If you have not yet fully recovered from the excesses of Thanksgiving eating, then you’re not alone.
Discussions of calorie counts aside, Thanksgiving is lovely for the wide variety of dishes, all crammed together on the dinner table. There is such an assortment of complementary textures, colors, and flavors, it’s no wonder we eat until we’re beyond full—after all, we’re only sampling a little bit of everything.
But in the aftermath of so much cooking and indulging (and endless dish-washing), I found myself in the mood for something simpler, a meal that took the comforting form of a single bowl of noodle soup.
Not that soup weather has quite arrived in Santa Barbara yet, but I guess you could say I was thinking of my (more) northern hemisphere friends.
Delectably chewy udon noodle soups were one of my favorite wintertime meals when I lived in Japan, though I usually enjoyed them at restaurants (little hole-in-the-wall shops specializing only in udon, sometimes also in soba) rather than making my own at home.
Happy almost Thanksgivnukkah! (…or Thanksgivukkah as the internet has taken to calling it…)
Instead of sharing this recipe with you on Thanksgiving / the first day of Hanukkah—when many people will be away from their computers, cooking, eating, and drinking with friends and family—I wanted to share it with you today, to give you time to make it!
Why? Because it’s that good! And because Thanksgivnukkah only happens once every 70,000 years.
Also, Hanukkah actually begins Wednesday night, and this recipe makes one gigantic loaf of challah, so you could probably bake it up on Wednesday, serve it for Thanksgivnukkah on Thursday, and still have a few slices left to make turkey sandwiches on Friday.
Thanksgivnukkah is just around the corner!
And the internets are abuzz with culinary strategies for celebrating this mash-up of Thanksgiving and Hanukkah (which won’t happen for another 70,000 years!).
Buzzfeed Food posted the first collection of Thanksgivukkah recipes to come across my radar. (Yes, everyone seems to spell it “Thanksgivukkah,” but I prefer to spell it with an “n” in the middle: ThanksgivNukkah! Trust me, this is aesthetically better; I’m practically a full-fledged linguist.)
The food sites Food52 and Serious Eats had a Thanksgivukkah recipes face-off. And plenty of food blogs have posted their own Thanksgivnukkah recipe concoctions. (I’ve really been enjoying the Thanksgivnukkah daydreams-made-reality over at my name is yeh; among the amazing recipes that Molly Yeh has brought to life: pumpkin pie with a latke crust.)
My own humble contributions (this recipe, and one next *MONDAY*—because no one’s going to be reading food blogs next Thursday, *on* Thanksgivnukkah!) were both dreamed up by my younger sister, after I called her for Hanukkah food ideas.
No, it’s not Thursday again already; it’s a special weekend edition of Spontaneous Tomato for the Virtual Vegan Potluck!
The potluck is a twice-yearly virtual event, with bloggers from all over the world sharing vegan recipes (there are 146 participants this time around!). The recipe posts are all linked up to each other in a circle, so you can click your way through the vegan appetizers, drinks, and bread recipes—including this one—and keep going through the salads, sides, soups, main dishes, and desserts.
(Scroll down for links to the recipes that precede and follow this one.)
Like every single bread recipe I’ve ever posted on this blog, this focaccia is not actually my creation, but my fiancée Paula’s. (Since I prefer cooking to baking… though I love being baked for…)
However! I feel qualified to write it up—rather than turning it over to Paula for a guest post, as I typically would—since I did contribute something: the pomegranate seeds!
Every time I fly more than halfway across the country to visit my family in Wisconsin, I have a second not-so-secret agenda—and I am NOT subtle about it: to hit up as many of my favorite Madison restaurants as possible.
Although believe me when I say that there is never enough time (or stomach space).
I think I have a longer list of Madison restaurant loves than in any city that I’ve ever lived in (and I’ve lived in Seoul!). It’s not just the amazing variety and selection of food; it’s also the complete affordability and unpretentiousness of most Madison spots. That cozy family-owned restaurant feel. The dirt cheap lunch menu options. The fact that there are three unassuming yet memorable Mediterranean restaurants in the span of two blocks of State St. with an excellent East African restaurant wedged in between them.
In a different part of town, across the street from a beloved Korean restaurant, was another restaurant love that has now closed: Lulu’s Deli & Restaurant. (I actually forgot they had a deli part in the back until just now, when I Googled it for the official name; to me it was always just “Lulu’s.”)
Do you ever stumble across a recipe that seems so simple and obvious that you can’t believe you hadn’t already come up with it about five years before?
Actually that would have been impossible in this case because—shellfish excluded—five years ago I was still strictly avoiding all cooked fish (while stuffing my face with as much raw-fish sashimi and sushi as possible); I just couldn’t get over how… fishy it tasted.
The turning point, I think, came when my sister and her boyfriend prepared a delicious meal for my family (about a year and a half ago) that included an oven-baked salmon, served with a (minty? dilly?) yogurt sauce.
It’s my favorite time of year again: time for cuddling under a blanket with cider or tea while knitting and watching scary movies.
Not that I get to watch scary movies that often, as wonderful as that sounds. Allison is NOT a fan of horror, though she has put up with so much considering I love horror movies and I work in ophthalmology (she also has an eye phobia).
And both of us are usually so busy during the week that we try to relax and “do nothing” on the weekends but usually spend all day cleaning, running errands, and cooking so that we have food for the week and a small backlog of recipes ready for the blog. Not to mention social events.
Rarely do we have a weekend when we have nothing going on and I can just spend some quality time with my DVDs and knitting needles.