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Love it or hate it, pumpkin pie is the quintessential Thanksgiving dessert. I, for one, have always been a fan of its bright orange hue, its custardy texture, and its affinity for whipped cream and mulled cider.

Every Thanksgiving, those of us who follow foodie magazines, blogs, and columns are bombarded with yet more ways to make a turkey moist, more flavorful, less boring, faster-cooking, etc. After sifting through so many different methods and techniques, I'm sure many of us are even less sure about the "best" way to roast a turkey.

I think disliking Brussels sprouts is a kid prerequisite. Sort of like disliking broccoli or raw onions or being paranoid about the different foods on your plate touching each other (or was that just me?). But apart from being green and cabbage-y, there's another reason--a good one--why children (and many adults) won't touch a Brussels sprout.

John and I frequently look through old editions of JOY in an attempt to document the genealogy of its recipes. Often, these recipes can be difficult to trace through the years, as the ingredients and names change to reflect the similarly changing times (case in point: what we call "pizza" today was once referred to as "vegetable shortcake").

Cranberries are a wholly American fruit. Ask any American who lives in Europe or is studying abroad--cranberry juice, cranberry sauce, and whole cranberries are next to impossible to find. Apparently, there's a high-end shop in Paris that caters to homesick American expats, stocking boxed stuffing mix, turkeys, cranberry sauce, and peanut butter among other things.

We go through a lot of vegetables in our kitchen. Apart from my firm belief that everything is better when it starts with onions and garlic, we received a juicer for our wedding, and when the crowded fridge starts to get to me, I have been known to chop every vegetable in sight and roast it.

Things have a way of falling in my lap. Sometimes it’s a small thing, like the discovery of a crabapple tree laden with enough fruit to snap its branches. It made the best apple butter I’ve ever eaten. Sometimes it’s a life-changing thing—the three and a half year apprenticeship with a cheesemaker that I fell into, for instance.

OK, sriracha --a wonderfully fragrant and thick hot sauce hailing from South East Asia-- has been known to many a pepper head for quite awhile in this country. I still remember my mother (the spice pioneer in the family) bringing home our first specimen of this style of hot sauce--actually a chunkier Malaysian product called Sambal Oelek-- when I was still in grade school (i.e.

The days here have finally started to be bearable. The air is once again breathable. Instead of rushing from air conditioned space to air conditioned space, we are leaving the doors open all day, drinking in the almost autumnal air.