Thanksgiving

By the President of the United States of America–

A Proclamation

Whereas it is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits, and humbly to implore his protection and favor–and Whereas both Houses of Congress have by their Joint Committee requested me “to recommend to the People of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many signal favors of Almighty God, especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness.”

Now therefore I do recommend and assign Thursday the 26th day of November next to be devoted by the People of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being, who is the beneficent Author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be–That we may then all unite in rendering unto him our sincere and humble thanks–for his kind care and protection of the People of this country previous to their becoming a Nation–for the signal and manifold mercies, and the favorable interpositions of his providence, which we experienced in the course and conclusion of the late war–for the great degree of tranquility, union, and plenty, which we have since enjoyed–for the peaceable and rational manner in which we have been enabled to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national One now lately instituted, for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed, and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge; and in general for all the great and various favors which he hath been pleased to confer upon us.

And also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech him to pardon our national and other transgressions–to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually–to render our national government a blessing to all the People, by constantly being a government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed–to protect and guide all Sovereigns and Nations (especially such as have shown kindness unto us) and to bless them with good government, peace, and concord–To promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the increase of science among them and Us–and generally to grant unto all mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as he alone knows to be best.

Given under my hand at the City of New York the third day of October in the year of our Lord 1789.

Go. Washington

Dry Rub On Shrimp?

I use my barbecue dry rub on pretty much everything, although until recently I had never tried it on seafood. But that changed when my lovely and previously cooking-challenged wife suggested that I try it on shrimp. What the hell — how bad could it be? Needless to say it was a resounding success, and it has entered my repertoire for those nights when all of a sudden it’s far too late to make anything other than what is three steps from edible. Step 1: defrost shrimp (always have some good frozen shrimp in the freezer*). Step 2: sprinkle rub on shrimp and allow to soak in for a few minutes, or hours. Step 3: saut√© in a medium pan with butter.

Last time I made this dish I served the shrimp with some cannellini beans that I had cooked with some olive oil and garlic. The creaminess of the beans was a wonderful foil for the slightly spicy shrimp. I guess if you are really compulsive and are dying for your own cooking show, you could serve this as an appetizer. Toast some slices of baguette, mound a bit of the beans on top, then plop a shrimp on each piece and garnish with some chopped parsley. Or you could do what I do and shovel all of it out of the bowls and into my mouth as fast as I can.

*Thank you, Tommy, for the excellent point that you made a long time ago. Actually, thank you Tommy’s mother-in-law, but I am confident that she doesn’t read my blog. I hope she reads Tommy’s!

Am I Becoming A Locavore?

That word irritates me more than it should, because it’s just a typical pompous foodie buzzword that will go out of fashion as soon as people understand that “local” doesn’t necessarily mean good quality, inexpensive, carbon neutral, kind to animals, or any of the other ideas that people have when they see it emblazoned across a food article headline. I am very familiar with the efficiency of our transportation system in this country and would be willing to bet Continue reading “Am I Becoming A Locavore?”

Sausage And Cornbread Stuffing

Here is my Sausage And Cornbread Stuffing recipe.  As you can see, it is an extraordinarily difficult, time-consuming, complex and arcane dish that only a few people in the cooking world have the intestinal fortitude to attempt.

People take Thanksgiving far, far too seriously. The point is to have fun, eat reasonably good food, and enjoy your guests. For instance, this year we will all gather around the television to watch the half-time show of some football game because the Jonas Brothers will be singing for 5 minutes. Would I do this on any other day of the year? If you knew me you would know the answer. Continue reading “Sausage And Cornbread Stuffing”

Salmon Doesn’t Have To Be Boring

I have ranted in the past about my feelings for salmon. Oh, when I pull a 15-pounder out of the Pacific off of Mendocino, drive home, have it filleted by a fishmonger friend, and then grill it for dinner? It’s great. But it gets boring after a while. So I decided to cast caution to the wind, work without a net, go out on a limb and, mostly, wing it. I skinned a salmon fillet and sprinkled some of my justifiably famous barbecue dry-rub on it. Not as much as on pork ribs, but enough to Continue reading “Salmon Doesn’t Have To Be Boring”

Why Is The Good Stuff So Expensive?

My grandfather used to go to the local butcher and ask for that long chunk of meat from the back of the cow that nobody seemed too interested in. I am sure that the butcher thought that my grandfather was a bit soft in the head, and probably gave him a good price on what we now call Filet Mignon. But that was a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away. Now, of course, the best cuts of beef are outrageously expensive, and the not-so-great cuts aren’t far behind. And that brings us Continue reading “Why Is The Good Stuff So Expensive?”

Mustard: The New Ketchup

Mustard is both a fruit and a vegetable in my house. Specifically, I try to eat at least the Recommended Daily Servings, which, as I recall, is nine (that can be tough during breakfast). Lest you think that mustard is boring, take a look at the incredible variety available, even in a typical market. And move on to an upscale grocery or specialty store, and the choices become overwhelming. But even good old brown deli mustard is pretty good, especially on a Katz’s Deli hot pastrami on rye. However, I draw the line at yellow mustard, which is Continue reading “Mustard: The New Ketchup”