Monday, November 4, 2013

Is your favorite food for Thanksgiving a mystery?

By Charlotte Bessette
For author Avery Aames a.k.a. Daryl Wood Gerber
From A Cheese Shop Mystery
Days of Wine and Roquefort, coming Feb. 2014

What is your favorite food for Thanksgiving? Is it a mystery? In my family, we're already thinking about the meal. What will we serve? How many singles without family will we invite? Who gets to carve the turkey?  (Answer: Pépère! Always.)

The twins—my cousin's adorable daughters—have already started pleading for their favorite foods. Amy (taking after me) always asks for a cheese plate appetizer to start off the meal. She loves crackers with cheese and a dollop of something fun, either homemade jam or even something as adventurous as chopped onions or capers. Clair (the reader) loves her veggies. In fact, lately she's been reading up on the differences between vegetables. She found out that butternut squash is much better for you than zucchini. According to her, butternut squash is packed with vitamins and rich with phytonutrients and antioxidants.

Okay, really? My preteen niece (not really my niece; really my first cousin, but niece is easier) is spouting off facts about health? She's as slim as a reed. For a while I thought she would become a librarian or English teacher or even a poet laureate, but now she's thinking about becoming a nutritionist.  This is a phase, right? Not that being a nutritionist is bad. It's great. Lots of people need to consult nutritionists! Granted, Clair needs to eat gluten-free, so she's much more aware of her nutritional needs than the typical tween. But I want her to forget about food and focus on fun. Capital F. FUN.

Perhaps I have to set the example. I work a little too much. I don't do a lot of fun things like ice skating or hiking or even bicycling. {Hm…note to self.} I'm looking forward to fun with my sweetheart, Jordan. When he gets back to town. He's out of town for an extended time. TBD, he tells me. He's testifying at a trial. Gosh, I miss him. Thanksgiving won't be the same without him sitting at the table.

But for now, I'll focus on the present. Food. Family. Health.

What do you think about at Thanksgiving time? Do those thoughts carry through the season? What's your favorite Thanksgiving food? Is it a mystery?

BTW, here's Clair's recipe for Butternut Squash. It's so easy for her and her sister to make, and it's delicious!



(serves 4-6)

2-3 cups cubed butternut squash
2-3 tablespoons oil
1-2 teaspoons kosher salt
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon nutmeg


Set oven to 400 degrees F.

Brush oil on a grill sheet (I used foil). Sprinkle with half the salt.

Cut and cube butternut squash. Spread the squash evenly on the grill sheet.  Sprinkle with the rest of the salt. Sprinkle with the brown sugar. Sprinkle with the nutmeg.

Set in the oven to cook for 20-30 minutes. Serve hot!

Note: I found the butternut squash already cut up at the store. Talk about easy!!!!! 

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  1. As crazy as it sounds, my favorite it the left over turkey to make sandwiches with. I loved my mom's mac & cheese, but she's no longer here and mine just doesn't taste quite the same.

  2. Ah, Sue, I totally understand. There's something about a mother's touch. My mom isn't around any longer either. I miss the songs she used to sing.

    May the rest of those you love at Thanksgiving give you lots of love and kisses.

    Charlotte Bessette

  3. Sue, that's so funny. One of my annual Thanksgiving house guests loves sandwiches the next day the best, too. I always have the bread and mayo she likes on hand just for her. I like a little cranberry sauce on my sandwich!


  4. I just googled the butternut squash, and I have seen those strangely shaped things in the supermarket here in Holland. And I noticed an instructional video on how to clean and cut them. I might try this recipe out ... Thanksgiving is not a Dutch holiday though, we have nothing that compares to it.