Sometimes I wonder what I get myself into.
The Feast mothership has worked really hard to launch a national section which appears quarterly (I call it “quarterly plus” because there are actually 5 installments this year that I know about) in newspapers across the country. Also, there’s a dedicated website – FeastEats.com – devoted to food and drink recipes, cookbook reviews, and the like. You guys would like it, because it’s really home cooking-driven, and I know you’re into that.
Somehow, I was chosen to be in charge of the food for this.
PSSST: I think they drink a lot in the office, friends. All that Missouri wine can really go to your head, and there’s almost no other way to explain it. That’s my theory.
No matter how it came to be, here I am. And here these recipe collections are. And I am extremely proud of them, not only because combined with the magazine features, I’ve worked nonstop since August, but also because they’ve come to life so well. Most importantly, they’ve been a blast to do; challenging, but really fun to work through in my head and with my hands.
They didn’t tell me part of this ongoing assignment was video. As in “actual film footage of Shannon, cooking and talking at the same time.” I have a feeling you know how initially opposed I was to this, and by “oppposed” I mean “mortified.” I was so amped up on nerves and adrenaline before the first shoot that my hands were shaking.
But I did it. And it was hard. But also, not as terrifying as I thought. Turns out 2 to 3 really kind and encouraging videographers + 1 Feast staff + 1 Catherine Neville making me feel completely at ease = I don’t pass out while someone is filming me. No one is more surprised than me.
I’ve done two shoots so far – one for a collection of tailgating recipes, and the other a collection of elegant winter holiday feast recipes: the latter was infinitely easier than the former, if only because I knew what to expect. The next installment shoots in a few weeks, and I can say honestly that I’m looking forward to it. Mostly.
I’m sorry it took me so long to tell you about these in detail. I wanted to, and I missed this space so badly when I was working on all of this, which makes it all the more lovely to be back and sharing this with you. Thank you for being here.
Here they are! My recipe collections for Feast. Our inaugural collection was built around tailgating, and I’m in both the behind the scenes video and a short little segment on my thought process behind the recipes. And speaking of those recipes, they are:
If you’ve always wondered about quick pickling, wonder no more: Cat does a pretty awesome video which breaks it down for you using my recipe for Quick Pickled Carrots and Onions.
The second collection is the polar opposite of the tailgate: it’s inside, elegant, and it’s basically my winter entertaining dream of a menu come to life. Literally, in fact, because this time there were dinner guests and elegant lighting and it wasn’t 95 degrees outside – that last fact important because it means I’m not sweating for 6 hours straight in a hot kitchen, temperature compounded by the heat from the outdoors.
I’ve been told I’m in all 3 videos this time. Depending on how fast you click on these links, you may actually see them before I do, because I’m always apprehensive about watching myself in action. The first is a behind the scenes from the shoot: I plan to expand on this in a future post, but you’ll note activity in two areas: kitchen and dining room. They’re right next to each other. I basically never saw the action in the dining area because I was so busy stressing out in the kitchen. The shoot may look glamorous and relaxed, and at times it totally is that way, but so much of it is really hard work done by all parties involved, and it gives me a whole new level of respect for people who shoot actual cooking shows regularly…it’s tough stuff. In addition to the behind the scenes video, there are two short segments on how to roast a duck and how to conquer my sky-high Root Vegetable Galette. It’s a true beauty and I hope at least one of you tries it this fall or winter.
All the recipes are beauties, in my opinion: fancy but not difficult to accomplish, even when made all-together. I think the print edition has a sidebar about how to work out from your party time and do things in advance so you, the host, has a good time as well.
You want the recipes, right? Because holidays:
I hope you enjoy all this: I did, and I love that I can share it with you. I’m working on another collection at present, and it’s the most relaxed one yet and it echoes that post-holiday (and perhaps post-cleansing) time of year that invitees a little comfort food back in to your body. It’s bright and fun, and it’s coming. For now, I get to blog! I have some outtakes from the collections to share with you – outtakes only because I went in a different direction, not because they’re not awesome (because they are.) I’ll be sharing those over the coming weeks; after I figure out my Thanksgiving menu. I’d say it’s 95% there, but needs some streamlining. What are you guys doing? Sticking with the classics? Branching out and being adventurous aka angering your relatives? I’m doing a little of both, and I’m hoping to sneak a few pictures of our meal this week.