I will now tell you about the most hilarious thing I have ever heard of happening in a bar. I only wish I had been there to to see it.
Late last November, the husband and I were paying our bill at the Pike Pub. I asked why they were keeping a very large pumpkin behind the desk. The cashier said that the pumpkin was being kept safe from the Santa-suited-pub-crawlers that would be arriving soon. If left at the bar, the drunk Santas would molest the pumpkin. In fact, the drunk Santas had knocked over and smashed the last pumpkin that was left in the bar.
Last year, the husband and I went to Disneyland on my birthday, and I got in for free. After I turned in my paperwork at the booth, they gave me a "Happy Birthday" button with my name on it, which I wore all day. As we walked through the park, all the Disneyland cast members (park employees) said "Happy Birthday, Katie!". While it was amusing at first, the personalized "Happy Birthday!"s from strangers became very slightly creepy as the day wore on.
I got to wondering about the rulebook or memo that commanded birthday greetings from cast members. I wondered how specifically it laid out the treatment for birthday guests - that birthday guests are to be greeted by name, but may not jump the line. I also wondered if there were "secret birthday guests" (like secret shoppers) who checked on cast member compliance of the birthday rules.
The Zillow Trick-or-Treat Index: Zillow, Seattle-based real estate website, rated local neighborhoods on a combination of house value, walk-ability, density and crime data to identify the prime neighborhoods for the best candy haul on Halloween.
A non-intuitive idea for why health care costs continue to rise: Health insurance companies have rather little motivation to keep overall health care costs down; they will just increase the premiums. The insurance companies profit as a percentage of overall costs. Patients, on the other hand, demand that that the insurance companies cover more new drugs and more procedures. (You don't think that pharmaceutical companies show all those expensive commercials out of the goodness of their hearts, do you?)
Beard / Brown Rolls: I rewrote the recipe for Parker House Rolls from Beard on Bread to be more specific, and to take advantage of modern conveniences such as instant yeast and stand mixers. These should be prepared the night before serving, and baked in the morning.
Mushroom Gravy: The husband prepared just the "Gravy" part of this recipe. Last year he made it with vegetable stock instead of turkey stock for the vegetarians. We always forget to add the parsley and mint, so they're optional.
Sourdough Stuffing: This is a great stuffing, and easily adapted to be vegetarian. This year we added some carrots to fill out the flavor a bit.
Endive Salad: This salad is very pretty, but the flavors only come together when you cut everything up together. You could probably could go with hearts of Romain instead of the endives.
Mashed potatoes: We used a simple mashed potato recipe from a book, so no recipe here.
"The Cock and Jack Apple Pie": This is a mash-up of the husband's devising, and is widely hailed as the best apple pie in the world. He uses Caprial's Apple Pie filling from Caprial's Desserts, Alton Brown's recipe for crust, and Alton's pie construction methods: drain the apples and use a pie bird to prevent a collapsing crust.
Green beans w/ bacon and shallots: I'm a little unsure of the ingredients, and don't have the recipe, because our guests brought this dish.
I was very pleased that I managed to make rolls this year. I did forget the salt, but I rewrote the recipe to (hopefully) avoid that next time. Also, the chicken stock that I made a couple of months ago was used as an ingredient in many of our Thanksgiving dishes, so that's another feather in my cap. The husband should be very proud of all he made. In fact, now that I think about it, it's time for some left-over apple pie.