“Shannon, we’d like to feature some locally-packaged products in the magazine, and we think you’d be a good fit for it. We’ll need an intro and some recipe development. Would you be interested?”
Here’s what I heard:
“Shannon, It’s your turn to make thanksgiving dinner this year…for everyone.”
My sophisticated response:
“(trepidation…hesitation…doubting myself…) OKAY!!!” *exceedingly large grin*
I equate November issues of food magazines to the September issues of Vogue: important, defining, and critical to the advancement of the human race. Food-centric magazines I don’t buy any other time of year end up in my house during November because of the recipes. They tend to be more thoughtful and somehow stronger than the rest of the year, and they provide some great inspiration for those of us who like to mix it up with our holiday meals (and the inevitable leftovers those meals provide.) And they are enduring: the best gift November issues offer is the idea that we can make hearty, gorgeous, celebratory food all winter long without regret. Yes, maybe we need to up our treadmill games a bit while we do that, but so what: winter is a time to tuck into all your favorite things.
Hopefully, I can help tuck you in with the recipes I created this month for my feature: entitled “Well-Seasoned” (and leading the pack of features in the magazine *ahem proud thank you*), it’s a love letter to some incredible products made right here in Missouri which are outstanding in both process and flavor. This article was as much a learning experience for me as I hope it will be for you: I had heard of some of these products, but not all of them, and some I had glanced at in stores, but never purchased. That all changed in the writing and development of these recipes, and I’m happy to say that I’ll be buying each and every item I worked with again (and again), because I loved them that much. For those of you who don’t live in Missouri, you’re in luck: it’s just as easy for you to get some of these products as it is for me, because they’re available online and well worth the shipping, I promise. Let’s get to this, shall we?
I was given an immense amount of latitude with this, which I can’t thank Feast enough for: they really let me do this whole piece how I envisioned it, which I am always so grateful for because I think things come together so well in my head when given that particular sort of freedom. I wanted to focus on recipes that would be perfect for all winter occasions, whether it be a holiday dinner, a meal for visiting family and friends, or a random “baby, it’s cold outside” Tuesday. I didn’t want fussy, or difficult, or twee: just solidly delicious fare which was elegant, seasonal, and above all, satisfying.
In the end, it came together as my offering of recipes to surround your holiday main dish with. Say you’re roasting a big turkey for Thanksgiving and you want to throw some starters or new sides into the mix – I have you covered. Maybe you’ve decided that tonight, you’re going to roast a chicken and be done with it – perhaps I can offer up a few things to go alongside. Perhaps you’ve solidified your main course and sides for a get-together, but you just need something “more” – allow me to offer up a beautiful salad and a lovely cake for you. Ice cream, you say? Check. You want buns? I HAVE THE SOFTEST BUNS AROUND.
Here’s what we’ll cover over the next two posts:
- Dirt Lover Fig + Fresh Thyme Pastry Pockets featuring Green Dirt Farm Dirt Lover Cheese
- Asian Pear + Fennel Salad with Blackberry Butter Sage Vinaigrette featuring Bekemeier’s Blackberry Butter
- Buckwheat Honey Rolls featuring Hilty’s Bee Yards Buckwheat Honey
- Creamy Popcorn Polenta with Smoked Cheddar + Caramelized Onions featuring McKaskle Family Farm Popcorn Polenta
- Jalapeno Bacon-Roasted Brussels Sprouts + Apples featuring Naked Bacon Jalapeno-flavored Bacon
- Chocolate Cake with Winter Spices featuring Askinosie Chocolate 70% single-origin Honduran Dark Chocolate
- Nettle Ice Cream with Rosemary Caramel Popcorn featuring Green Dirt Farm Farm Fresh Nettle Cheese
I’ve got good things in store for you. For now, please, I beg you: head over to my impeccably-photographed article, Well-Seasoned (photographed in my own home by Jennifer Silverberg) and read the introduction, which is just as I mentioned: a love letter to local producers, but also to the season. In fact, read it in its digital format, if you’d like to see it all laid out in the way that only print can provide. Bonus for you non-locals: I’m in the magazine two more times, aside from my regular column and this feature article. if you can find me (and you have to flip through the digital copy to do so), I’ll send you a copy of this month’s issue. We’ll go deeper into each recipe in a day or two; see you then.