1. Orwellian Tea
In case you weren’t aware, George Orwell kept diaries for most of his life. Included in these writings are socio-political rantings as well as newspaper clippings and gardening tips. However, most importantly there is an entry dating to January 12th, 1946, describing 11 steps to “a Nice Cup of Tea.” In order to enlighten the rest of the world about this topic, I painstakingly set out to summarize his opinions on tea, and am now here to share them with all of you. That being said, please enjoy your Orwellian tea.
- For starters: one ought to use Indian or Ceylonese tea. Chinese tea may be economical, but it provides no stimulation whatsoever.
- Tea should be made in a teapot made of china or earthenware. A pewter teapot isn’t terrible, but really anything else just completely ruins the tea.
- Warm the teapot beforehand. Everything will be better if you do that.
- Tea has to be strong. In fact, make it a little stronger with every year that passes – this is the sign of a true tea lover.
- The tea must be put straight into the pot – none of that strainer or muslin bag nonsense for George Orwell.
- Always take the teapot to the kettle and definitely not the other way around. The water must be boiling during the moment of impact, so pour only while it is on the flame.
- After making the tea, promptly stir it, or even better: give the pot a good shake. Them allow the leaves to settle.
- Drink out of a good breakfast cup (the cylindrical type). The breakfast cup holds more and the temperature is more evenly distributed somehow. Or at least George Orwell says so.
- Pour the cream off the milk before using it in the tea, otherwise everything you’ve just done will be in vain because your tea will be simply too sickly.
- Always pour the tea in before the milk. Always.
- Lastly – unless you’re drinking the milk Russian-style – you should drink your tea without sugar because it completely distorts the taste of this heavenly beverage. If you’re going to drink it with sugar, you might as well just drink Chinese tea and all of this will have been in vain.
~Julia Schoos, Poetry Board
2. 很想很想你 (Really, Really Miss You)
I’m a fan of nontraditional holidays, particularly when it comes to meals. Don’t get me wrong — I will eat dressing, cranberry sauce, and rolls until the cows come home, but I also love to mix things up. The year we convinced my grandmother to let us make chili instead of the traditional turkey dinner? Everyone was just as happy, and there was a lot less stress in the kitchen. Besides, it’s fun to be a rebel!
If you’re looking for ways to mix it up this year, you might consider trying some of Mo Qingcheng’s recipes from Really, Really Miss You by Mo Bao Fei Bao. If you haven’t read it, Mo Qingcheng is the perfect man for voice-lover and foodie Gu Sheng: he possesses a golden voice, and he’s an excellent cook. (And he’s sweet, kind, and all those other good things, but really, you had me at food.) He’s also more than happy to share recipes while chatting, which often leaves his friends with a bad case of the munchies in the middle of the night.
His recipe for sautéed black pepper short ribs looks particularly enticing and simple to make. Meals like this are easy to modify based on available ingredients, and they’re also easy to stretch if you’re cooking for a crowd or if you want leftovers.
To make this dish, debone some short ribs and pour rice wine, oyster sauce, soy sauce, and black pepper sauce over them. Add cracked black pepper, chicken bouillon, and cornstarch. Mix together, then add water and mix again by hand. Let the ribs marinate for about 15 minutes, then sauté on high until the meat browns. Add green onions, winter bamboo shoots, and bell pepper slices (yum). Continue to sauté until the ribs are thoroughly cooked. Serve and enjoy!
I don’t know about you, but my mouth is watering just thinking about it!
~Rebecca Skrabanek, Nonfiction Board
3. The Legend of Sleepy Hollow’s Honey Cakes
You can never have a literary themed dinner without dessert. So, what better than to find a food that can do both, be an appetizer and dessert. Here are some Honey Cakes that you can get away with eating at any time.
Things you will need:
- 2 cups of self-rising flour
- ½ cup of brown sugar
- ½ cup of honey
- 1 cup of milk
- 1 tsp of cinnamon
- ¼ tsp of nutmeg
- ¼ tsp of allspice
- A pinch of salt
- 1 egg
First, preheat the oven to 350⁰ F. Then, mix all the ingredients together until thoroughly combined. Finally, pour the mixture in a greased bread pan and bake for 30 minutes. Enjoy!!
~Tracy Yager, Nonfiction Board
4. Green (Deviled) Eggs and Ham
- Eggs (6 large)
- Mayonnaise (2 tbsp.)
- Mustard (2 tsps.)
- Green food coloring
- Hard-boil eggs
- Shell eggs. Then, slice in half and separate the yolks from the whites, placing the yolks in a mixing bowl.
- Mash the yolks until crumbled, then mix in mustard, mayonnaise, and season to taste with a little salt and pepper.
- NEXT: 2 ways to add food coloring
- Add one drop at a time to the yolk concoction and mix well after each drop until you achieve the green color of your choice.
- Put on some gloves, pour green food coloring in a bowl, and (gently) roll the egg white halves in the dye. Place them, hollow side down, on a plate to drip-dry. Before piping the filling into the egg greens (hehe), pat with paper towels to remove excess food coloring.
- Spoon yolk filling into a plastic bag, cut a small piece of the corner off, and pipe the filling into the hollow eggs.
- Cook bacon, chop up into tiny pieces, and garnish the Green Deviled Eggs.
- Gaze lovingly at your creation
Alternate Dr. Seuss Recipe: Show up with an unopened box of goldfish, pour into bowl, and tell everyone you were inspired by One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish.
~Madison Brock, Fiction Board
5. Turkish Delight
Turkish Delight from The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis
This sweet treat may have tempted Edmund Pevensie to betray his entire family, but if you make this at home, you’ll be safe from starting a war in an entirely different dimension. With enough practice, you may be able to make this dessert better than the White Witch’s magic ever could. One thing is certain, however: the name “delight” suits this dessert flawlessly.
- 3 cups water
- 2 cups white sugar
- 1/4 cup unflavored gelatin
- 1 1/2 cups confectioner’s’ sugar, sifted
- 2/3 cup corn flour
- 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1/2 teaspoon rose water
- 3 drops pink food coloring, or as desired
- Combine water, white sugar, and gelatin in a large microwave-safe bowl; heat in microwave on high for 7 minutes. Stir sugar mixture and cook in microwave for 7 minutes more.
- Mix 1 1/2 cups confectioner’s sugar, corn flour, and cream of tartar together in a bowl; stir into sugar mixture. Heat mixture in microwave on high for 6 minutes more. Stir rose water and food coloring into mixture.
- Lightly grease a 7×11-inch baking dish. Pour mixture into the greased dish; refrigerate until firm, about 30 minutes.
- Cut Turkish delight into small squares using a wet knife.
- Place 3/4 cup confectioner’s sugar in a bowl. Roll Turkish delight in the confectioner’s sugar until evenly coated. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
Recipe from allrecipes.com
~Alex Arias, Marketing Board
6. Pumpkin Pasties
A magical take on a holiday classic, this dish is sure to bring both wizards and muggles back to the table for seconds. Instead of passing the pie, you will be passing the Harry Potter pasties this Thanksgiving!
You will need:
2 1/2 cups flour
2 tbsp caster sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup butter
3/4 cup water
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 cup (canned or homemade) pureed pumpkin
For the crust, mix together the flour, caster sugar, salt, butter, and water. Once mixed well, knead it into a ball and wrap it in cling wrap. Then place it in the fridge for an hour.
For the filling, stir together the granulated sugar, pumpkin pie spice, and pureed pumpkin.
Preheat the oven to 400F.
Then, roll out the dough for the crust you prepared earlier, and use a pumpkin-shaped cookie cutter to punch little pumpkins out of it. Cut two or three slits into half of the pumpkins for ventilation. Next, scoop about one tbsp of the pumpkin filling mix onto one pumpkin cutout, stretch the edges slightly, and place one of the “ventilation” pumpkin cutouts on top. Crimp the edges of the two pumpkin cutouts together. Repeat until you have filled all of your pumpkins.
Now, place these on a cookie sheet and bake in the oven for about 20-25 minutes. You will know they are ready to come out when they look golden brown.
Serve them hot or cold, as an appetizer or dessert, and enjoy!
~Kendall Talbot, Marketing Board
7. Peach Pie
Celebrate one of Roald Dahl’s most beloved stories James and the Giant Peach with this sweet treat, perfect for finishing off your Thanksgiving meal the literary way!
For the pie crust:
2 1/2 cups all-purpose Gold Medal flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup unsalted butter, cold and cut into cubes
1/2 cup buttermilk, cold
1-2 tablespoons water, cold
1 large egg, beaten, for the egg wash
Turbinado sugar, for sprinkling on top of pie
For the peach filling:
8 cups sliced peaches, skin removed
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
3-4 tablespoons cornstarch, depending on how juicy your peaches are
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Combine the flour, sugar, and salt in a bowl. Add the cubed butter and toss to coat. Dump the mixture out onto a clean surface and use a rolling pin to roll the butter into thin sheets, combining it with the flour. Use a bench scraper to scrape the rolling pin and to bring the mixture back into a pile as necessary. Continue until all of the butter is incorporated into the flour. Mixture will be very flaky. Return mixture to the bowl and place in the freezer for 15 minutes to chill the butter.
- Remove from freezer and add the buttermilk. Use a spoon and then your hands to stir the mixture until it comes together into a ball. If mixture is too dry, add the water a tablespoon at a time. Divide the dough in two and flatten into disks. Wrap each disk in plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for at least 1 hour and up to 3 days.
- While the dough is chilling, make the peach pie filling. In a large bowl, combine peaches, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, cornstarch, and vanilla extract. Gently stir until mixed well.
- When ready to roll out, let the dough rest at room temperature for five minutes. On a lightly floured surface, use a rolling pin to roll out the dough into a rough 13 inch circle. Dough should be about 1/4 inch thick. Transfer dough to pie dish. Fill pie with peach filling. Repeat with the second disk of dough. Cut dough and make a lattice over the filling. You can also leave the circle intact and cover the filling completely, cutting a few vents with a sharp knife, but I went with a lattice top for my peach pie.
- Fold the edges of the top and bottom crusts together and use your index fingers and thumb to pinch into a pattern. Brush with egg wash and sprinkle with turbinado sugar.
- Bake in a 400 degrees F oven for 45 minutes or until the pie is bubbling and the crust is golden brown. Let the pie cool completely on a wire cooling rack before cutting.
~Ashten Luna, Poetry Board
8. Tacos de Calabaza
Thanksgiving is a holiday where a self-induced food coma is socially acceptable, even encouraged by sadistic friends and family members wanting you to be as physically uncomfortable as they are. Now, some Americans falsely believe that the secret to eating all of Thanksgiving day starts at dawn with a futile attempt at running in their local turkey trot. These questionably unpatriotic Americans claim that they are kick-starting their metabolism, creating a caloric deficit they can fill with cheesy broccoli casserole. They are wrong. Running for your food is as perverse and abhorrent as it sounds.
Thanksgiving is not a day for exercising and cardboard Cliff Bars. Thanksgiving is a day for eating rich, buttery side dishes as your body slowly becomes inseparable from the couch. Does anyone even like running? No. No one likes running—It’s why we walk. But I do love eating.
So we need to make it through Thanksgiving day without succumbing to the lethargic effects of turkey. Luckily, setting aside an hour in the morning for breakfast, specifically this one below, will gear your body with the nutrients needed to start—and finish—the marathon of eating that is Thanksgiving.
Full of slow-digesting carbohydrates and healthy fats, this seasonally-sourced breakfast taco energizes you without ever slowing you down, is convenient enough to eat while simultaneously prepping for the day’s real meal, satiates hunger pangs and, most importantly, expands the volume of your stomach for more of the good, guilty stuff.
Preheat oven to 415°. Dice pumpkin into ¾-inch cubes (about a ½ pound, cleaned). Separate seeds and stringy flesh, discard. Toss cubes with 2 tbsp. olive oil, salt, ½ cup brown sugar, and cinnamon. Spread in an even layer on baking sheet. Roast for about 20-25 minutes until fork fork tender.
Do ahead: Pepitas can and should be made in advance. Preheat oven to 350°. Combine 1 cup of raw, shelled pepitas with 1 tbsp. olive oil. Distribute seeds evenly on a rimmed baking sheet. Toast for 10-15 minutes, or until golden-brown. Remove pan from oven and transfer seeds into a large bowl. Immediately coat with salt, pepper and dash of cayenne. Store at room temperature.
Meanwhile, cut poblano and onion lengthwise into strips. Heat 1 tbsp. olive oil in medium pan over medium-high heat. Sauté vegetables until translucent then remove from heat. Transfer pumpkin to paper towels; let cool slightly.
Assemble. Scramble 3 eggs over medium-low heat, season. On a separate burner, start tortillas over low heat until warm and soft. Layer pumpkin, eggs, peppers and onions inside tortilla. Top with crunchy pepitas, crumbles of queso fresco and slices of creamy avocado.
~Jeff Svajda, Fiction Board
9. Butterbeer Fudge
You don’t need to go to Orlando, Florida to experience the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Charm the pants off your friends by adding a whole new twist to your favorite magical beverage with this recipe for butterbeer fudge.
- Step one is to lay the foundation for your treat with a butterscotch layer. Throw 2 tbsp. of butter, 14 oz. of sweetened condensed milk, and 3 cups of butterscotch chips in your cauldron over medium-low heat. If you don’t have a cauldron, I suppose a medium saucepan would do.
- Once all the goodies have melted, pour into an 8” x 8” pan lined with aluminum foil and cooking spray.
- Next comes the delicious chocolate swirl. Stir together ⅓ cup of condensed milk, ½ tsp. of vanilla, 1 cup of white chocolate chips, in a small saucepan over medium-low heat.
- Remove from heat when the white chocolate chips are completely melted, and drizzle your concoction over the butterscotch fudge.
- Using your wand, gently blend the butterscotch fudge and white chocolate swirl.
- If the Chocolate Frogs you’ve been munching on haven’t satisfied your sweet tooth, feel free to add 1 cup of mini marshmallows over your dish.
- Abra Kadabra! You’ve got yourself a wicked treat for the holidays.
~Brandi Carnes, Poetry Board