What we ate on Thanksgiving

Delicata Squash Closeup

Since September, a group of four multitalented course alumnae – Jamie Creason, Mandy Murphy, Amy Regan, and Erika Tribett – has been working with Nap and me to redesign our course around food. Our theme for Spring 2014 is: Eat. Think. Design.

To introduce the course development team – and to explore our own relationships with food – we’ve cataloged what we each made for Thanksgiving this year. Each of the six of us took a photo of our dish and answered three questions: 1) What did you cook? 2) Who did you cook it for? 3) What was the best reaction to it? These are the results.

(Click to view images larger.)

Erika. Virginia Beach, Virginia.

Sacred Rolls

Q1: Grandma Jinx’s sacred rolls: Full Belly Farm butterball potatoes, Straus Family milk and butter, 2 local eggs, yeast, sugar, flour, salt. Q2: Made in CA and hand-delivered to mom in VA. This is the first Thanksgiving without Grandma Jinx, and her sacred rolls are a family tradition. Q3: Family friend Betsy on her third roll: “There’s mashed potatoes in these? Damn, they’re delicious.”

Mandy. Scottsdale, Arizona.

Apple Pie

Q1: Grandmommy’s Apple Pie, a recipe from her grandmother (my great-great grandmother). My grandmother swears the trick to the crispiest crust is *ice-cold* water and Crisco, of course. I used the same fork, mixing fork, cloth, and rolling pin that my grandmother always uses. Q2: Dessert for Thanksgiving dinner, which my grandmommy, granddaddy, mom, dad, sister, and Norwegian exchange sister Ingrid attended. We were all too full after dinner, so we enjoyed pie for breakfast the next two days. Q3: Ingrid, experiencing first Thanksgiving, “How can your day go badly when it starts with pie for breakfast?”

Jaspal. Fremont, California.


Q1: Tiramisu. 10 local (Petaluma) eggs – raw, 2 shots Myers’s dark rum, 2 lbs mascarpone, brown sugar, Ghirardelli chocolate & cocoa, Watsonville raspberries, salt, pre-made ladyfingers, 2 cups brewed Peets. Q2: My wife’s extended family does themed, vegetarian Thanksgivings each year. This year’s theme was Italian. Q3: My mother-in-law, during the making-of: “This mascarpone tastes just like our khoa. That’s what all barfi is made from.”

Amy. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Delicata Squash

Q1: Oven-roasted delicata squash: squash purchased at Oakland’s Temescal Farmer’s Market (and imported to Philadelphia), New Jersey’s own Cape May Olive Oil Company extra virgin olive oil, freshly ground black pepper, sea salt, paprika. Q2: My husband’s parents, sis and sister’s boyfriend at my in-law’s home in Malvern, Pa., the site of our first of two Thanksgiving meals that day. Q3: From my father-in-law who grabbed a few with his hand when I set the dish on the table: “What are those, onion rings? They’re pretty good.”

Nap. Alameda, California.

Jerk Shrimp

Q1: Chez Hosang presents Jerk Shrimp! Marinate jumbo shrimp with Walker’s Wood Jamaica jerk sauce (Cost Plus World Market) with lightly added olive oil for one hour. Hot skillet grill till pink (usually 7 – 9 min). Flip at 3 min. Q2: The family gathering. Q3: Nap in response to Jaspal’s reminder text at 4:00pm on Thanksgiving Day, “Eaten already!” The photo is a re-enactment from early December.

Jamie. Huntington Beach, California.

Brussel SproutsQ1: Roasted brussel sprouts and yams because my parents are terrified by the idea of actually cooking in their kitchen. This simple dish of brussels, yams, salt, and thyme was the most I could get away with. Q2: Thanksgiving at my sister’s: my parents, my mom’s ex husband and his wife, my childhood piano teacher, my sister’s husband and kids, and her surfing buddy. My pyro nephew actually almost knocked it over while he was running around playing with a menorah. Q3: My Dad in response to the raw brussels which I had left on the kitchen table (which is at all times covered with papers and not actually used for food): “Jamie, is that a tree on the table? What is that?” Me: (momentarily confused) “No dad, that’s a stalk of brussel sprouts.” Dad: ” That’s how they grow? Do brussel sprouts actually grow like that?” Me: “No dad, but Trader Joe’s puts them on a stalk now because it’s cheaper than the packaging.”

JaspalWhat we ate on Thanksgiving