The Norman Transcript

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 | Photo Reprints
Community News Network
  • Dangerous Darkies Logo.png Redskins not the only nickname to cause a stir

    Daniel Snyder has come under fire for refusing to change the mascot of his NFL team, the Washington Redskins. The Redskins, however, are far from being the only controversial mascot in sports history.  Here is a sampling of athletic teams from all areas of the sports world that were outside the norm.

    July 28, 2014 3 Photos

  • 'Rebel' mascot rising from the dead

    Students and alumni from a Richmond, Va.-area high school are seeking to revive the school's historic mascot, a Confederate soldier known as the "Rebel Man," spurring debate about the appropriateness of public school connections to the Civil War and its icons.

    July 28, 2014

  • Fast food comes to standstill in China

    The shortage of meat is the result of China's latest food scandal, in which a Shanghai supplier allegedly tackled the problem of expired meat by putting it in new packaging and shipping it to fast-food restaurants around the country

    July 28, 2014

  • wd saturday tobias .jpg Stranger’s generosity stuns Ohio veteran

    Vietnam War veteran David A. Tobias was overwhelmed recently when a fellow customer at an OfficeMax store near Ashtabula, Ohio paid for a computer he was purchasing.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Screen Shot 2014-07-28 at 1.33.11 PM.png VIDEO: High-dive accident caught on tape

    A woman at a water park in Idaho leaped off a 22-foot high dive platform, then tried to pull herself back up with frightening results. Fortunately, she escaped with only a cut to her finger.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • CATS-DOGS281.jpg Where cats are more popular than dogs in the U.S.-and all over the world

    We all know there are only two types of people in the world: cat people and dog people. But data from market research firm Euromonitor suggest that these differences extend beyond individual preferences and to the realm of geopolitics: it turns out there are cat countries and dog countries, too.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • How spy agencies keep their 'toys' from law enforcement

    A little over a decade ago, federal prosecutors used keystroke logging software to steal the encryption password of an alleged New Jersey mobster, Nicodemo Scarfo Jr., so they could get evidence from his computer to be used at his trial.

    July 25, 2014

  • Russia's war on McDonald's takes aim at the Filet-o-Fish

    Russia said earlier this week that it had no intention of answering Western sanctions by making it harder for Western companies to conduct business in Russia.
    But all bets are off, apparently, when you threaten the Russian waistline.

    July 25, 2014

  • cleaning supplies Don't judge mothers with messy homes

    I was building shelves in my garage when a neighbor girl, one of my 4-year-old daughter's friends, approached me and said, "I just saw in your house. It's pretty dirty. Norah's mommy needs to clean more."

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Arizona's prolonged lethal injection is fourth in U.S. this year

    Arizona's execution of double-murderer Joseph Wood marked the fourth time this year that a state failed to dispatch a convict efficiently, according to the Constitution Project, a bipartisan legal group.3

    July 24, 2014