Saturday, November 28, 2009

The Post-Turkey Weekend

Well, we still have plenty of turkey left, so we're not technically post-turkey just yet, but since the carcass isn't taking up space in the fridge any more (it's simmering in the stock pot right now) it feels post-turkey.

I'm pretty sure I over cooked the turkey and it was a bit dry. It's a good thing I actually like dry turkey and I certainly didn't hear any complaints from Scoob aka the One-Man Turkey Demolition Crew, but some gravy wouldn't have been entirely unwelcome, but of course I didn't make any because I wasn't making mashed potatoes. Oh well. I'll try to get the recipes up for the side dishes I tried out soon.

Scoob's first plate.

We did head up to San Francisco's Union Square on Friday for the big tree lighting as planned. Our neighbor offered to drive, which was awesome and way more comfortable and enjoyable than taking BART. The Embarcadero Shopping Center was still packed by the time we made it up there around 5:00 pm and Union Square completely filled up as the tree lighting was about to begin.

Wreaths in the Macy's windows.

The crowd at Union Square.

The crowd at Union Square. You can't see it because of the bus,
but the other side of the street and across the intersection is just as packed.

The ceremony itself seemed something of a waste of time and effort on the part of Macy's, who sponsors the tree each year. Union Square is designed like a Maya pyramid with the center of the square elevated as the sacrificial platform. The stage was up on the platform area, and anyone standing on the tiers or at street level—probably about 85% of the crowd—couldn't see anything. Or hear anything for that matter because of the absolutely horrible sound system. There was one gospel choir that we could hear quite clearly, but unfortunately I've no idea who they were or where they were from because the emcee was unintelligible, even worse than being at an airport.

I felt like such a Scrooge for even thinking "Just light the damn tree already," but I know I wasn't the only one. It was fun, though, watching all the little kids. And the tree was beautiful when they did finally flip the switch.

Union Square Christmas tree.

Afterward, we headed to Belden Place for dinner. We had intended to eat at B44, but as we waited for the cocktails to arrive and to place our orders we realized that the staff seemed to have forgotten us in the corner as we watched them take orders from the table that had been seated 10–15 minutes after us. So we left and instead went to Petrinos in the same little festive alleyway. The food was good but nothing special. Scoob was of the opinion that our local falafel place has a much better kebab/souvlaki and at a much more reasonable price. But it was fun to try something new.

Belden place in San Francisco.

Belden place in San Francisco.

I found this fun infographic in the New York Times today that depicts the popularity of searches at for recipes leading up to Thanksgiving. I thought it was a little odd that they depict searches for sweet potato and sweet potatoes, and sweet potato casserole and sweet potatoe casserole separately since they're clearly the same thing. Same goes for cornbread stuffing and cornbread dressing, unless of course there's some intrinsic difference between stuffing and dressing that I'm unaware of. At any rate, it's entertaining to flip through and I suppose the infographics could be communicating one of two things—either these recipes are really popular Thanksgiving dishes in the shaded areas, or they could also be popular in the unshaded areas but those folks already know the recipes.

A couple more fun things. This Muppets video totally brought back memories. Why did that show ever go off the air anyway? (And when did Disney purchase the Muppets??)

And this very creative video from the New Zealand Book Council.

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