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Nov 30, 201711:04 AM
Haute Plates

Our weekly blog on the New Orleans fine dining scene

Post-Thanksgiving Reckoning

Last year I decided I’d cook for my family for Thanksgiving, and that I wouldn’t fall prey to my tendency to overdo everything involving food. This year, I swore, I’d do it right.

In years past, I’d bitten off more than I could chew, at least more than I could chew comfortably while also holding a glass of wine and intermittently paying attention to a rampaging toddler. I’d tried to cook like my grandmother had, but without the years and years of experience in cooking for crowds.

So last year my wife and I planned everything in advance. It was a well-oiled operation; we made most of the classic dishes the night before, and were in position to finish everything else on the morning before we were to host our parents for a late lunch.

Then I got sick.

Sometime around midnight on the night before Thanksgiving, I started to feel queasy. Shortly thereafter, things went downhill. I barfed on the rug that one of my wife’s former co-workers gave us. It’s a very nice rug; it ties the room together, but it was between me and the bathroom, and I didn’t make it.

So all of the work we’d done to make food for Thanksgiving was wasted, because as you’ll know if you read my wife’s writing, she is a bit of a stickler about germs, and specifically about the sort of germs that causes one to vomit. She was not going to eat anything we’d cooked, and thus nobody else was either.

It was a 24-hour virus, and I recovered by the next day, but the damage was done. Our parents were left without turkey, dressing, sweet potatoes and cranberry sauce, among other things. They were also bereft of our company, which I assume was the more difficult hurdle.

This year, we dodged the bullet. And by “bullet” I mean “horrible stomach bug passed around primarily by adorable small children at whom it is very hard to be angry and who don’t really care when you are angry or maybe that’s just my adorable small child?” In any event, we duplicated the work we did last year for the most part, and things went off without a hitch.

I roasted a turkey, made gravy and mashed potatoes, and Eve made sweet potatoes with bourbon, cranberry sauce with orange and ginger and the pumpkin and black bean soup that for some reason we only eat at Thanksgiving despite the fact that it is awesome and we should eat it more often. She also made two pies and a loaf of home-made bread. I bought the wine, though, and made sure her glass was full for the most part.

And the meal was very good, and our family was happy. That last bit, obviously, is the most important, and it’s also the reason I am very thankful in general and definitely at this time of the year.

I hope your holiday was pleasant as well, and that you were neither trampled on Black Friday nor trampled anyone. 


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Haute Plates

Our weekly blog on the New Orleans fine dining scene


Robert D. Peyton was born at Ochsner Hospital and, apart from four years in Tennessee for college and three years in Baton Rouge for law school, has lived in New Orleans his entire life. He is a strong believer in the importance of food to our local culture and in the importance of our local food culture, generally. He has practiced law since 1994, and began writing about food on his website, www.appetites.us, in 1999. He mainly wrote about partying that year, obviously.

In 2006, New Orleans Magazine named Appetites the best food blog in New Orleans. The choice was made relatively easy due to the fact that Appetites was, at the time, the only food blog in New Orleans.

He began writing the Restaurant Insider column for New Orleans Magazine in 2007 and has been published in St. Charles Avenue, Louisiana Life and New Orleans Homes and Lifestyles magazines. He is the only person he knows personally who has been interviewed in GQ magazine, albeit for calling Alan Richman a nasty name. He is not proud of that, incidentally. (Yes, he is.)

Robert’s maternal grandmother is responsible for his love of good food, and he has never since had fried chicken or homemade biscuits as good as hers. He developed his curiosity about restaurant cooking in part from the venerable PBS cooking show "Great Chefs" and has an extensive collection of cookbooks, many of which do not require coloring, and some of which have not been defaced.

Robert lives in Mid-City with his wife Eve and their three children, and is fond of receiving comments and emails. Please humor him.




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