Categories

Archives

The New Thanksgiving Table

UC PRESS AUTHORS ON THE MEANING OF THE HOLIDAY

Our authors share recipes, wine pairings, and stories about this November ritual, and explore the behind-the-scenes politics and assumptions that shape the holiday.

Click the image for the full story.

Thanksgiving_810

Share

The New Thanksgiving Table: Recipes

Click to read more about The New Thanksgiving Table.

Butternut Squash and Apple Soup

Kabocha squash can be used in this recipe, though I prefer butternut squash, as it is easier to peel. Opt for a squash with a long neck for a greater yield of solid pieces. The bottom is mostly seeds and can be discarded, as there is not much flesh left after the seeds are removed.
Serves 8

2 tablespoons unsalted butter or olive oil
1 large onion, diced
1 large green apple, peeled, cored and diced
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
5 cups peeled, diced butternut squash
6 cups chicken stock, plus more as needed
Salt and pepper

Heat the butter or olive oil in a large saucepan over moderate heat. Add the onion and apple and cook for about 10 minutes. Stir in the spices, cook for 1 minute, and then add the diced squash and chicken stock. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer until the squash is very tender. Puree the solids with some of the liquids in the container of a blender. Transfer to a bowl. Add enough additional stock to yield a medium-thick texture. Season with salt and pepper and adjust the sweet spices. Refrigerate uncovered until cold, then cover. The soup can be made a day or so ahead.

To serve, add additional stock to thin the soup, if needed, and bring the soup up to almost scalding. Ladle into bowls and top with a dollop of nutmeg-flavored whipped cream and/or thin slices of apple.

Roast Turkey

1 turkey, about 14 pounds
1/2 lemon
Salt and pepper
2 to 3 cloves garlic, minced
Paprika

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Wipe the turkey with a damp cloth and rub the inside cavity with a cut lemon, then with salt, pepper and garlic. Rub the outside of the bird with a mix of equal amounts of salt, pepper, and paprika. Place breast side down on a rack in a roasting pan. Tent loosely with foil. Roast 18 to 20 minutes per pound. Uncover the turkey and turn breast side up for the last 45 minutes to brown the breast. You may baste the bird from time to time, but that is not essential. A 14-pound turkey takes about 4 1/2 hours.

Remove the turkey from the oven. Let rest for 15 minutes or longer before carving.

Giblet Gravy

Turkey neck and giblets
Water or chicken stock
2 onions, sliced
2 carrots, sliced
1 or 2 celery stalks
1 sprig thyme
1 garlic clove, peeled
2 tablespoons flour
Salt and pepper
Pinch of allspice
Kitchen Bouquet (optional)

In a large saucepan simmer the neck and giblets (but not the liver) along with the onions, carrots, celery, thyme, and garlic. Cover with water or chicken stock. Cook for an hour or longer, adding additional water or chicken stock as needed to keep covered. Remove and discard the neck and the sprig of thyme. Remove the giblets and chop finely. Reserve the giblet stock.

Place the cooked vegetables in a blender and purée.

Remove 3 tablespoons of drippings from the turkey roasting pan. Heat in a saucepan. Add flour and 1 cup reserved giblet stock. Stir in the vegetable purée and add enough stock to make a pourable sauce. Add the chopped giblets. Season with salt, pepper, and allspice. You may add Kitchen Bouquet for color if the drippings were not dark enough.

Chestnuts, Chanterelles, and Pearl Onions
8 to 10 servings

1 pound chestnuts (at least 3 per person)
2 to 3 cups chicken stock, as needed
1 pound pearl onions or cipollini (2 to 3 per person)
2 pounds chanterelles or brown Cremini mushrooms
8 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
Salt and pepper

Cut a cross in each chestnut. Put the chestnuts in a saucepan, cover with water, and bring to a boil. Simmer about 10 minutes. While the chestnuts are hot, remove the outer skin and thin inner brown peel. (This is a painful and painstaking task but worth every minute of hot-fingered torture. See if you can talk someone into helping you, as the chestnuts must be hot for the inner skin to come off.) Try to keep the chestnuts whole, if possible.

If the chestnuts are not cooked all the way through, simmer them in chicken stock to cover for 8 to 10 minutes. When the chestnuts are done, the insides will be the same color as the outer parts. Undercooked parts will be darker. This will be easy to see if one of the chestnuts breaks. If all of the chestnuts are whole, sacrifice one and cut it in half to check. Set the cooked chestnuts aside.

Trim the roots of the onions carefully without cutting across the ends. Cut a cross on the bottom of each onion to prevent it from telescoping while cooking. Cover the onions with water in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until firm but tender. Drain and remove the peels. Set aside.

Wipe the mushrooms clean with a mushroom brush or damp paper towel. Cut in thick slices or, if small, leave whole. Set aside.

Melt half the butter in a large sauté pan and quickly sauté half the mushrooms over high heat. Repeat with remaining butter and mushrooms.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Combine the cooked chestnuts, onions, and mushrooms in a large casserole. Toss with thyme. Add a little chicken broth if the mixture seems dry. Season with salt and pepper. Bake 15 minutes until hot all the way through. Serve at once.

Brussels Sprouts with Garlic and Parmesan
Serves 8

3 pounds Brussels sprouts
4 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons olive oil
12 large cloves garlic, finely minced
1 1/2 to 2 cups vegetable or chicken stock
Salt and pepper
1 1/2 cups grated Parmesan cheese

Trim the ends off the Brussels sprouts and cut them in half lengthwise.

Warm the butter and oil in one or two sauté pans, large enough to hold all the Brussels sprouts in one layer. Add the garlic and cook over low heat for 3 minutes. Do not let it color. Add the Brussels sprouts, stir well to coat with butter and oil, and add the vegetable stock. Cover the pan. Steam until the Brussels sprouts are crisp tender, stirring occasionally, 5 to 8 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and top them with a generous sprinkling of grated Parmesan. Serve at once.

Variation: Brussels sports can also be tossed in olive oil and roasted on a sheet pan in a 450-degree oven for 20 to 25 minutes, shaking them a few times or turning them for even cooking. When they are golden brown and crisp, toss them in garlic butter and top with cheese. No broth needed.

Celery Root and Potato Purée
Serves 8 to 10

8 large baking potatoes
3 large celery roots
3 to 4 cups chicken stock
4 to 8 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 to 2 cups cream
Salt and pepper
Nutmeg

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Bake the potatoes for 1 hour, until very tender. Cut the potatoes in half, remove the pulp, and pass it through a ricer or food mill.

While the potatoes are baking, trim the leaves and roots off the celery root and peel. Dice and simmer the celery root in chicken stock to cover until very tender. Purée in a food processor or pass through a food mill.

Combine the potato and celery root purées in a large heavy saucepan over moderate heat. Stir in butter and cream as needed until a smooth but not soupy texture is achieved. Season with salt and pepper and a little nutmeg.

Cranberry Chutney
Makes about 3 pints

2 cups water
3 cups sugar
2 oranges, seeded, diced, and puréed in a blender
2 walnut-sized pieces of peeled fresh ginger, cut in thin slivers
4 cups cranberries
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cloves
Pinch of salt
1 cup raisins

Place the water and sugar in a deep saucepan and bring to a boil. Add the orange purée and ginger and simmer for 20 minutes. Add the cranberries, cinnamon, and cloves and a pinch of salt and simmer until almost thick. Stir in the raisins and cook until big bubbles appear. Pour into a serving bowl. Refrigerate and then bring to room temperature for serving.

Persimmon Pudding
This dessert entails some advance planning to allow the Hachiya persimmons to ripen until they are soft. This can take days or a week, depending on how firm they were when you bought them. Putting them in a bowl with a ripe apple and covering them with a paper bag will speed up the softening.

We serve this traditional holiday dessert at our Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners. It is a variation on the English plum pudding. I used to serve it with the traditional English hard sauce (butter, confectioner’s sugar, and brandy), but that was too rich. Today I serve it with lightly whipped cream or vanilla or eggnog-flavored ice cream. The pudding can be made days ahead of time, refrigerated, and then reheated just before dinner. To reheat, steam the pudding in a pot on the stovetop or in the oven in a water bath for about 20 minutes, until it is warm and easy to unmold.
Serves 10 to 12

1 tablespoon butter, melted, or more as needed
2 1/2 cups flour, sifted
3/4 teaspoons salt
2 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon or Chinese five-spice powder
5 tablespoons brandy
1 tablespoon vanilla
I tablespoon lemon juice
2 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 pound plus 4 tablespoons butter, melted
4 cups persimmon purée from about 8 ripe Hachiyas
5 teaspoons baking soda, dissolved in 5 tablespoons hot water
5 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup raisins and/or currants
3/4 cup chopped walnuts

Brush 1 large pudding mold with melted butter. If you do not have a pudding mold, you may use a large Bundt pan or deep cake pan.

To bake the pudding, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Choose a pan large enough to accommodate the pudding mold. To steam the pudding, set a rack in a stockpot that is wider than your mold.

Sift the flour with the salt and cinnamon. Combine the brandy, vanilla, and lemon juice in a measuring cup.

In a large mixing bowl, add the sugar to the butter and combine with the paddle attachment. Add the persimmon purée, the baking soda mixed with water, and the brandy mixture. Add the eggs and mix well.

Fold the flour mixture into the batter. Fold in the raisins and walnuts and combine well, but do not overbeat.

Pour the batter into the buttered pudding mold and close the cover. If using a cake pan, cover with a double thickness of foil.

To steam the pudding on the stovetop, set the pudding inside the stockpot and pour in enough boiling water to go halfway up the sides of the mold. Bring the water to a simmer and cover the pot.

To bake the pudding, set the pudding in the pan and fill the pan with hot water.

Cook the pudding for 2 1/2 hours, until firm. Replenish the water as necessary.

Serve warm.

Share

Join UC Press at AAA

University of California Press is exhibiting at the 2014 American Anthropological Association annual meeting. The meeting convenes December 3-6 in Washington, DC.

Please visit us at booths 316 and 318 in the Washington Marriott Wardman Park’s Exhibit Hall B for the following offers:

  • 30% conference discount and free worldwide shipping
  • Request exam copy requests for course adoption for your upcoming classes
  • Win $100 worth of books! Join our eNews subscription

Stay tuned to our blog and social media channels as UC Press authors share insight into their research and stories that reflect this year’s conference theme “Producing Anthropology.” We hope these personal glimpses into their scholarship will inspire a broad community of readers.

Please see our conference program ad for our latest offerings. Acquisitions and marketing staff will be available for your publishing questions.

Follow @americananthro and #aaa2014 for current meeting news.

Share

We Are Amphibians: Julian and Aldous Huxley on the Future of Our Species

by R. S. Deese

This guest post is part of a series leading up to the upcoming joint meeting of the American Academy of Religion and the Society for Biblical Literature in San Diego. Eight of our authors with recent and forthcoming titles on a range of topics will share the motivations and stories behind their research. We hope these personal glimpses into their scholarship will inspire a broad community of readers. Come back for a new post every few days between now and November 21st.

I was drawn to study the works of Julian and Aldous Huxley because of their common interest in the religious implications of evolutionary biology. The idea that evolution is antithetical to religious feeling has never made sense to me, and I have always wondered why so many people have contested the theory of evolution with such passionate intensity. I can remember friends in elementary school who were told by their parents that the devil had planted fossils to fool human beings into thinking that “we came from monkeys.” Decades later, we can see that this fearful reaction to the scientific evidence regarding evolution is still commonplace, fueling school board fights about biology curricula across the country and even spawning new institutions (such as the Creation Museum in Kentucky) dedicated to promoting the view that the book of Genesis is not to be taken as a brilliant allegory about the human condition, but rather as a literal record of our material origin. In seeking to understand why so many people fear and reject evolutionary biology, I have come to the conclusion that the anxieties unearthed by Darwin have less to do with the origin of our species than with its future. As it has unfolded over the past century and a half, the Darwinian revolution has done more than challenge religious assumptions about how we came to be. More significantly, it has thrown open the question of what we may become.

My interest in the history of this question drew me to explore many works of speculative fiction published in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. Looking through the archives of Amazing Stories at Syracuse University, I found Julian Huxley’s 1926 story “The Tissue Culture King” to be particularly intriguing. Julian Huxley’s early depiction of biotechnology wedded to the mass production principles of Henry Ford clearly anticipated some key elements in Brave New World, even if it lacked the wit and cinematic style of Aldous Huxley’s 1932 novel. As I began to read the correspondence of Julian and Aldous Huxley, I found that, although they often disagreed about many of the most important political and social issues of their time, they were united by a common fascination with the future of our species, and a desire to reconcile the science of evolution with their own religious feelings. As the grandchildren of “Darwin’s Bulldog,” Thomas Henry Huxley, both brothers were possessed by an abiding interest, not only in evolutionary biology, but also in its philosophical and spiritual implications. The fact that they disagreed as often as they did made the research for this book both lively and engaging, but the fact that they cared as intensely as they did (not only about the future of our species but about the web of life on which our lives depend) made this expedition more inspiring than I could ever have expected it to be.

R. S. Deese teaches history at Boston University. His work has been published in AGNI, Endeavour, Aldous Huxley Annual, MungBeing, and Berkeley Poetry Review.

 

Please use hashtag #AARSBL when sharing on Twitter or Facebook. 

 

Share

In Memoriam: Jane Daggett Dillenberger

Jane Daggett Dillenberger with  co-author of The Religious Art of Pablo Picasso, John Handley

Jane Daggett Dillenberger with co-author of The Religious Art of Pablo Picasso, John Handley

UC Press is sad to announce the passing of Jane Daggett Dillenberger, who died at her home in Berkeley on November 11 at the age of 98. Dillenberger was professor emerita of art and religion at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley and co-author of The Religious Art of Pablo Picasso, the first critical examination of Pablo Picasso’s use of religious imagery and the religious import of many of his works with secular subject matter. She studied at the University of Chicago and curated several exhibitions for the Berkeley Art Museum during the 1970s on spirituality and art.

A memorial service will be held for Dillenberger at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church at 2300 Bancroft Way in Berkeley on Saturday, December 6, at 2:00 pm. Read more about her life and work at the Graduate Theological Union.

Share

Controlling Contested Places: Late Antique Antioch and the Spatial Politics of Religious Controversy

by Christine Shepardson

This guest post is part of a series leading up to the upcoming joint meeting of the American Academy of Religion and the Society for Biblical Literature in San Diego. Eight of our authors with recent and forthcoming titles on a range of topics will share the motivations and stories behind their research. We hope these personal glimpses into their scholarship will inspire a broad community of readers. Come back for a new post every few days between now and November 21st.

I don’t think that my parents imagined me traipsing around northern Syria when they taught me to read maps and love the outdoors on our summer canoe trips through the Canadian arctic. But then — arctic wilderness, two young children — it’s hard to say exactly what they were thinking. All I know is, I wouldn’t have written this book thirty years later without them.

When I started my research on the fourth-century city of Antioch (Antakya, Turkey), I had become increasingly aware that I had not been paying enough attention to “place” in my study of early Christianity. I started to wonder what it would look like to trace Christianity’s increasing visibility in the fourth century not through the history of a particular writer or theological argument, but through the ways in which people interpreted and interacted with the physical places around them. So I turned to the major metropolis of Antioch, home to a rich variety of religious communities, an imperial palace, and two prolific contemporaneous authors, Libanius and John Chrysostom.

My book uses cultural geography and memory studies to reveal the role that physical and rhetorical contests over places played in the complex religious and political controversies of the fourth century. It is largely a study of the textual rather than the material evidence, not least because the continuous habitation of the city has impeded excavations and a project to develop a new map of the Roman city and another to study its early church buildings (Mayer/Allen, The Churches of Syrian Antioch) were already underway. My readings of the texts are, however, influenced by my research trips to Turkey and Syria. Standing on the main Roman road through Antioch, for example, I was struck that I was so close to the caves and ancient tombs on Mt. Silpius that called to mind the stories of early Christian ascetics who populated its slopes. This suggested to me that the rhetoric of these ascetics’ “withdrawal” was not primarily about physical distance from the city, which in turn led me to think more carefully about how to interpret other narrative representations of Antioch’s places.

But one cannot visit Syria in 2010 to write a book called Controlling Contested Places and remain focused only on antiquity. Museums that my colleague and I visited have been looted; buildings we saw are piles of rubble; and the generous people we met face unimaginable atrocities. First and foremost, I hope that this book makes a significant contribution to the study of the Mediterranean world in late antiquity and demonstrates the advantages of engaging with the insights of cultural geography. I also, though, hope that the book will reveal some of the mechanisms by which powerful places have been constructed and controlled, and serve as a reminder of the role that such physical and rhetorical manipulations can play in religious and political conflicts in antiquity as well as today.

Christine Shepardson is Associate Professor of Religious Studies at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.

 

Please use hashtag #AARSBL when sharing on Twitter or Facebook. 

Share

UC Press at MESA 2014

University of California Press is exhibiting at the 2014 Middle East Studies Association Annual Meeting. The meeting convenes November 22-25 in Washington, D.C.

Visit us at booth 43 at the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel for the following offers:

  • 30% conference discount and free worldwide shipping
  • Submit exam copy requests for course adoption for your upcoming classes
  • Win $100 worth of books! Join our eNews subscription

Our Middle East titles encompass a broad range of topics such as history, religion, and food studies, and are perfect for research and course usage.

Please see our conference program ad for our latest offerings.  Acquisitions and marketing staff will be available for your publishing questions.

Follow the Middle East Studies Association at @MESA_1966 for current meeting news.

Share

That Religion in Which All Men Agree: Freemasonry in American Culture

by David G. Hackett

This guest post is part of a series leading up to the upcoming joint meeting of the American Academy of Religion and the Society for Biblical Literature in San Diego. Eight of our authors with recent and forthcoming titles on a range of topics will share the motivations and stories behind their research. We hope these personal glimpses into their scholarship will inspire a broad community of readers. Come back for a new post every few days between now and November 21st.

Trying to figure out where early nineteenth century men congregated led me to try to understand Freemasonry. While researching an earlier social history of Albany, New York I discovered that in 1830, 74 percent of that town’s male work force did not belong to a church, and 72 percent of the members of its churches were women. City directory lists of Masonic lodges and their officers suggested themselves to me as holding possible answers.

I initially read my way into the literature on Freemasonry while looking for the existence of a male world that might broadly complement the Protestant women’s sphere. As my research progressed, I saw larger implications. The fraternity’s legendary history and ceremonial practices were part of the larger world of wonders inhabited by colonial men and women. Revolutionary-era Christian, republican Freemasonry had an influence on the creation of the United States that rivaled that of Protestantism. The brotherhood’s private ceremonies were centrally involved in changing understandings of the body and sensory experience.

Moreover, at different times Masonic beliefs and practices paralleled, interacted with, and diverged from not only white, mainstream Protestantism but also the black church, Native American world views, and immigrant Jewish and Catholic communal understandings. Though not a religion to its adherents, Freemasonry played a considerable role in the American religious past. 

In That Religion in Which All Men Agree I argue that from the 1730s through the early twentieth century the religious worlds of an evolving American social order broadly appropriated the beliefs and initiatory practices of this all-male society. 

David G. Hackett teaches American religious history at the University of Florida.

 

Please use hashtag #AARSBL when sharing on Twitter or Facebook. 

Share

Mirage of the Saracen: Christians and Nomads in the Sinai Peninsula in Late Antiquity

by Walter D. Ward

This guest post is part of a series leading up to the upcoming joint meeting of the American Academy of Religion and the Society for Biblical Literature in San Diego. Eight of our authors with recent and forthcoming titles on a range of topics will share the motivations and stories behind their research. We hope these personal glimpses into their scholarship will inspire a broad community of readers. Come back for a new post every few days between now and November 21st.

I first visited the Middle East as an undergraduate in 1998, when I helped excavate the archaeological site of ancient Aila (modern Aqaba), an ancient port on the Red Sea. As a student, I was struck by how little western food was available in Aqaba, other than junk food like potato chips or candy and sodas. There was only one western restaurant in town and that was Pizza Hut, though the Royal Yacht Club served Italian cuisine. By 2002 in the wake of several luxury hotel constructions, a McDonald’s was being planned in the center of town. When I last visited in 2007 while doing research for the dissertation that formed the basis of my book The Mirage of the Saracen, there was a McDonald’s, a Hardees, a fried-chicken place (KFC maybe?), a “Friends” café named after the hit TV show, a Quiznos, several pizza places, and probably a few more that I’ve forgotten. This explosion of western fast food restaurants in Aqaba struck me at the time as a particularly obvious sign of western cultural and economic imperialism.

As I continued working on my dissertation, I began to think about this type of imperialism in the past — I was writing about roughly the same region (Third Palestine – modern southern Jordan, Israel, and the Sinai) and several centuries earlier (fourth-seventh centuries). The entire region had been controlled by the Romans since 106 CE when the Nabataean Kingdom was annexed, so political and military imperialism was out of the picture for my period. As I looked further into the region in late antiquity, I noticed the steady pace of Christianization and increasing agricultural prosperity, especially in the Negev desert. I began to see this as cultural and economic imperialism, but in my dissertation, this is where I left it.

As I began revising for my book, I started to wonder if there was evidence that the Roman authorities or the Christians justified their actions. I began to read the Sinai Martyr Narratives not just as evidence of actual or fictive events, but as unconscious rhetorical justifications for the monastic “conquest” of the Sinai. This helped me frame what I wanted to the book’s main message to be — I argue that those justifications helped create an extremely negative association to the word Saracen, which was later used for Muslims for much of European history and perhaps has an importance today. Thus, my experiences over the past decade and a half in visiting the Middle East came to profoundly shape my research and interpretations of late antiquity, as well as being perhaps relevant for today’s transformations in the Middle East.

Walter D. Ward is Assistant Professor of History at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

 

Please use hashtag #AARSBL when sharing on Twitter or Facebook.

Share

Sara Shostak Talks Environmental Health with Human Capital

Sara Shostak’s book, Exposed Science: Genes, the Environment, and the Politics of Population Health, recently received two huge honors from the American Sociological Association: the Eliot Freidson Outstanding Publication Award from the Medical Sociology Section and the Robert K. Merton Book Award from the section on Science, Knowledge, and Technology (SKAT). In this interview with Human Capital, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s blog, Shostak talks about what the awards mean for her, both personally and professionally. She also elaborates on the subject of her book, gene-environment interaction, and its ascendance within the field of environmental health science. The book’s central argument, Shostak explains, is that “scientists’ perceptions of and responses to the structural vulnerabilities of the field of environmental health science have both intended and unintended consequences for what we know about the somatic vulnerabilities of our bodies to environmental exposures.” 

Read the full interview at Human Capital.

Share