Enough Talk of Turkey Comas

The ol' brain is feeling a little mushy after a long weekend away, so to ease back into this blog thing, I offer this semi-coherent collection of thoughts:

First, I'll add my Thanksgiving culinary mishap to the universe's record of kitchen fouls: After ever so delicately pressing the makings of a graham cracker crust into a tart shell with a measuring cup (learned from watching TV!) and being awfully proud of the Martha-quality craftsmanship, I proceeded to dump the entire thing all into the oven. Of course this was after the crust had blind-baked for 10 minutes, so the pan was nice and skin-searing hot, leaving a burn on my wrist that looked suspiciously like I'd succumbed to a bout of teenage angst. Lesson learned: When using a tart pan with a removable bottom, stick that sucker on a baking sheet before putting it in the oven. (In case you're wondering, both the crust and I recovered, and the tart was a hit.)

Speaking of random thoughts, you may (or may not) have noticed a link on the right to WETA's dining site, which includes the candid, off-the-cuff commentary on meals around town from Don Rockwell, moderator of his eponymous food and dining chat board. His most recent entry hits on the new Stoney's, Ray's the Steaks and Buck's Fishing and Camping, among others. Update your bookmarks, folks, it's always a good read.

Moving on, Mandu's updated Web site offers a glimpse at the new Korean spot's menu. I haven't made it in yet, but I'm eager to try the bibim bap and dumplings the restaurant is named for.

And now that the holiday eating floodgates have burst open, I thought it appropriate to point out that Brys over on the Cookthink blog found duck fat from d'Artagnan at Balducci's. He greases up a chicken with it and adds it to a mix of sweet potato and Brussels sprouts under the bird. Does the thought of this meal make any other foodies out there giddy? Mmm, duck fat ...