April 14, 2024


Travel Adventure

Six Hours to Cook and $100 to Shop: Watch 3 NYT Food Writers Make Thanksgiving

30 min read

“Oh, no. Oh, no. Will they both fit? Absolutely not.” “I’ve made that dish 100 times. It’s never turned out like that.” “Where’s the butter? Do you where the butter is? Oh, sorry.” “No.” “Oh, no.” “The cranberries.” [MUSIC PLAYING] “Thank you.” “100.” “Yay.” “My partner’s dog, Darwin, really looks like Benjamin Franklin. He’s an adorable border collie.” “I feel like I’m on like ‘Survivor’ and we just got a clue.” “’Hello Vaughn.’” “’Hello Eric.’” “’Hello Priya, here’s $100 for you to make Thanksgiving dinner.’” “’Here are the rules.’” “’You cannot spend any more than what’s given to you in this envelope.’” “’Pantry essentials like salt and pepper are fine to exclude from your grocery list.’” “’After shopping, you’ll be given six hours to make all of your dishes.’ I can do it in two.” “’No prepping ahead.’” “That’s in caps. ‘Your dinner must be enough to feed four people.’” “’You can cook as many dishes as you’d like, but it must include a main dish and a dessert.’” “All right, cool.” “I love Thanksgiving.” “I love Thanksgiving.” “Thanksgiving is a colonialist holiday that celebrates a genocide. However, it is a day that we have off and it is the only time of year where my family celebrates.” “Thanksgiving has been an opportunity to really just have fun and lean into the cooking, try all new recipes.” “My Thanksgiving would be like if Norman Rockwell did like a ton of acid. It is chaos.” “We give each other gifts as if it’s Christmas. And we celebrate Bhai Dooj, which celebrates siblings. So really, we do like a triple holiday.” “So many children, so many animals. They’re all trying to get at the food.” “My mom, her three brothers, and their families.” “People yelling at each other.” “My cousin” “Sisters fighting.” “His family.” “The worst is when people show up early. Who would ever think that that’s O.K.?” “My dad’s brother.” “I am still in my pajamas. I’m sweating. Eight pots going. I’m yelling at my mom.” “It’s either just me and my partner or maybe a couple friends. I really like this kind of Thanksgiving because it really encourages everyone to sort of contribute what’s important to them.” “At the end of the day, we all sit down and we’re exhausted. But we have a wonderful, wonderful time.” “My mom took the things she liked from a traditional Thanksgiving, which are basically the pies and the cranberry sauce. And everything else is basically Indian-ish.” “The kind of ethos around our Thanksgiving table, what it looks like, really came from my grandma Nanny. Because she would start cooking in September.” “Every year, we try a new cut of turkey just to learn how to cook it. When I found out we were doing a $100 Thanksgiving, I was like, I kind of usually do it under $100.” “I can’t imagine the Thanksgiving dinner that we cook is crazy expensive.” “I’m actually actively really bad with money. I’m also really bad with time management. This is just like the worst thing in the world for me personally.” “The dinner I kind of have in mind is a really like home cooked homey French Thanksgiving.” “I’ll probably stick to the things that we eat for Thanksgiving, but do them in a fun way maybe.” “I have not really thought about this except for like, oh, it’ll probably be under $100. I don’t — I’ll be very curious to see if I can do all of that. Groceries are really expensive right now.” “I’m not cooking here. We’re going to cook in my apartment. Oh yeah, oh my god, I forgot about that.” “We are going to shop for ingredients and head back to my apartment.” “Holy [BLEEP]:. It’s going to be so hot in my apartment.” “At the end of the day, Thanksgiving is ultimately a home cooked meal.” “Can I please run my air conditioning?” “This is hard. This is harder than I thought.” “I’m already sweating. It’s like —” “Remember that trick? See if there’s the guy in the corner. And that’s how it’s real. Anyway, going out for drinks tonight, I guess, with this.” “I promise not to spend it at the club. Like —” “CC gave me a $100 bill like weeks ago. This is like four weeks ago and you expect me to still have it? So we’re at the grocery store now. We’re at Wegmans. For me, the goal is always lean on fresh produce when I can. It’s going to be cheaper. Beans, beans, beans, beans, beans are really affordable. We agreed the butter doesn’t count.” “The prices here are just so much better than my regular grocery store. If I lived near a Patel Brothers, I would pretty much exclusively shop here.” “Don’t do what I did. You should always go into the store with a list of actual ingredients that you need. I’m going to just use my head and then inherently probably going to forget something.” “I’ve got Beyoncé on my shirt, Jesus on my necklace. And I’m ready to go. I could probably spend $1,000 at this grocery store. But being kept to a budget is good for me personally. Where does one source a cart?” “Oh, you know what? Corn. Part of the dinner party experience is cooking stuff for people that they would never make themselves. I hate husking corn. It’s like the worst thing in the world. So I’ll do it for my friends. And they’re all cooks so they understand the work that goes into it. It’s all emotional manipulation at the end of the day.” “I think that butter is the most important part of Thanksgiving. I’ve already spent like a fifth of my — just two sticks of butter and a carton of eggs. So $5, $8. So 8 plus 5.” “Daikon, hm, that’d be really yummy. Yep, definitely getting one of these. You know, part of grocery shopping too is just going and seeing what looks good. I love watercress. Ah, I need carrots. I need a lot of carrots. Oh, I need some citrus too. Grapefruit would be fun. Ooh, this one looks —” “Oh, aha. I think I only need one red onion. Curry leaves, $1 a packet. 15 Roma tomatoes, 15, chilies.” “I know I need milk. What’s the difference in these eggs? Oh my god. Now is not the time for organic. Minus 3.” “Oh, oh, tamarind. Oh, I need bread. Oh, wow, they have a lot of bread. Can you tell I have trouble paying attention — keeping attention and stuff? And I never buy celery unless I have to. I need carrots.” “I’m making Thanksgiving today. I was debating whether to make mac and cheese or not. But I think I’m going to make — I mean, you’ve got to have mac and cheese, right?” “Hello.” “Yeah, I’m going to get this other block of cheese.” “Where are the carrots? Oh, they’re over there. I love parsnips. I’m going to just get one, but seriously, where are the carrots? Carrots, carrots, carrots. Ooh, okra. That lends a nice flavor in place of celery. Ooh, radishes. O.K., sorry, I’m getting distracted.” “Don’t you hate when you get home from the grocery store and you forgot one single thing?” “I’ve got ingredients for one thing. And I’ve already spent over $20. Oh, I see chicken. Get in, girls, we’re going shopping. I may not have enough money left over for herbs.” “We’re going to get three bunches of cilantro just to be safe.” “Red onions. Oh. Oh my god. Oh, that’s pretty.” “My dad always taught me to shop for limes by looking for the ones that were — it’s called Kagzi, which is like paper-like, that have a paper-like exterior. Those are the easiest to squeeze.” “Typically, if it’s got good heft to it or if it’s like fragrant, you know that’s good.” “Wow, there’s a whole wall of carrots. Don’t need that many carrots.” “Just trying to figure out how to buy the teeny tiniest amounts — smallest quantity of turmeric powder, smallest quantity of coriander seed, mustard seeds.” “Aisle 2.” “$3.49? Oh, amazing. Oh my god, I feel — I feel like the target lady. And it’s on sale. I’m going to round up to $60 because tax. It’s like 7 percent on some things. And I think groceries it’s like — oh. Generally, food and food products sold by food stores are exempt from sales tax. That’s not true. O.K. Oh my god, there’s so many laws.” “Lychee, lychee. Ah-ha.” “Fingers crossed, fingers crossed, fingers crossed. Turkey drumsticks, and they’re so beautiful, $5. And I get like four. I’ll get some sweet Italian sausage. Oh, $7. Bratwurst with beer. Pesto with feta and spinach. That’s a little too much. Oh, turkey sausage. When did sausage get so expensive? It’s frustrating.” “I need to get cranberry. I’m doing good, I think. What time is it? 9:23, oh God.” “Cloves and fenugreek, uh, I think that’s back over here. Oh.” “O.K., I’m just going to do a little math. O.K., six. I forgot to see how much the carrots were. I’m sort of bruising my herbs. Oops, sorry, herbs. How much is the watercress? Oh my god. I lost it. O.K., I think I’m only at like $50 max. $10, center cut ham steak with the bone in. I’ll just find a smaller one, $9.73. It’s a lot of flavor. I’m going to use this in a couple of dishes. I’m going to regret it later.” “I cannot find fenugreek. Fenugreek. Where is fresh roti? Still frozen there? Oh, damn.” “Oh my god, I should have gotten a cart. I can’t afford organic today. Oh, croque madame has cheese, huh? Damn it, cheese is so expensive. Ugh, I need like a fancy Gruyere too. Why did I commit to this? Swiss, that’s close. This is for the bechamel. Oh, that’s a train. Aw, cute. What a great grocery store. That’s cool they have kimchi. Oh, is that pickled okra? Oh my god.” “Oh my god, cocoa powder is so expensive. Oh my god, O.K., God, nuts are so expensive. I need nuts. I need nuts. I need more than just deez nuts. Oh, god, it’s time to leave. O.K., O.K., O.K.” “Where’s the butter? Do you know where the butter is?” “I do want to make two pies, but is that dumb? No. Watch my math be way off. Oh, canned cranberry, jelly, obviously.” They don’t have my favorite brand of chutney.” ““[GASP]:: they’re like almost out of Better Than Bouillon, wow. I guess I have to build flavor from scratch. Ugh, fine. Oh, they have beans here.” “$3. O.K., now I’m just moving with reckless abandon.” Oh. Thank you. That was embarrassing.” “Oh, [BLEEP]: apples. Apples, it’s fine. It’s easy. Probably just two, I just need two. God, there are so many types of apples. You want me to have an existential crisis, put me in front of all the types of apples. It’s like a Christopher Nolan movie. This is called a Rave apple. Wish we had Pink Ladies. Red Delicious, get out of my face. Macintosh — why are Granny Smith so expensive? I’ve got to weigh these. Oh, Honey Crisp. Is there a weigh station around here? $3.99 a pound? It’s $2 for an apple? No, I can’t do that. I can’t do that. Those are delicious. Ginger Gold, those are pretty good. I just want like a red and a green, but — a Snapdragon. No, not a Fuji, not a Fuji.” “There’s lots of really great biscuits in Indian food. But I think I’m going to get Parle-G’s because they are inexpensive. 5 for $1, you cannot beat that. Peanuts is what I’m looking for. Oh, God, where the hell are peanuts? Peanuts, peanuts, peanuts. Have you guys seen the peanuts?” “It’s not Thanksgiving if you don’t revisit an aisle three times.” “Peanuts, here we go. Oh, $4.49.” “Heavy cream, oh, $7. Let’s see, we’re getting tight now.” “Ooh, sale. Oh, fun. Oh, kettle chips? So you save if you get two. But sometimes that means that one is only $2. Oh.” “Four pounds of yogurt, that should do it. I don’t know if they’re going to have cranberries here, TBH.” “O.K., I think I’m done.” “I think we’re good.” “Do you think it’s $100? I’m going to put these last.” “All right, I’m nervous. What am I at? [GRUNT]:” “I’m going to be watching the ticker.” “I did horrible math. There is tax though, right? There’s —” “The meats are what are going to take us over, I think. I’ve never been so nervous.” “Wait, I have 20 extra dollars. Sorry, I’ll be right back. Oh my god, I’m getting bacon. I’m getting bacon. This is so exciting. What else can I buy? If I change out the creme fraiche for the sour cream, put the bacon back. I may not have a place for anybody to sit, but I will have caviar.” “Saffron, saffron “we can afford saffron.” “Do you like ham?” “I do.” “I love ham. I did something crazy. Can we take out the sour cream really quickly? $98.85? The candy of the gods.” “It is.” “No way.” “Do you see that?” ““[GASP]:: Oh my god, $96.11, I’m so happy.” “That’s crazy. So I’m going to be at $99.99? Thank you. It was a pleasure doing business with you. Happy Thanksgiving.” “All right — oh, jeez.” “I feel really smug.” “Guess how much I spent? $99.99. I know this entire store backwards and forwards now. Have a great day. We made it back to my apartment. One thing that I totally did not do was clear out any space in my refrigerator.” “We’re going to have lunch. We’re going to chill, maybe take a nap. But I wanted to get the cassoulet-ish started. Braised turkey legs need some time. And so do beans. So I’m just going to start soaking, just leave that there.” “First thing I’m going to do is make pie dough because that’s got to start hydrating. 10 tablespoons of butter. Could be a little colder, so I’m going to put it in the freezer for a sec.” “I put the yogurt to strain. Because the key to shrikhand, which is a cardamom saffron yogurt dessert, is that the yogurt has to be really thick.” “I’m going to start ‘mise-ing’ my stuff. This is a garbage bowl that Rachael Ray gave me. This is mostly for aromatics. It’s called a cassoulet-ish because no way in hell are we doing a full cassoulet. It’s like way too much work. Let’s call this turkey and beans. Mise has been placed.” “The thing that creates a flaky dough is when all of these pieces of butter kind of layer on top of each other.” “So raita is a staple at Thanksgiving. It’s like the cooling refreshing counterpart to all of the spice heavy stuff that we have on our table. You want it to be like a little looser. Do not buy Greek yogurt when you’re making raita. A lot of people will add a little bit of milk to loosen theirs up. You know, I might just do that. O.K., and then I’m going to add the chili powder. It needs boondi. Boondi is basically like these little balls made of chickpea flour that are fried. And they add these amazing pops of texture. One of my favorite textures is crunchy gone soggy.” “I need to season my meat. They’re not the same as chicken. They need time. I keep trying to shortcut Turkey and it’s I kind of — I can’t.” “Once it comes together like this, I’m going to flatten it a little bit. But I’m going to use the rolling pin to then work it into the corners. Now that’s going to go in there. Oh.” “Chole is amazing in that it stews for a long time. You start with dry chickpeas. They cook down and become really creamy and delicious. We don’t have time for that. We have like five hours before guests are coming. So I’m making a shortcut version. This is not how my mom would make it on Thanksgiving. My mom doesn’t know I’m doing this. I was going to tell her. And then she sent the Thanksgiving menu yesterday. And she assigned me cranberry sauce. And I was so upset that I was like, you know what? I’m not going to tell her. And then I was like, what else can I do? And she was like, you can help Seth with the pies. O.K. I volunteered to make the butternut squash, which I will be making today. And she was like, no, I’m going to let your Aunt [? Rachna ?] make that. O.K. Part of me wonders if it’s because I am left handed. Like I think that for righties, the sight of left handed people chopping is very scary.” “Lots of olive oil. Sage can go in whole. They’re going to get crispy. Sage is the smell of Thanksgiving.” “When you spatchcock a chicken, it just cooks a little bit more evenly. So I’m just taking a really sharp pair of kitchen scissors here. There we go. That’s my oyster. So I want to make sure that I keep that on there. The oyster is like, it’s just like the most tender most flavorful piece of meat. So that’s one. I’m actually going to save this. You want to just kind of break it. And then that way, it lays flat. Wobbly, wobbly, wobbly. Now I’m just going to season it all over. O.K., so we got that one in. And then I think I’m going to do, put the other one on that. Wow.” “Oh, [BLEEP]:. I want these to cook down, almost like a chunky tomato sauce. That’s what I’m going for. This is the smell of my kitchen growing up. O.K., oh. This always happens. We’ve got a nice little gravy going. So I’m going to add my chickpeas. Ideally, you would let this cook all day. Mm, really good. Damn, really good. So I’m just mashing the chickpeas just a little bit. Set it and forget it, chole, boom, done.” “Ready for the sear. Different batches. I’m trying to really try to render out the turkey fat. Mm, that’s the Turkey smell. Get a little fennel in there. That’s like good enough. It’s not the hardest sear in the world. And the turkey is replacing the rabbit that’s usually in cassoulet. I’m flipping the bird. Sorry, that was so stupid. On to the next step. All the aromatics get tumbled in. Carrots in. I’m using my instincts first. I definitely want more pepper in there.” “That looks adorable. During lunch, I made a sneaky stock. Now I’m going to make frangipane for my pie, which is basically just like an almond cream. So I’m going to just eyeball it. [SCATTING]:: I would invite Olivia Rodrigo to my Thanksgiving. Chocolate chess pie is definitely something that’s always on my Thanksgiving table. It’s basically just like a chocolate custard pie. It’s so good. O.K., so now I’ve got this done. I’ve got stock made. I’ve got my chickens brined. I laid out some bread for my cheese puff to kind of get a little stale. I’m so excited to see what Eric and Priya dream up.” “What’s next? Matar paneer. You can totally use canned tomatoes. I like the added freshness. No one will be able to admire your beautiful knife skills, even if you have them. Because this is all going in a blender. Some people peel their ginger. I do not. Because if you buy it fresh enough, it doesn’t really make a difference. I’m just like playing fast and loose with, how much ghee is too much ghee? We melted our fat. And now we’re toasting spices. And we’re looking for the coriander and cardamom to just sort of brown a little bit. You really just have to use your senses at this point. Smells real nice. Letting them toast is like really the difference between complex and it kind of being not as interesting. What time is it? Tomato time. I think this is done. Perfect. Calling that. Now we just put it to bed until it’s time for showtime.” “Beans are soaking. Turkeys are going. Thanksgiving is nigh. Sorry.” “Ooh. Out of sight, out of mind. I think the next thing I’m going to do is brown some butter. It’s going to be definitely the mashed potatoes and maybe in the gravy.” “When you cut paneer, if you’re not going to use it immediately, I like to just keep it chilling in warm water so that it stays nice and plump. Otherwise, it could dry out. That’s one thing I forgot, bay leaf. So I’m going to blend it now. With matar paneer, don’t like to blend it ‘til it gets pulverized. I like a few little chunks in there. Look at me using a little spoon for the turmeric. Damn, I’m really sad about — I forgot bay leaves.” “Don’t you hate when you get home from the grocery store and you forgot one single thing.” “Those may not have even broken the bank, the two bay leaves. This is a mom trick.” “Do you think your family and friends are going to be impressed by this?” “Friends, yes. Family, I don’t know. I don’t know if this audition tape is going to be enough to get me the gig of a single dish at Thanksgiving.” “[GASP]: This is gorgeous. Mm. Oh, yum. The meat is not need to braise anymore. Chunk up the meat. I’m going to strain this. Girl’s best friend. Def. Mm.” “It’s time to turn my oven on. I just turned it on. I can already feel myself sweating. I’ve been dilly dallying a little bit. But now I’ve got to really focus, which is hard for me to do. I’m really going to try to make this as much of a circle as I possibly can. I’m not working it too much. You don’t want to stretch the gluten too much.” “This is why I’m getting cranberry sauce duty. Because it’s impossible to [BLEEP]:: it up. You want to go fancy with it, but no one wants that. They just want plain cranberry sauce. And that’s fine. Got to give it to them.” “I know that Vaughn makes a lot of the desserts for his Thanksgivings and probably cooks with his family. I know Priya’s mom doesn’t let her do much.” “Literally, how my mom makes cranberry sauce is she just like puts it all in. And that should tell you how well she is assessing my cooking levels.” “I’m just like different because I’ve always been in charge of the Thanksgiving since I was little because no one else wanted to do it.” “Eric will contemplate the meaning of life itself.” “The more you do something, the better you get at it. Down to the cleaning, you know, that last wipe of the counter, it’s all part of this ritual. I love kielbasa. Slice it up. Daikon is incredible. It’s bitter sweetness. And what I like to do is just make like really thick — what are these called — columns. There will be exactly five. And I’m really bad at math, so I have six.” “This is a galette, so like I’m not worried. I kind of want it to look a little rustic. The wet dough, I’m just going to put it onto the sheet tray like that. I’m going to spread the frangipane over the top I’m kind of pre-curling it so that it doesn’t break when I try to — oh, no. My pie weights, which I realize I didn’t buy these, but, whatever. Sometimes the butter can kind of leak out and cause the bottom of your oven to burn, so. I honestly don’t think it’s that crazy to be able to feed six people for $100. But at the same time, it kind of is. Even if this apple weighed like an ounce more, I would have been over budget. I’m going to just like layer these apples on here. [SCATTING]:: Do you like Olivia Rodrigo?” “I like her new record.” “Mm-hm. We’re shingling. We’re shingling. [SCATTING]:: I shingled my apples, folded over the dough, did a little egg wash, sprinkled that with some sugar. And I also sprinkle the tops of the apples with a little bit of a sugar mixture that I made. It’s got cardamom, cinnamon, and ginger.” “I’m writing down the name of each dish and then putting the garnish that is required so that I remember. So I’m like, all right, matar paneer needs cilantro, says it on top. Meanwhile, cranberry sauce is cooking away. This is the shrikhand. It’s like it’s still dripping. Hmm. I’m going to give it a little bit longer. I think I should just do it. This goes in here. So I’m just crushing my cardamom pods. Your shrikhand is going to taste 10 times better if you crush the seeds yourself. Saffron is expensive, yes. But a little bit goes a long way. So I’m just crushing this into a powder and the sugar. This is what happens when your husband is 6 foot 2 and bakes. And so what this saffron will do is it’ll sit and it’ll make this orange hue that’ll just stain the shrikhand. Fridge, now, crumble. So this I’m kind of making up. This is not mom-approved. Let’s see how it goes. Oh, wow, it got — probably should have food processed it. I just hate this food processor. It’s the bane of my existence. O.K., fine, we’re going to food process it.” [BUZZING] “I dig it.” “Basically, I’m going to take the flavors of croque madame, turn that into a nice bready moment. I’m basically putting my ham scraps in here. Chunked ham in the stuffing. It’d be like a nice kind of eating experience. I’m just going to tear this up. I love croque madames and béchamel, I think, even more than turkey gravy. My oven’s at a very low 325 right now. So that’s perfect for that. Our guests are coming in two hours. Building a plate is having each dish touch at the edges. Salt. I think that’s something I think about a lot. The bechamel is going to be echoed here in the stuffing. Because this is like nutmeg, milk and nutmeg flavor. What a satisfying sound. Mm, that’s a satisfying sound. This is our one cheesy moment, you know? I don’t really have that much cheese. I’m not going to go overboard, but just want a cheesy moment. That’s going to be good for me.” “Now that my pie crust is parbaked, I’m going to go in and make my chocolate chess pie. What’s tough is that I’m going to be baking two pies in there that kind of have to bake at different temperatures. So I don’t want any of the chocolate to seize up. So what I’m going to do is I’m actually going to start the butter and then put the chocolate in. Yeah, I mean, I don’t know. I like dessert. I don’t know if Eric and Priya are doing lots of desserts. Maybe that sets me apart.” “Now we are on to squash, which, to me, is like, this screams Thanksgiving squash like you’ve never seen it before. I always knew our Thanksgiving was pretty cost effective. But I’m impressed. I didn’t really skimp on stuff. There was nothing I was like, oh, I really wanted to buy that, but it’s not in budget. We bought like five or six spices. Oops, uh-oh. And we’re just using combinations and permutations of them in every dish. But every dish is going to taste really distinct. People who peel carrots, I’m just like, love that for you, but that will not be me. Squash. Kind of love cooking in a big ass pan. Because like I felt like sometimes when you cook — when I cook this dish, I’m like trying really hard to make it fit in a small pan. But this is like nice and roomy. So we’re just cooking this until it’s tender. This pumpkin, the tomatoes were like watery earlier than anticipated. Fine. Just the texture isn’t right. It’s just different. Just it’s fine.” “This is the dish that you wanted to make for your family?” “Yeah, man, some audition this is. Boom.” “Like a little salt could be fun. And the salt will kind of make them limper. Those vegetables taste more of themselves. Because when you draw out the water, it concentrates their flavor. That’s what I think. I’m trying to get this really fine because I think I’ll use it across my dishes. I’m going to let this raw shallot flavor the vinegar. See how floppy this has already gotten, how wet? It’s been like 10 minutes. Carrots are amazing. You know how some families go around and talk about what they’re thankful for? We don’t do that. We talk about food. I think my family’s pretty literal. I probably need to season it a little more with salt. That seems like a lot, but it’s not. And this is going to pickle. As that sits, it’s going to get even better. Dish one, finished.” “So, basically, it’s just — it’s almost like a custard. So I’ve got my room temp eggs. This is my homemade vanilla extract. Oh, this is too strong. Yeah.” “Oh, yeah.” “Yeah. When I’m testing recipes, I always just use store bought vanilla extract. It’s going to have a different aroma and different. Oh, yeah, that’s the shot. And chess pie is like, it’s a Southern thing, I think. Somebody was telling me that chess pie derived from somebody saying ‘just pie.’ It’s ‘just pie.’ All right, putting it back in the oven. And then check up on it. (SINGING) Watch while he check up on it. Dip it, pop it, turkey stuff it. Watching me shake it. I see it. You face it. Face it. you face it. Watch me in amazement.” “I think Vaughn will sing a lot.” “(SINGING) You think that I’m teasing. But I ain’t got no reason. I’m like a little behind.” “I’m going to make the rice. Then I’m going to make the chaat. Rice cooked. Curry leaves are probably in my top five favorite ingredients. It’s gorgeous. The peanuts for chili peanut rice, the peanuts we spent so much money on. This is going to go horribly for me. Peanuts too fat for funnel. This is like the actual better way to cut chilies. You’ll start hearing these pop, they’ll pop like popcorn. It’ll go like brrrr. It’ll be very fireworky. It’s very exciting.” “How are you feeling now?” “I’m just, I’m a little sad about this water content of the squash. I’ve made that dish 100 times. It’s never turned out like that. And now we’re basically just toasting the peanuts. Toasting nuts is so [BLEEP]:: stressful. It’s like you look away for a second and they’re burnt.” “So we’re going to build a dressing. I’m going to do a little bit of white balsamic, but also lemon. Very, very rarely do a dijonette. Is this cheating that I’m pulling from my pantry? Kind of? I think this is like a pantry staple, fish sauce. Just making a vinaigrette. I haven’t even started the corn pudding. I’m going to add all this parsley. I think being served a salad is really special. It’s like, salads kind of take work. And, personally, I love a salad with whole parsley leaves in it. So I’m going to keep this in the fridge ‘til we’re ready to eat. Oh. It’s all coming together.” “So, wait, what do you have left to do?” “The corn pudding and the cranberry relish. And then we’re like ready.” “And the béchamel?” “And the béchamel.” “Hmm. They look O.K. So I’m just going to cut off the stems and cut down the core. And then I will do like, oh, (EUROPEAN ACCENT) Brussels sprout down. (SPEAKING NORMALLY) Jennifer Coolidge is more of like a ‘Wow.’ And Owen Wilson is ‘Wow.’ Wow.” “Owen Wilson?” “No, that was Jennifer Coolidge. Wow, I got to go. I’m your sister. It’s what I do. Little J. This is my little garbage bowl. Had this kind of stroke the other day of genius that — stroke of genius. No, I was like, oh, like, what if I made cheese puff because it’s kind of like a mixture between mac and cheese and stuffing? So that’s why I’m doing that. You know what I’m going to do? I’m going to caramelize these shallots. O.K. I’m straining stock right now. And then I’ll probably do like a little pat of butter. Brussels prepped, so those don’t go until 5:07. Mm. Oh, [BLEEP]:. That’s all right.” “Shut up and shuck. I’m just kidding. (WHISPERING) I hate doing that. (SPEAKING NORMALLY) I have a recipe for lemony cranberry relish, but I’m replacing it with grapefruit. Can you smell it? Just because I want it to say cranberry pamplemousse. So a 12-ounce bag of cranberries with 100 grams of sugar, which is 1/2 a cup. It’s more of a relic. Very, very good. Mmm, I’m happy with that. Another dish done.” “Once people come over and I serve dinner, I’ll heat the parathas. That’s perfect I’m just cutting this into little pieces.” “This is absolutely the worst part of Thanksgiving. Nice. So I’ve got some thyme. Oh, drizzle. I’m going to rotate these in 30. So this is my cream and brown butter. And I’m also going to add some thyme. This is just steeping. I’m just gonna add a little salt to my water. So now I’m just going to make a little dip, like a sour cream and onion. Hint of cayenne.” “I have 15 minutes to get the corn pudding in the oven. Whisk five eggs. I should have saved some of the milk. I need it for the bechamel. Oh my god, the béchamel. Just a little salt. Oh, yeah, baking powder goes in here. I feel like one rule of dinner party throwing is always show up a little late. Wait, where’s the mixer bowl? A little white pepper would be really nice here, a little muskiness.” “I’m tempted to salt it more, but the purpose of this will be to —” “Fresh corn.” “— counterbalance all the saltiness on the plate. This needs to go into the oven quickly.” “I think a little bit more air couldn’t hurt. Swish, swish, swish, swish, swish, swish, swish, swish, swish. This is fun. I can’t believe we made like a whole Thanksgiving dinner.” ““[INAUDIBLE] for a while, actually.” “Basically, we’re done. These last few things we’ll do when everyone else arrives.” “I’m going to just make some whipped cream. I’m going to add a little sour cream to the mix. A pinch. I’m also going to do a tiny pinch of salt and a little good vanilla. Ooh, what? Pretty [BLEEP]: good. Something’s telling me to put some chives in this cheese puff. We’ve never done it before. I’m going to use almost all this milk too. Little smattering of ‘cheev-ees.’ That one on top is getting toasty. Oh, there. I want a nap. 157 in one part of the breast. But then the top one got a little bit over. So I think it’ll be fine regardless. But there’s gravy. Now I’ve got to do the cheese puff because this thing has to bake for an hour.” “I’m going to just butter this, butter both slices of bread. And then maybe I’ll do a little piece right there, put some slices on the bread. The math is not mathing on that.” [PHONE RINGING] “Hello, there, Vaughn Vreeland!” “Hey. I’m making cheese puff on camera right now. I have just two layers of bread. Should I do another layer of bread?” “Oh, I put like four.” “Is the cheese the top layer?” “Yeah.” “Yeah.” “Yeah, bread, cheese, bread, cheese, bread, cheese.” “It’ll be great.” “It’ll be delicious.” “O.K.” “Mix it with mayonnaise and lettuce and —” “Yeah, it all —” “No, I’m not doing that, but I will — I’ll send you pics. I have a feeling this is going to really puff. We’ll see. Going to be wonderful to help make some gravy. _?} Oh, these won’t both fit in there, absolutely not. No. I don’t condone this, by the way. I would not — like, you need a roastness. Yeah, those are not going to be that great. I’m doing this to dry the potatoes out. Because I don’t want them to be super waterlogged so that they can absorb the cream. A little bit more of this brown butter. Oh my god. I’m going to clean. I need to clean. I feel horrifying. Friends are coming in about six minutes.” “So the corn pudding is in the oven. Chips are being decanted. Bechamel time.” “Oh, and I have kimchi for you.” “Oh, yeah, Kasia made kimchi. Wow, this looks great, Kasia.” “Did I do it?” “It’s good. Yeah, you did. That’s really good. Hot roux, cold milk. Oh, well. [INAUDIBLE] seasoning. See how all the lumps went away? I wonder if we have a gravy boat?” “She assigned me cranberry sauce.” “She does not trust you.” “I’m actually very stressed doing it. It feels like I’m going behind [INAUDIBLE] back doing this.” “You didn’t tell her. You are.” “Well, I’m sorry, I was too stressed. O.K., I think this is really good. Meha will be the judge.” “Yeah, I — yeah. Oh, this is good.” “Yeah?” “Really good.” “Yeah, everyone just got here. Hi. How are you? I’m good. Thank you for coming.” “Oh, my gosh, yes.” “I’ve been telling everyone you’re the surprise guest.” “Ah.” “Happy Thanksgiving.” “[INAUDIBLE] number.” [BACKGROUND CHATTER] “I want it all.” “Oh, the cranberries.” “[INAUDIBLE], hi.” “Hi.” “God, it smells good in here.” “Oh, good, yay. Here’s a little appy.” “Caviar?” “This is my Thanksgiving for under $100. Just guess.” “$99?” “Higher.” “$99.99?” “Yes.” “So here we have matar paneer. This is squash. This is chole. This is chile peanut rice, raita, cranberry sauce, and some frozen parathas that I just heated up.” “I did sort of a cassoulet-inspired braised turkey leg. And this looks like mashed potatoes, but it’s bechamel. The stuffing is a croque madame stuffing. Carrot salad, it’s very simply dressed. This is a cranberry relish made from a grapefruit instead of orange. Those are corn puddings. That’s just a watercress salad. This is all just an excuse to eat like bechamel because I love bechamel. Oh, this was all under $100.” “That’s really crazy, $20 a head for —” “Yeah, like a full course.” “Hello.” “Oh, both of you here at the same time, hi.” “Oh my god, that looks so good. Souffle vibes, O.K., I’m going to do the cranberries now.” [BACKGROUND CHATTER] “Hi.” “Hi camera.” “I’m doing like a layer. I’m going to drizzle. Flaky salt. And then I’m going to do a crack of pepper, O.K. That’s done. Lid that. I’m going to put it on the stove. The chicken tastes really good. And look how easily that came away? Here is my brown butter roux. So I’m going to add some pan drippings. Please, come eat. We have a duo roast chicken. This is fancy canned cranberries. Brussels sprouts, brown butter gravy. This is a cheese puff. Brown butter mashed potatoes. For our dessert, we’ve got an apple frangipane tart and then a chocolate chess pie. And I have a stabilized sour cream whipped cream in the fridge.” “Oh my god.” “So please, come get it. Cheers, everybody. Happy Thanksgiving.” “I really like the cranberry sauce, actually. Mm. Good thing that’s what I’m tasked for. I’m actually very happy with this.” “This is delicious, Priya. I’m happy.” “Oh, I’m so glad.” “The chole is good, but it’s different. It’s different than your [INAUDIBLE] recipe.” “Yeah, I like — I sort of went a little rogue and just did my own thing. Just kind of, it tastes like my mom’s Thanksgiving.” “Aw, success.” “O.K., but Meha, you’ve got to —” “The chole is good.” “Nice.” “I mean, definitely everything tastes differently than it does on Thanksgiving, but not so differently that it doesn’t taste like Thanksgiving, you know?” “It’s close enough. It’s allowed.” “Brutal.” “In a good way. [INAUDIBLE] “It’s going in the video. You’re too late. If you had slander, I don’t even think I could mentally take it. O.K., but in terms of just being satisfied with dinner —” “Yes, I’m very satisfied.” “I’m extremely satisfied.” “I’m very satisfied. We have everything —” “Sorry, I’m just fishing for compliments at this point.” [INTERPOSING VOICES] “Oh, it’s so beautiful. Did you come up with that?” “Yeah. I have ideas. So this is shrikhand. It’s yogurt that has been strained with cardamom and saffron, which we surprisingly got in budget. And this is not traditional, but I made a little crumb with Parle-G biscuits and pistachios and salt to go on top just to add a little texture make it more of like a pie vibe. See how the saffron stained it?” “Yeah.” “I like the crumb.” “Me too. Notice I made mine like half as sweet as my mom’s.” “So many times I do the Thanksgiving meal. And then it all ends up on the plate and I’m like so disappointed because I’m like [BLEEP]:,:, I have two orange things or like two green — anyway, it’s like a little thing.” “[GASP]: yes.” “We did a French dinner party like a year ago. Yeah.” “And we did [INAUDIBLE] and we did cassoulet.” “I was thinking about if there were a dinner that were kind of like that.” “Cheers.” “Cheers.” [INTERPOSING VOICES] “Happy Thanksgiving.” “Happy Thanksgiving.” [INTERPOSING VOICES] “Let’s go around the table [INAUDIBLE] highs and lows.” “Oh my god.” “What we’re thankful for.” “Uh.” “Uh.” “Lordy.” “I’m thankful for my friend [INAUDIBLE].”.” “Aw.” “For being a journalist —”


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