Archive for the ‘Food’ Category
The first thing I did was kick the bucket. I have a dark sense of humor and I enjoy physical comedy. Also, I didn’t know what the hell was in it, and I wanted to give it a nudge to see what happened.
I DID NOT DIE.
Turns out that the bucket (and some other goodies) had been sent by the lovely folks at Kikkoman for Thanksgiving brining purposes. You put your turkey in there.
So I did. Both of them.
And then I read the instructions and apparently it involves cooking said turkey for a big holiday feast, and federal laws clearly state that I am not allowed to do this. Your country may vary.
Oh, this kind of turkey (left).
Hold for laughs.
That’s right, Thanksgiving is next week (whaaaaaat?) and brining a turkey is supposed to be the best way to guarantee a juicy bird for your dining pleasure. The thing is, we are vegetarians, and while that wasn’t always the case (my wife swears by a history of brining), that is the way it is now. This is where you might think we are out of luck.
YOU ARE WRONG.
Did you know that you can brine vegetables? True story.
And that is what we are going to do.
The extended family, however, will brine a turkey just like Benjamin Franklin wanted. After all, this is America.
And there will be plenty of thanks for everyone.
Turkey Vegetable Brine
Ingredients (Recipe for a 16–24 pound turkey or a small farmers’ market):
2 gallons cold water
10 ounces Kikkoman Naturally Brewed Soy Sauce
½ cup kosher salt
½ cup sugar
2 tablespoons dried sage
2 tablespoons dried celery seed
1 tablespoon dried thyme
See Kikkoman’s brine site for instructions.
This post is sponsored by Kikkoman, but the sincerity (or lack of it) is all mine! I will be sharing some original(ish) family-friendly recipes in the coming months, stay tuned and stay hungry, my friends!
“You went where? To do what?” was the general response. “Did you say soy sauce? In Wisconsin?”
I did. I was invited by Kikkoman, a company centuries in the making, to be an ambassador for their brand, and their largest plant is in Walworth, Wisconsin, so I went there. I was joined by fellow ambassadors (pictured above left to right) Tessa, Rachel, and Erika, and together we learned more about soy sauce than I ever thought there was to know.
And I learned about the people.
The history, the philosophy, and all of the individual stories that have given life to the company of Kikkoman is downright inspiring. Who knew?
In fact, I was so impressed with the story of Kikkoman, which is wonderfully shared in this video (below), that I had a few friends over to watch it. By the time the credits rolled there wasn’t a dry eye in the house—from tears, not soy.
It turns out that sometimes corporations are people.
One of the most telling examples of how much the employees of Kikkoman love their jobs is that each year they all donate money to buy the company an anniversary gift. You read that right, the employees donate their own money to buy the company a present, among them classic clocks, original art, and this sign that we are blocking with our comedic stylings:
Give it a minute.
We were joined on the trip by a few fantastic employees from the PR firm representing Kikkoman and the amazing Chef Helen Roberts (she is the “i” in Kikkoman, also “team”), and they are all good people. It was a theme.
This look is all the rage with tour groups:
In addition to learning all things soy we also took in the splendors of Wisconsin, including a tour of Lake Geneva and its ritzy shores, not to mention the fancy halls of The Abbey Resort where we stayed. It was a truly enjoyable and informative trip, and I am honored to have been invited.
And you might want to thank Kikkoman, too. They are hosting a Kikkoman recipe contest on Facebook and you could win $1,000 if yours is chosen. Remember me!
This post is sponsored by Kikkoman, but the sincerity is all mine! I will be sharing some original(ish) family-friendly recipes in the coming months, stay tuned and stay hungry!
The stain was deep and red, and the wood of the cutting board, having absorbed the drainage from the day, was fat and full. The room was ripe with sudden decay, and it lingered heavy in the air just south of sweetness. I took a wet cloth and tried to erase the damage. It didn’t budge beneath the lackadaisical layers of elbow grease, and the strawberries were too far gone to care about much of anything.
The fruit had been fine just hours before. It had arrived freshly bought, clutched firmly in the hands of a houseguest, and served as an important part of a nutritious breakfast. Then, about the time that the morning coffee layer began its burning off, the berries were left sitting in a plastic crate, forgotten to the moment amid the plans of promise and intention.
The benefit of our doubt was spent on the theories of bright-eyed optimists; for instance, time is long and winding, and it isn’t going anywhere. But time is full of surprises.
Like most things taken for granted the fruit did what we never expected, growing soft, gray mold in the sunlight beaming between the bites we had and those never taken.
When you stand before an open window it is large and wide, the endless everything starts in the twinkle off your cheekbone and spreads equally in all directions. However, when taken from a distance the window is nothing more than a small, framed square of wonderful opportunity. Ours is to reach it while open is an option.
The thing about windows is that they are often prone to closing.
That is where the fruit was lost, somewhere in the afternoon lull when it was over being wanted and not quite ready to be thought of again, it let time have its way. Then it bled out across the countertop, and all that ever could have been was left for anyone to wonder—the possibilities both endless and ended.
From a distance the frames fill the world like a patchwork of homemade quilts and gently swaying fields, each one a window shutting slowly on the quick turn of fruit, and the bigger moments fading.
This post is sponsored by Tide and Downy. They also provided financial support to host the event discussed below.
It takes exactly 14 minutes to get from our driveway to toes in the sand. Not that we’re keeping track. Of course, when you factor in L.A. traffic, lack of parking, and the sun in your eyes it can take a little longer.
Needless to say, when Tide and Downy provided the opportunity for us to throw a beach party with our friends we took it! We had a great group of families show up for food, sand, and tide watching. It was about as beautiful of a day as you’re likely to see, which is nice.
Of course, a day of digging in sand and waves can make quite the mess—our car is still covered in the grains of beach day memories. We cleaned up the beach, both our mess and the assorted litter we found around us, and then once we rinsed ourselves off it was time to clean the blankets, towels, and assorted swimsuits from the day. That’s where Tide and Downy came in. You can probably figure out the rest.
Tide and Downy have spent the better part of June showcasing the dad’s way (#dadsway on Twitter) of parenting, and just because Father’s Day is behind us that doesn’t mean that dads are done—we’re still active and involved every single day. To help celebrate fathers Tide and Downy have used the awareness and support from this campaign to make a donation to the National Fatherhood Initiative, who also know a thing or two about engaged dads.
It’s not too late to share your story about what makes Dad uniquely him. Tell the world on Twitter at hashtag #dadsway. Dad will love it, especially after you explain to him how popular Twitter is.
You may have noticed that I have taken the ads off of this site. I don’t know if this is permanent or not, because never say never and all that; however, it happened, and we all have to make our peace. Basically, I haven’t earned anything more than a cup of coffee per month from the various companies I have hosted in my sidebar(s), and if I’m not making any money from an ad I don’t really see why you should have to look at it. Also, I accidentally deleted the code for said ads and I am too lazy to track down a new version.
In place of consistent ads I have decided to do occasional sponsored posts. These, unlike the ads mentioned above, have paid me well, and if you have been following along with my lackluster blogging career then you know I need the money. Desperately. For instance, this month, thanks to the good people at Hyundai, Disney, and the Home Depot, my family will actually be able to pay most of our bills on time and eat, which are two of my favorite things, but mostly eating.
The point is, I want to be transparent about all of this, and I understand if you are not inclined to read posts that start with a disclaimer of sponsorship. You’re a purist and/or an elitist, and that’s okay. Some of my best friends are purists and/or elitists, and they don’t read my site even when the writing isn’t sponsored, and it hurts every single time.
I want you to know that what you get from me will not be compromised (for better or worse), and my agreeing to sponsored content is a) based on actual financial need, b) the quality of the products/companies involved, c) a sign of the times. I believe the quality, if I may be so bold, of the few sponsored posts I have done thus far speaks for itself. I am not going to promote something that I don’t believe in, and I am not going to throw a bunch of copy on the page (aside from the copy I am legally or contractually required to add) and spend the rest of the afternoon counting my money. There will be time enough for counting when the posting’s done.
Also, this month will not be representative in terms of sponsored content quantity. I was lucky enough to have multiple opportunities knock at the same time, and I let them all in. They’re still here, watching my TV and having some toast. Again, the eating. I cannot imagine that future months will find me as nearly well-fed.
In closing, I care about you, the reader. Especially you. I hope you understand that my trading ads for sponsored posts is a very positive thing for me, my family, and this site—I sincerely appreciate your support and understanding.