I’d like to tell you about some delicious foods in my hometown and they come from a little place called Edible Underground.
When I say “a little place” I mean an old Masonic Lodge outside of Frenchtown that I sometimes used to do gymnastics at when I was 10. I don’t know what a Masonic Lodge really is and I don’t know why I was doing gymnastics there. I think the gymnastics gym was too small or something.
I don’t really know. It was 1994.
This is about Edible Underground though. And now, in 2020, Edible Underground is there. I also don’t know what makes it “underground.” In my mind what makes it underground is that it’s in this nondescript place and you don’t even know it’s there. Not even a sign to announce its existence. At least I didn’t notice a sign. But I’m not very observant.
They do meals on Mondays and Thursdays, and they announce what the meals are going to be on their instagram!
They may also put it on Facebook but I’m not really a Facebook person because I’m tired of hearing opinions I don’t like. And that’s called curating what you consume to preserve your own sanity.
So you order a few days ahead and then the day of you pull in for pickup and go to the back of the building and they hand you a bag. And then you take it home and you eat it.
AND IT IS GREAT.
According to my parents, during the shelter in place times of early spring, they also delivered. But now it’s pickup only. But that’s okay, it’s worth riding over there. It’s not even far. Calm down.
The gals that run the show there seem really cool and also very excited about delicious foods and making them and sharing them with you. This is not a piece of official journalism so I don’t have their names or any quotes from them. But just know that the vibe is a good one.
A couple of weeks ago I came home to my parents’ and the meals of the night on a Thursday were blackened catfish with blistered tomatoes, corn, and shishito peppers, and beef sloppy joes. Also a manicotti option but we didn’t get that one. And then chocolate and caramel turnovers for dessert.
THIS FOOD WAS GOD DAMN DELICIOUS.
I obviously loved the catfish because I love the chicken of the rivers, streams, lakes, and seas. And those chickens are fish.
My dad got the beef sloppy joes and we tried some and it was also amazing. There was a celery taste in the joes that I had never before experienced in joes and it was transcendent.
The desserts were great too! I don’t think I ever had a turnover before then? But now I can proudly say I enjoy them. Like why the hell not.
I really love Edible Underground. I keep wanting to say Edible “Arrangements” and I like those too but that’s not what it is. It’s Edible Underground and it’s delicious. And that’s all I have to say for now.
Thanksgiving is the fourth Thursday in November. Maybe you already knew that, but it is. I actually question if you all DID know that, because the fourth Thursday in November was late AF this year and I saw a lot of people being super confused about it. Just like, stumbling down the street, not knowing which day the fourth Thursday of November is. Don’t be ashamed, it’s okay. Actually no, be ashamed. You’re a dumb dumb.
It’s the fourth Thursday in November. Not the third.
Sometimes I think of this blog as simply an extension of my Instagram and that’s how I’m going to treat it today. An expanded canvas for sharing some shit that happens on my Thanksgiving every year. Or happened specifically this year, on this fourth Thursday in November.
I love Thanksgiving because it is simply and blatantly and unabashedly and only about food. You can say that it’s about like “giving thanks” or “being with family” but you are doing both or either of those things because the food brought you there. It called to you and convinced you to leave your home or invite people to your home. You came for the food. And that’s okay! Just let it happen. Just enjoy the food. You’re celebrating the harvest, after all.
The harvest that we have available to us 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year because we live in a first world country. But a harvest, nonetheless.
My niece and nephew, aka my brother’s family, come to my parent’s house every other year and this was a off year so we had a bit less stress and running around the morning of because I guess my mom doesn’t really give a crap about much if they’re not here. Which like…cool.
Because we had time to go on a walk by the river in the Delaware and Raritan Canal State Park and get some fresh air and exercise. I think that’s really important to do before you eat everything in front of your face within a 10 foot radius for 5 hours straight.
Once home, it was time for coffee and Bailey’s and then to get dressed and prettied up and then do a whole list of other shit.
The first thing I need to get done this year was a chicken photo shoot. You knew that was coming. It was chilly and windy outside but the chickie gals seemed amenable to photos. Kind of.
Following the chicken photo shoot, I did my yearly preparation of the cheesy bread. As I’ve said before I haven’t always been much of a cook and I’m still not but I’m more open to learning now. My previously established role of “cheesy bread maker” involves my mom preparing the bread dough (however that happens) and then providing me with the dough, cheese, and muffin tins to put the cheesy bread into to get it ready to cook. Which she then does.
This requires minimal effort from me, and I made a timelapse.
You may see me exit during the cheesy bread making, and it’s because my dad called from the living room, “OMG SHAN GET OUT HERE RIGHT NOW!” And I ran out and he was watching the Easton/PBurg football game on live TV and this seemed like a big deal. This high school football game has been happening on the fourth Thursday of November since 1933 and it is insane. It is a LEGENDARY rivalry (apparently it ended in a straight up FRACAS this year?!) I do hate sports but there’s something about rivalries that encompass ENTIRE TOWNS in TWO DIFFERENT STATES that just feels impressive to me. I encourage you to read more about both of those places because they’re a TRIP. Actually hold that thought, I’ll write more about them and you can read about it here. Not today though.
After the cheesy bread was prepared I had to set the table. I have no idea how to set a table like “the right way” and I pretty much just wing it so who knows if this is correct.
Perhaps I could have googled it before I did it but I didn’t. I googled it just now but I didn’t read this. But if you read it you’ll know how to set a table better than me and you can hold that over my head forever, I’ll allow it.
Once the table was set it was TIME. FOR. MIMOSAS. Because mimosas are everything, when drinking in the day. My mom gets these little tiny baby orange juices from her school because she’s a lunch lady and half of one is perfect for a mimosa-sized OJ dose. Personally I used a quarter of one, if you’re counting.
My sister and her boyfriend arrived and then my grandma and my uncle, and it was time for cheese and crackers. Which frankly may be one of my most favorite times. We drank our mimosas and waters and black cherry sodas and green apple cider (but like beer cider) and red wines and ate cheese and crackers and talked about shit.
And then it was time for “dinner” but it was like 2 in the afternoon but either way it was time.
I chose pineapple stuffing my sister made, au gratin potatoes, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, cheesy bread (THE FRUIT OF MY LABOR!), and white meat turkey. I don’t like dark meat turkey because it is slimy and slippery and awful. I’m entitled to that opinion.
Also, I had a difficult time with turkey today because the Audubon Society’s Instagram was full of awesome wild turkey facts this week and they made me feel really weird about eating turkey today. So I just had a nibble. And I’m sorry turkeys of the world, and of the wild. Did you know turkeys are like OG AMERICANS? I knew that but not everyone at work did when I told them the other day so just making sure you know. You’re welcome.
Following the dinner foods I had some pumpkin pie with vanilla ice cream. My mom got 3 pies but I’m not huge on pie so I just ate the pumpkin. I brought cookies from the Milkbar flagship too! And the cookies were enjoyed. IMMENSELY. BY ALL.
After the ceremonial stuffing of faces I challenged my sister and her boyfriend to a “Planksgiving” activity that I was inspired to do by Taylor at JaneDO in Jersey City.
AND I WON. I AM THE STRONGEST.
Recently my boyfriend didn’t help me lift someone drunk up out of his hot tub because he was too busy looking on and saying “Shannon is strong, she can do it…watch!” And I am, in fact, strong. And they did, in fact, watch.
And they all went home to their families on this fourth Thursday of November and told their families about it, I just know it. And then I won Planksgiving forever.
After the meal and the fun and the planking, we gathered all of the dirty dishes into a laundry basket so my mom could forget about them until tomorrow. It’s a real tradition here and it’s nice for my mom. Or dad because he usually washes them. But always tomorrow because who needs to deal with that shit today.
As my leftover meal I made these sliders with cheesy bread, pepper jack cheese, white meat turkey, and strawberry/jalapeño jelly. They were fantastic.
How was your Thanksgiving? Happy Thanksgiving, by the way! I hope it was grand. Did you also do Planksgiving? What is your fav food to eat? Did you eat until you felt sick? I’m really glad I didn’t do that. I’ll say it again for the cheap seats. Any time I don’t eat until I feel sick when that much food is available is a real victory. But I AM tired. Bye.
Thanksgiving Eve is the holiday you didn’t ask for. It’s also the high school reunion you didn’t ask for.
I started to write this and then I thought, “Wait maybe I like Thanksgiving Eve? …I don’t know. I can’t decide.”
I think I pretty much dislike most things that take me back to high school world, and that’s a purpose Thanksgiving Eve served for many years.
Is it cliche to LOVE high school or is it cliche to HATE high school? Hashtag “why not both?” I mean I hated it but I feel like people would read that and say “psh, someone like her WOULD <eye roll>.”
I just didn’t like that my high school was so small! I just wanted to do whatever I wanted and not have anyone know or gossip about it or even think about it ever! Why was that so much to ask?!
Maybe Thanksgiving Eve started during college? Is that the day we went home for “Thanksgiving break”? I think the more important question is why I can’t remember.
Okay it’s coming back to me. I think in college we must have gone to The Ship Inn on Thanksgiving Eve. And everyone was like “omggggg hiiiii” and it’s was like <internal eye roll> “omgggg hiiii” right back. Nothing against The Ship Inn though. Love that place.
At one point I believe my sister and her friends chartered an ACTUAL LIMOUSINE to chauffeur them around while they were getting LIT AF on Thanksgiving Eve. Am I remembering this correctly? Let me know.
Thanksgiving Eve became that first “return to home” of adulthood where you haven’t seen everyone you grew up with for a few months and it feels super weird to see them and some of them have different hair or gained 15 or more lbs, or in the the direct inverse developed some kind of Adderall habit and LOST 15 or more lbs, and there’s really no easy way to deal with it. Because it’s essentially your first time as a young person having to make this dumb kind of “catch up small talk” and act like you care. And everyone feels like they have to live up to some kind of standard and bla bla bla and ugh it’s so boring.
For some reason I was thinking about it today and it just made me feel bored and exhausted. And just completely over it. And I felt so glad I’m not doing that tonight. Sorry if you are, sucks to be youuuuu…
Now, as grownup grownups, or like people older than 28, fun stuff happens close to our homes. Our actual homes, not our ancestral homes. I know for a fact that Jersey City has fun shit happening tonight at Porta, Lucky 7, South House, and LITM. And maybe some other places too but I don’t know. Look it up.
I’ve never been around JC for the Thanksgiving Eve fun and I def have FOMO. I have FOMO a lot lately because I haven’t been going out as much. Hope you’re having fun out there without me everyone.
For the last couple of years my friend Kim has been having a wine tasting party at her house in Morristown on Thanksgiving Eve and it has been THE BEST. This year it is postponed because everyone is busy with babies or whatever. Ah well, another thing to add to my “reasons not to have babies” list. (*”Reasons not to have babies but still be cool to the babies related to you and your friends” list).
Well…I guess those are my thoughts on Thanksgiving Eve. What are YOUR thoughts on Thanksgiving Eve? Do you take the day off? Do you travel home on this day? Is it bananas? Do you still have informal high school reunions every year? Have you ever commissioned a STRAIGHT UP LIMO to drive you and your friends around? Just wondering.
Halloween is over. Once Halloween is over it feels like fall is also over and it is suddenly Xmas and winter.
But it is NOT!
Fall is still here! These photos were taken TODAY, November 2, in Frenchtown, NJ.
EVIDENCE OF FALL’S EXISTENCE REMAINS.
IT IS NOT WINTER UNTIL DECEMBER 21st.
The time changes tonight and we “fall behind” and it will be so so dark at like 4:30pm and I will need to bask by my SAD lamp for a minimum of two hours a day and shove vitamin D down my throat until I regain the will to live.
But before that happens, some bits of Halloween are hanging on and those that truly believe will hold them close as long as they can.
Some scarecrows were still standing in Frenchtown on this fine day. And they were weird. It seemed like the kids that made them made up scary background stories about the scarecrows and I guess that’s pretty fun but also creepy. But maybe that was the point!
I only saw about 5, and 4 of them were in a sad state of disrepair. I think after this weekend they’ll probably all be gone. And I will miss them.
I usually come out to my parents’ house in Milford/Frenchtown every couple of weeks to play outside and do other fun country shit, but this year I’ve been super busy in JC or elsewhere every weekend so I didn’t really get to be out here for much fall stuff and I’m pretty sad about it.
One of the good things about a holiday being over is the CLEARANCE SHOPPING that comes after! Candy is on sale! Decorations are on sale! Toys and costumes are on sale! You can stock up on all the stuff you’ll need for the next year when the holiday comes around again. Even though you’ll put it somewhere and forget it’s there and have to buy it all again at full price. That’s usually what happens to me.
My 5 year old nephew is the King of Halloween and today we went to visit him and his 3 year old sister and he greeted us with a FULL SPREAD of Halloween fun that he got on sale.
He was super pumped that he got it and that it was Halloween Stuff, but he was ALSO pumped that he got it ON SALE and I was like yes of course, you belong in this family come join us on our sale shopping sprees forever and ever.
He presented us with all of his finds one by one and showed us how everything worked and even had the price and percent off breakdown for some. He is a genius.
The King of Halloween also reported that he has “had his eye on” this particular zombie over the whole last month, every time they went to Party City he checked on it, and he FINALLY got to get it this week because it was ON SALE. And he was glad.
He’s also depressed that Halloween is over I’ve been told, but he seemed okay today! Like he was still having fun. The Spirit (of) Halloween lives on for those that truly believe and it can never die, even in the cold of winter.
Don’t laugh, it’s true.
Are you sad Halloween is over? Did you get any good Halloween stuff ON SALE? What are your plans to enjoy the fall that we still have left?