A.G. Newsletter #102: Thanksgiving, Grandma, 2nd Ave. Deli, Szechuan Gourmet Delivery, Bklyn Larder & A Skeleton Twins Set Visit



Hey Newsletter Fans,

Did you all have good Thanksgivings? Are you tired of cooking? I just posted the easiest weeknight dinner recipe ever...I even put "easy" in the title: Easy Tomato Soup and Grilled Cheese. Give it a go if you're looking for something stress-free to make this post-Thanksgiving week.

And speaking of Thanksgiving, mine was very lovely, thank you for asking. My sister-in-law, Tali, and her family hosted dinner again. Here's Tali and her sister Mia presenting a delicious appetizer of goat-cheese-stuffed dates wrapped in bacon:



Here's Tali's and Mia's dad, Craig, with the turkey that he roasted:



In addition to that, his boss deep-fried a turkey for us, so we had two turkey options at the table:



This was my first deep-fried turkey and I really enjoyed it. The skin was super crisp and the meet extra moist.

Thanksgiving, of course, is also a time to re-connect with family. I got a big kick out of finally sharing my cookbook with my grandparents:



Speaking of my cookbook, I was so happy to hear from so many of you that your books finally arrived. I hope that you're enjoying them! And if you're REALLY enjoying them, don't be afraid to write a review online. No, really. Being afraid of that is silly. Just saying.

Back in New York, I went straight from the airport to The 2nd Ave. Deli near where I'm staying on the Upper East Side. I once did a post where I suggested the 2nd Ave. Deli as the perfect venue for a "welcome back to New York" meal. It's totally true. Nothing welcomes you back to New York better than a big bowl of matzoh ball soup:



Which comes, by the way, with pickles and coleslaw and bread. The Dr. Brown's Black Cherry Soda and New Yorker magazine cost extra. I had that soup and half a corned beef sandwich:



By itself, the corned beef is very good; but slathered with the spicy mustard they keep on the table? It's sublime. (I emphasize that because this woman at the table next to me was complaining that they didn't have "plain yellow mustard"... lady, if you want plain yellow mustard, go back to Arkansas!) (Sorry, I don't know why I said "Arkansas" I could've said "Wisconsin" or "Ohio" or any place that's not New York where plain yellow mustard is prevalent. Not that there's anything wrong with plain yellow mustard. Please don't be insulted and write a bad review of my book because I insulted you, your state or your mustard.)

On Saturday night, when I got back, Craig had a big fancy dinner with his movie's investor and producer, etc., so I used Seamless Web for the first time and ordered Chinese food from Szechuan Gourmet just down the street. I've gone there many times, now, and really enjoy their braised fish in chili miso sauce...it's pretty wonderful. So are their spicy pork dumplings. So I ordered those spicy pork dumplings, which were great upon delivery:



But because a whole braised fish seemed ridiculous for one, I ordered a Szechuan Chicken dish that supposedly came cooked in peppers. It wasn't very good, I must say:



Still, I liked ordering Chinese food for myself. That's something I never did in L.A.... it's certainly a wonderful convenience.

Yesterday, Sunday, was the first day of Craig's film shoot. In case you're like "what are you talking about?" Craig's directing a movie that he co-wrote called "The Skeleton Twins" starring Kristen Wiig and Bill Hader. Yesterday, he was shooting scenes with Bill and Ty Burrell who you probably know best from "Modern Family." Before I got to set, I decided to scarf down a sandwich at Bklyn Larder in Park Slope.

That's ham and Gruyere on toasted bread with aoili and pickles:



While eating this, I got the call that I had 10 minutes to get to the set before they were moving locations, so I literally shoved that whole plate in my mouth and swallowed it whole, like a snake, while I ran to set.

Turns out: they were already at their 2nd location setting up. Here's the sign that pointed people in the right direction:



When I got to this particular set (a bar in Park Slope) I was really nervous to walk in. I'd never been on a film set before. But as soon as I arrived, Craig was there to say hello and introduce me to everyone, including Bill and Ty and I was only slightly intimidated because they're both super nice. Ty joked about how they featured my cookbook in a shot in the first scene--which took place in a book store--and I promised I'd send him royalties.

Here's what a film set looks like:



It was very exciting at first, and super cool to see Craig directing the actors (I'd never seen him direct before, except when he's like "I don't like the couch over here" or "this pasta dish needs more cheese"). Here's the clapboard thingie with his name on it:



So there you are... a behind the scenes look at a movie in progress.

And that's all for this week, folks!

Until next time....

Your friend,
Adam (The Amateur Gourmet)

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