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Back before we moved across the country, when I was able to attend my family's gigantic Thanksgiving potluck, I always brought roasted vegetables.

I love Brussels sprouts. I know that to some, this will make anything I say hereafter suspect. I know that I live in a country where people love to hate Brussels sprouts. It's like some kind of horrible vibe that starts resonating in childhood and continues into adulthood.

I wrote this post for a blog swap with the lovely Autumn Giles of Autumn Makes and Does. Her blog is really wonderful--clean, unpretentious, and loaded with simple recipes.

Given our cultural predilection for breeding the most uniform, shelf stable, and prettiest fruits and vegetables, it's a wonder the quince has survived our agricultural fervor.

A package of fresh chorizo will make a girl do wild things.

It might just prompt her to create a slightly offbeat Thanksgiving side dish.

There's nothing wrong with Thanksgiving as it stands. The turkey, the stuffing, the cranberry sauce, the pumpkin pie.

But do you ever feel, in the part of your soul that loves spice and surprise, that Thanksgiving is a little...bland?

Well-marbled short ribs turn into a luxurious treat after a long braise. The flavorful meat falls off the bone, and the pan juices from short ribs make for an exceptional, velvety sauce. We opted for red wine as the braising liquid and a large addition of mushrooms—which gets reduced into a classic marchand du vin (mushroom wine sauce).

I hadn't thought about it until recently, but our apartment in Portland is the first place I've ever lived that doesn't have a yard. No grass, no trees, not even a balcony for potted plants.

Years ago, but not so many years ago, I stood watching a team of draft horses turn a sorghum mill. The slow plodding of the horses and the gentle creak of the mill as we fed the cane through was the soundtrack of the day. Bright, June bug green liquid, thick with sugar, flowed from the mill to a vat beneath which we stoked a hot fire.

I've followed Autumn's blog for a while now. She is my favorite kind of blogger--she focuses on straightforward (but never boring), seasonal food made from fresh ingredients, and her photography is simple and utterly gorgeous. She also has a knack for creating fabulous boozy treats, which I appreciate.