Greensburg Daily News, Greensburg, IN

Community News Network

November 22, 2012

For recipe handicappers, there's fakesgiving

WASHINGTON — For most people, once a year is enough for the cooking, togetherness and gut-busting feast of Thanksgiving.

Zach Patton and Clay Dunn have celebrated with friends and relatives twice a year since 2009. Patton, a senior editor at Governing magazine, and Dunn, online director at Share Our Strength, write the Bitten Word blog, for which they regularly test recipes from food magazines.

The Thanksgiving project started in 2008 after they first published a postmortem of the holiday dinner they had created from magazine recipes. The menu included a dry-brined turkey from Martha Stewart Living, Brussels sprouts hash with caramelized shallots from Bon Appetit and roasted potatoes with figs from The New York Times — not technically a magazine, but close enough.

They published their recap in early December. The hitch in that strategy: "Readers would have preferred to see those ahead of time," Patton said.

In 2009, the experimental meal shifted to late October and became a full-blown party for about 20, which the couple christened Fakesgiving. They borrowed the name from a friend who hosts a Thanksgiving eve meal.

Flash-forward to the menacingly cloudy Sunday before the arrival of megastorm (nee Hurricane) Sandy: Patton and Dunn found themselves scurrying down a fire escape here, past the dried special-effects blood from the previous night's pre-Halloween revelries, to retrieve a turkey from the grill in their back yard.

Even before tasting the bird (Cook's Illustrated), Patton, 33, and Dunn, 34, were pleased. Cooking the turkey outdoors freed up room in the oven to finish or reheat some of the other 18 items on the menu. "Yesterday was an eight-hour cooking day," Dunn said.

It was a kind of orderly chaos. A printout of an Excel spreadsheet organizing the food and prep schedule hung on the refrigerator door, a short distance from the stove, where Patton's mom, Brenda Lewis, stood over a pot of creamed greens (Martha Stewart Living).

Text Only
Community News Network
  • The Simpsons still going strong

    The groundbreaking animation first hit the air Dec. 17, 1989, but the family first appeared on television in "The Tracey Ullman Show" short "Good Night" on April 19, 1987.

    August 21, 2014

  • Police chief resigns over racial slur repost to Facebook

    A repost on his personal Facebook page of a racially-charged comment by the original poster of a comedy video has forced the police chief of an Oklahoma city to resign his office.

    August 21, 2014

  • Does Twitter need a censor?

    Twitter decided last year to make images more prominent on its site. Now, the social network is finding itself caught between being an open forum and patrolling for inappropriate content.

    August 21, 2014

  • sleepchart.jpg America’s sleep-deprived cities

    Americans might run on sleep, but those living in the country's largest cities don't appear to run on much.

    August 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Who should pay for your kids ACT?

    Thirteen states paid for 11th-grade students in all public high schools to take the ACT college admission test this year, with several more planning to join them in 2015.

    August 20, 2014

  • Pets.jpg Why do people look like their pets?

    As much as we might quibble over the virtues and vices of Canis domesticus, however, and over whether human nature is any better or worse than dog nature, even dog fanciers don't usually want to look like a dog.

    August 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Ice bucket challenge trending up

    Internet trends are a dime a dozen these days. Everything from Tebowing to planking to the cinnamon challenge can cause a wave of social media activity that can last for weeks before fizzling out.

    August 19, 2014

  • Africa goes medieval in its fight against Ebola

    As the Ebola epidemic claims new victims at an ever-increasing rate, African governments in Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia have instituted a "cordon sanitaire," deploying troops to forcibly isolate the inhabitants in an area containing most of the cases.

    August 18, 2014

  • Democrat? Republican? There's an app for that

    If you're a Republican, you might want to think twice before buying Lipton Iced Tea, and forget about Starbucks coffee. If you're a Democrat, put down that Reese's Peanut Butter Cup, and throw away the cylinder of Quaker Oats in your pantry.

    August 18, 2014

  • Five myths about presidential vacations

    In the nuclear age, presidents may have only minutes to make a decision that could affect the entire world. They don't so much leave the White House as they take a miniature version of it with them wherever they go.

    August 15, 2014