Hello friends and welcome to another fine Sunday! Today we hear from our friend Toby Lowenfels. Settle in – it’s a good one! xo Joy
Hi, JTB friends! It’s Toby again with a bit of an SOS situation. Anybody have ideas for a good Thanksgiving side to serve for my dad who has Celiac? He’s been a lifelong potato-hater, so he’s always passed on our beloved sweet potato casserole. Now, he’s suddenly decided he doesn’t like rice, which I guess is something you can get away with when you’re 84 years old. Please let me know and, in the meantime, here are some bits of Internet that are *almost* as good as Mom’s sweet potato casserole. Enjoy!
• By far the best thing to come out of the pandemic was The Masked Hatter, who quickly became one of my favorite follows. Using her exquisite collection of hats and masks, Elizabeth Sobieski creates selfies that double as lessons in fashion history. Absolutely brilliant. (Instagram)
• Frayed is back for Season 2 and I am pumped. Sarah Kendall plays Sammy, a foul-mouthed mother who’s forced to return to her hometown in Australia after the death of her husband. The way she contorts her body and face makes her the funniest character since Elaine Benes IMHO. (HBO Max)
• A thread to brighten any day: tell me about the time you laughed so hard you cried. (Twitter)
• Halloween has come and gone but candy trades are still going strong in our house. Seeing our kids bite a single M&M in half using their baby teeth reminded me of this extensive review of all of the different M&M flavors. Ah, siblings. (Insider)
• Shiny, happy Piera Gelardi influenced me into buying this cutting board which doubles as kitchen art. The price tag is slightly scary so be prepared. But! I never knew I could feel this way about a piece of cookware. It now has a permanent spot on my countertop where I dreamily stare into it. (Uncommon Goods)
• Life goal: turning an entire room into a personal library. “There are about 8,000 of the buggers, thanks to more than 40 years of devoted reading and an unwillingness to let go of old friends.” (The Guardian)
• The new Spirtualized single, “Always Together with You,” is a stunning piece of eye and ear candy. The video reminds me of the scene in 5th Element when Leeloo learns that her purpose is to save humanity even though there’s this little thing we have called “war.” (YouTube)
• Here’s the kind of hard-hitting journalism we need right now: Pete Davidson’s Dating History. Maybe there’s a convincing case for the idea that he might actually be charming? (Glamour)
• My recipe notes for Joy’s Mediterranean Salmon Parcels were “very yum, served w/ rice, no changes,” which means it’s a perfect weeknight dinner for the entire fam. Even the kiddos skipped their usual complaints, which is saying a lot. This one’s for sure going into the rotation. (Joy the Baker)
• It’d most definitely benefit everybody to take some time on this fine Sunday morning to soak up the wisdom of Joni Mitchell via The Useful Human Truth: Nine Lessons. What an icon. (Jim Carroll’s Blog)
• One thing I’m not into is makeup. Embarrassingly, I’ve worn the same four Clinique products since the 8th grade. But that doesn’t stop me from inhaling every issue of Beauty IRL, a newsletter from reporter Darian Symoné Harvin. It’s full of product advice I’ll probably never heed but she covers the beauty industry in a way that’s smart and interesting. And that I’m into. (Substack)
• I cosign everything in this crafty post on 20 Things I Don’t Want To See In The Metaverse as we all continue to sift through this weird point in time/media/space. (Bustle)
• Storytime with Seth Rogen is a solid option if you’re looking for a fun podcast with a short runtime. His signature stoner laugh punctuates most of the conversations throughout, which is a delight. And I love the overall premise, which is that everyone has at least one good story. Oh, did I mention Paul Rudd is a guest? Enough said. (Earwolf)
• Recently, I was lamenting to my friend, Jenelle, that I can’t find persimmons in Nashville. “Bummer,” she replied, “but at least you have pawpaws.” Record scratch. I’ve never even heard of this Tennessee fruit. I’m going to see if I can find some in the wild and will report back. (Travel Awaits)
• Few contemporary poets have the effect on me that Eileen Myles does. I’ll walk around for entire years at a time with one of her lines rattling through my brain. In this case, a line from Cool for You—discovered via Louise Erdrich’s new novel, The Sentence—ends with this stunner: “To think you might wind up eating it one day, looking around, the day you forgot who you were.” You gotta read the whole passage for the full effect. You just do. (Eileen Myles)
• And, finally, it’s officially Holiday Movie Season. Here are some of my faves. (What’s Up Moms)
Toby Lowenfels is a writer & mother living in Nashville. You can follow her daily musings @tobyfels.
I’ve also created my own library when I moved in this flat and everyone was like ‘you’ll need that space for other stuff’, I didn’t care, created my personal library, and now everyone loves it!!
So happy you mentioned Frayed. As an Australian who loves this series I am glad to see it getting some love overseas.
Hi Toby, I also have Celiac and can’t eat rice either because it sort of brings on the same symptoms as if I ate wheat. I understand your dad! Sweet potato casserole can easily be made without gluten (roasted sweets or pureed sweets with pecans, brown sugar, and cinnamon on top is east peasy) and there are so many other good sides that can be made using gf crackers as breadcrumbs like broccoli casserole, mashed potato casserole, etc. Cranberry sauce is naturally gf too. Just be careful of brines and/or rubs for the turkey (some might have weird stuff inside). Use pulverized gf cookies to make a press-in crust for pie (pumpkin or Joy’s sweet potato pie are gf without the crust!). It’s much easier than it seems! Good luck!!
I am also a Celiac (I can totally understand the hatred of rice, rice is in everything gluten free nowadays) and one of my favorite Thanksgiving side-dishes is the roasted brussel sprouts with a warm honey glaze from Bon Appetite: https://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/roasted-brussels-sprouts-with-warm-honey-glaze
OR their cornbread stuffing with sausage (it’s amazing and we make it every year now as a staple!) : https://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/cornbread-stuffing-with-sausage-and-corn-nuts
I hope your father enjoys whatever recipes you choose to make, and I hope your holidays are magical!
You can buy persimmons through Misfit Markets and they ship to TN! I’m in Knoxville and just got a few delivered this weekend.
We made Smitten Kitchen’s Winter Squash and Spinach Pasta Bake the day that she posted it and it was ABSOLUTELY AMAZING. There are notes in the comments for making it gluten free. (Off to watch people laugh, which makes me so, so happy!). https://smittenkitchen.com/2021/10/winter-squash-and-spinach-pasta-bake/
I’ve heard of a brand that makes a mashed potato dish out of hearts of palm that’s supposed to taste exactly like masked potatoes. There’s a recipe on FlavCity website where they use it for a shepards pie! Looks so good!
Gastropod has a great episode on pawpaws if you have 30 min to spare. I love all of their content, but the pawpaw episode was a favorite!
Thank you for the Twitter thread about laughing until you cried. That was the absolutely best way to start my day!
Same and so true!