. In this case: the turkey's wings and drumsticks are removed, and it is then formed into a football-sized roast." The roast serves 8-10 (still too many for a sit-down dinner in my apartment, frankly) and comes with two stuffing options: Italian, or chicken-apple sausage. I opted for the latter (surprise!).
It arrived frozen, and following the directions on the website, I defrosted it in the refrigerator for 4 days and cooked it with their high temperature method -- set atop a roasting rack, with a mix of white wine and water in the roasting pan, at 350 degrees, basting occasionally, until it reached an internal temperature of 165 degrees. The end result was a beautifully bronzed roast, with enough drippings to make gravy.
Upon carving, the meat was tender and moist, the chicken apple sausage lending a hint of sweetness to the mix, and impressive looking to boot. The roast was a wise choice; no challenges regarding oven or roasting pan space and plenty of food for 10 people (assuming you serve it with sides). If you're looking for something a little out of the ordinary to jazz up your holiday season (or to mix it up at next year's Thanksgiving), I'd suggest giving it a try. Don't tell your guests how simple it is to prepare -- that'll be our little secret.