Thanksgiving Pregame: Oh, It's On - Lightly Toasted: Chronicles of the Friday Night Cocktail Club Blog at - 138631

Lightly Toasted: Chronicles of the Friday Night Cocktail Club

thanksgiving pregame: oh, it's on 
Nov. 20, 2009 10:56 am 
Updated: Nov. 22, 2009 5:03 pm
The chatter begins around late August. Where’s Thanksgiving this year? Seattle? Portland? Idaho? Tucson? And every year it’s the same. It doesn’t matter who’s hosting, at the first hint of family getting together, SLS and I quickly volunteer to do the cooking.

To the ears of parents and our various kid-wrangling siblings, the offer to cook Thanksgiving dinner in its entirety sounds insanely generous. But let’s be clear, it’s mostly selfish. SLS and I, we take this meal seriously, and we don’t want any well-intentioned but careless family members screwing it up. Left to others, corners would be cut, dubious substitutions permitted, and techniques fudged. On Thanksgiving, we prefer our corners full, robust; we’d rather add corners to our corners than cut them away.

But it’s not just fear of what others might do to dinner that spurs us on. We actually enjoy the process. Fortunately, SLS is a terrific planner. My own method is based more on anarchy, but I can appreciate her careful, considered style. It works for her. And so it works for me, by extension. About 2 or 3pm, we get our pre-game on. We pour a cocktail and get down to business. It’s like tailgating before the big game, only it doesn’t involve chugging Jäger or chasing whiskey with a pint of lager. It’s completely civilized.

Here’s what we’re looking at for this year in the pre-game cocktail category:

 Pear Brandy Sidecar. It’s like taking a sip of autumn.  My family always requests this one at Thanksgiving. I usually garnish it with a few brandied cranberries.

Annex Theater Champagne Cocktail. Simple and not too boozy, which is good when you're working with sharp knives; it’s just champagne with some sugar and bitters.

And for drinking with Thanksgiving dinner? It’s probably Riesling (always), maybe a sparkling rosé…and some reds to be determined later. I’ll update this when I figure it out. Until then, hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving. I’d love to hear what people are planning to pre-game and drink with dinner.  Thanks!
Nov. 20, 2009 7:13 pm
Yum, that Pear Brandy Sidecar sounds perfect. Now, just have to manage not starting the game too early!
Nov. 21, 2009 5:53 am
Totally totally off the subject. But I love the glass you have in your picture. In lieu of Christmas, I was wondering wher eyou got it?
Nov. 21, 2009 9:24 am
Hi Sbaker. I love the mustache glass. A woman in Portland, OR, makes them. She also makes pint glasses. Her website is called Bread and Badger. They're also available online at Etsy. Thanks for asking!
Nov. 21, 2009 9:27 am
Everything time "Champagne cocktail" is mentioned, I can't help but think of the movie "Blast from the Past" with Brendan Frasier and Alicia Silverstone. Hahaha! Eve: Here ya go, one champagne cocktail. Adam: Oh, thank you. Eve: I thought only hookers drank those things? Adam: Well, I know Mom sure likes 'em. Sorry, I love that movie, I couldn't help it :)
Nov. 22, 2009 5:03 pm
Dirty martini's all the way
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Seattle, Washington, USA

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Slow Cooking, Italian, Nouvelle, Mediterranean, Healthy, Gourmet

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About Me
My wife and I and our two devilish kittens live on Capitol Hill in Seattle. A few years ago, I got a masters in gastronomy. I'm a food/wine writer. I’m also blogging about cocktails.
My favorite things to cook
We cook fairly simple dishes using fresh local ingredients that we pick up at the Seattle farmers market. My favorite thing is making a nice slow-braised or long-roasted something on a lazy Sunday afternoon. I like cooking with wine (in the dish and in the glass...and in the cook).
My favorite family cooking traditions
My mom never liked to cook, but she did well despite herself. Her mother, my omi, was from Munich and made delicious rouladen, sauerbraten and other traditional German and American dishes. Always bins and bins of home-baked cookies at Christmas. Wonderful rye bread. And beer. Opa would say, "Brotzeit ist die beste zeit."
My cooking triumphs
We’ve made the signature timpano dish from The Big Night a couple times. And for Thanksgiving 2007, we made Turducken. My wife and I are always volunteering to cook the big holiday meals with the family. We mix a signature cocktail, and get down to it.
My cooking tragedies
I made Thanksgiving Dinner for myself once when I was snowed-in in Denver. I nearly burned down the neighborhood.
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