“The Other Side” is designed to stimulate your sense of adventure and creativity by spawning the exchange of thoughts. If we are not careful we might just learn something…I know I did when I wrote this. Go ahead. Trying something new and see what is on “The Other Side…”
November 2nd – Election Day
November 7th – Daylight Savings Time Ends
November 11th – Veterans Day
November 25th – Thanksgiving
November 26th – Black Friday
November is a time to look ahead and back all at the same time. Election Day looks ahead to the future of our country, our states, and our local communities. At the same time the tradition of Election Day dates back to 1789 and has been the basis by which we elect our officials to office ever since. We also look back in remembrance of our Veterans on the 11th in a tradition that has only been in place since 1954. Veterans Day grew out of the holiday known as Armistice Day which started in 1919 and commemorated the armistice signed between the Allies of World War I and Germany. The armistice took effect at the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month of 1918 and marked the end of the fighting on the Western Front in World War I. The month ends with the observance of Thanksgiving which was historically a religious observation to give thanks to God. So when the fourth Thursday of November arrives, look around your dinner table and take the time to give thanks for all that you have….
“Thanksgiving dinners take eighteen hours to prepare. They are consumed in twelve minutes. Half-times take twelve minutes. This is not coincidence.“ ~Erma Bombeck – Humorist
A film is a petrified fountain of thought. ~ Jean Cocteau
Aside from Charlie Brown’s Thanksgiving and the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, November is not usually synonymous with movie or television tradition. One tradition that remains alive and well today is the radio broadcast of Arlo Guthrie’s “Alice’s Restaurant” at 12:00 pm each Thanksgiving. The song “Alice’s Restaurant” lasts 18 minutes and 34 seconds and takes up the entire first side of Arlo Guthrie’s (song of Woody Guthrie) 1967 debut album, also titled “Alice’s Restaurant.” The song served as the inspiration for the movie which shared the same name. The song was originally written as a protest song and carried the name “Alice’s Restaurant Massacree”…not Massacre.
The movie “Alice’s Restaurant” was originally released at the Woodstock Festival in 1969 and stars Arlo Guthrie as himself. The movie is a 60’s counterculture movie that tells the true story that begins on Thanksgiving, November 25, 1965, when the 18-year-old Guthrie and his 19-year-old friend Richard Robbins, were arrested by Stockbridge, Massachusetts police officer William “Obie” Obanhein for illegally dumping some of restaurant owner Alice Brock’s garbage after discovering that the town dump was closed for the holiday. Two days later, they pled guilty in court before a blind judge, James E. Hannon. Guthrie and Robbins were fined $50 and told to pick up their garbage.
The song goes on to describe Guthrie’s experience of being called up for the draft, and the bureaucracy at the New York City induction center. As a result of Guthrie’s criminal record for littering, he is sent to the Group W Bench, where draftees wait when they cannot be inducted except under a “moral waiver.” The punch line of the story is that, in the words of Guthrie, “I’m sittin’ here on the Group W bench ’cause you want to know if I’m moral enough to join the army, burn women, kids, houses and villages after bein’ a litterbug.”
The song ends with Arlo telling the listener that should they find themselves facing the draft they should walk into the military psychiatrist’s office and sing, “Shrink, you can get anything you want, at Alice’s restaurant,” and walk out.
Both the movie and the song have been cult classics and due to the story originally occurring on Thanksgiving Day became a part of Thanksgiving tradition and lore for those individuals who grew up in the 1960s. So this Thanksgiving, take a ride up to Stockbridge and check out Alice’s Restaurant (formerly known as “Back Room Rest” and now known as “Theresa’s Stockbridge Café” – 40 Main St., Stockbridge MA), or better yet tune in at noon (WFUV 90.7 or WAXQ 104.3 or Sirius Radio Channel 31) and take a listen to the original recording or simply keep an eye out for the movie this Thanksgiving season.
Upcoming New Movie Releases:
Due Date – Robert Downey Jr., Zach Galiafanakis, Jamie Foxx
Megamind – Brad Pitt, Tina Fey, Will Ferrell
Morning Glory – Harrison Ford, Rachel McAdams, Diane Keaton, Jeff Goldblum
Unstoppable – Denzel Washington, Chris Pine, Rosario Dawson,
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows: Part I – Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint
The Next Three Days – Russell Crowe, Elizabeth Banks, Liam Neeson
Burlesque – Christina Aguilera, Cher, Stanley Tucci, Kristen Bell, Alan Cumming
Faster – Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Billy Bob Thornton
Love and Other Drugs – Jake Gyllenhaal, Anne Hathaway, Hank Azaria, Oliver Platt
If music be the food of love; play on. ~William Shakespeare
Alejandro Escovedo – Street Songs of Love
Name a Chicano rock star – who has been in the business for approximately 35 years – who has recorded 13 albums – who survived a bout with Hepatitis C – who is among Bruce Springsteen’s favorite artists and recorded two songs with him – and who has his roots in punk rock but is just as comfortable performing traditional Mexican music. The first and only name that comes to mind that fits that profile is Alejandro Escovedo. While many people may have never heard of Alejandro Escovedo he is continuing his assent on Music Mountain…one record at a time. In recent years Alejandro Escovedo’s most notable performance involved him performing “Always a Friend” with Bruce Springsteen in Houston TX in April 2008 (See link below).
Alejandro Escovedo’s new album Street Songs of Love includes “Faith”, a new recording including Bruce Springsteen. Other standouts on the album include the rock anthem “Anchor” as well “Down in the Bowery “ Alejandro’s message to his son to be his own man; and “Street Songs” which describes the scene around the Continental Club in Austin, TX. These songs represent a cross-section of the quality that this album delivers and demonstrate the continued refinement of Escovedo’s work.
Upcoming New Music Releases:
Jason Aldean – My Kinda Party
Mariah Carey – Merry Christmas II You
Ciara – Basic Instinct
Elvis Costello – National Ransom
Neil Diamond – Dreams
Brian Eno – Small Craft on a Milk Sea
Good Charlotte – Cardiology
Jamiroquai – Rock Dust Light Star
Huey Lewis and the News – Soulsville
Soulja Boy – The DeAndre Way
Weezer – Death to False Metal
Anita Baker – 21st Century Love
David Banner & 9th Wonder – Death of a Pop Star
Susan Boyle – The Gift
Bush – Everything Always Now
Cee-Lo Green – The Lady Killer
Bing Crosby – The Crosby Christmas Sessions
Bon Jovi – Greatest Hits Collection
Billy Ray Cyrus – I’m American
Reba McEntire – All the Women I Am
Ronnie Spector – The Best Christmas Ever
Josh Groban – Illuminations
El DeBarge – Second Chance
Rascal Flatts – Nothing Like This
Black Eyed Peas – The Beginning
Nelly – 5.0
Pink – Greatest Hits…So Far
Rihanna – Loud
Kid Rock – Born Free
Stereolab – Not Music
Keith Urban – Get Closer
My Chemical Romance – Danger Days: The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys
Kanye West – My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy
Bryan Adams – Bare Bones, Live
Akon – [Title TBD]
Llyod Banks – The Hunger for More 2
Daft Punk – Tron: Legacy
Annie Lennox – A Christmas Cornucopia
Ne-Yo – Libra Scale
Smashing Pumpkins – Teargarden by Kaleidyscope Vol. II ‘The Solstice Bare’
Social Distortion – Hard Times and Nursery Rhymes
Sting – Live in Berlin
Robin Zander – Countryside Blvd.
FOOD FOR THOUGHT
No one ever questions what the main course should be on Thanksgiving. However, there is constant debate over the side dishes – especially the vegetables. What vegetable dishes go best with turkey? Do we have to make the same old vegetable side dishes – the ones we have had for years. Or can we branch out and deny Uncle Charlie his green bean casserole or give Aunt Marie’s tomato aspic a year off? The following are a few vegetable side dish suggestions for the holiday. So why not try something different this Thanksgiving? After all, if it stinks, next Thanksgiving will be here before you know it and you get to try try again…
Best described as a cross between corn pudding and a corn soufflé. This recipe provides a nice alternative to simply serving vegetables. While it is not low fat it is high in flavor and is always met with rave reviews. You can also add 1-2 T of chopped chives for extra flavor and color.
1/2 cup butter, melted
2 eggs, beaten
1 (8.5 oz) package dry corn bread mix
1 (15 oz) can whole kernel corn, drained
1 (14.75 oz) can creamed corn
1 cup sour cream
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C), and lightly grease a 9×9 inch baking dish.
2. In a medium bowl, combine butter, eggs, corn bread mix, whole and creamed corn and sour cream. Spoon mixture into prepared dish.
3. Bake for 45 minutes in the preheated oven, or until the top is golden brown.
Sausage-Stuffed Acorn Squash with Molasses Glaze
An elegant side dish that combines a vegetable with a sausage based stuffing. This can also be made as a vegetarian option by replacing the sausage with portabella mushroom and beef broth with vegetable broth.
4 small acorn squash
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 cup diced red bell pepper
2 large green onions, thinly sliced
1 pound bulk breakfast sausage
1 cup fresh white breadcrumbs
1/2 cup canned beef broth
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup mild-flavored (light) molasses
1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Cut two 3/4-inch-thick slices from center of each acorn squash for a total of 8 slices (reserve ends of squash for another use). Scoop out seeds and fibers from center slices and discard. Arrange squash rings in single layer in 15x10x2-inch baking dish.
2. Melt butter in heavy medium nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add bell pepper and green onions; sauté until tender, about 3 minutes. Transfer to large bowl; cool. Mix in sausage, breadcrumbs, broth, pepper and salt. Mound sausage mixture in the center of squash rings, using about 1/3 cup for each. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate.)
3. Brush sausage and squash with half of molasses. Bake 15 minutes. Brush with remaining molasses and bake until squash are tender and sausage is cooked through, about 25 minutes.
Broccoli and Cauliflower Gratin
When some are asked, the only vegetable they enjoy less than broccoli is cauliflower. This recipe is so good; you will love both vegetables when combined in this easy preparation. After all, the recipe does have cheese…and what isn’t made better with cheese?
4 T unsalted butter
4 slices white sandwich bread torn in pieces
Salt & Pepper
1 head of broccoli
1 head of cauliflower
1 shallot minced
1 garlic clove minced
1 T all-purpose flour
1 ½ C heavy cream
¾ C Parmesan cheese grated
1 tsp minced fresh thyme
Pinch cayenne pepper
1. Melt 2 T butter. Pulse (6 times) the melted butter, bread, ¼ tsp salt, and 1/8 tsp pepper together in a food processor or blender until coarsely ground and set aside.
2. Adjust the oven rack to the middle position and preheat the over to 450 degrees.
3. Bring large pot of salted water (4 quarts) to a boil. Cut the broccoli and cauliflower into 1 inch florets. Boil florets for 5 minutes. Remove from water and rinse florets in cool water to stop the cooking process and drain well.
4. Melt 2 T butter in a 12 inch skillet over medium heat. Add shallot and cook until soft (2 minutes). Stir in garlic until fragrant (30 sec). Stir in flour to coat the vegetables. Whisk in the cream and bring to a boil. Stir in ½ C Parmesan, thyme, nutmeg, cayenne, ¼ tsp salt, and 1/8 tsp pepper.
5. Off the heat, gently stir the cooked broccoli and cauliflower in the cream sauce. Transfer the mixture to a medium sized casserole or baking dish and sprinkle with remaining ¼ C Parmesan cheese and breadcrumb mixture.
6. Bake until golden brown and sauce is bubbling around the edges (about 12 minutes).
An optimist is a person who starts a new diet on Thanksgiving Day. ~Irv Kupcinet – Newspaper Columnist
If you are hosting a Thanksgiving party a signature cocktail can provide party goers with a nice pre-dinner option. Signature cocktails should reflect the occasion without overpowering the taste buds or appetite of the guest. Don’t forget the children either. They too can have signature cocktail. Replace the champagne in the recipe below with Martinelli’s Sparkling Apple Cider.
4 ounces champagne
1 ounce cranberry juice
Whole cranberries, for garnish
Mint leaves, for garnish
Combine well chilled champagne and cranberry juice in a champagne flute. Drop a few whole cranberries in the glass and garnish with mint leaves.
SHOTS ALL AROUND…
• November 10th marks the 41st Anniversary of the debut of Sesame Street. Big Bird still looks great.
• The first NFL style Thanksgiving Day football game was played in 1934 between the Chicago Bears and Detroit Lions but the traditions of playing games on Thanksgiving dates back to 1920.
• New Year’s Eve is just around the corner…start making your party plans. But before that, wish Dick Clark a Happy 80th Birthday on November 30th.
Free Thinking Is Encouraged. Feel free to post your opinions on this month’s topics….