Burning Question #36: Who Will Be At Your Thanksgiving Table?

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Who will be at your Thanksgiving table? I know who will be UNDER my table. But this is about who will be above the table.

Thanksgiving will soon be here. Yes, this week’s Burning Question is about the upcoming holiday. If you don’t celebrate the traditional American (USA) version of Thanksgiving you can still imaging who you would like at your table at any large celebration where there is a lot of conversation and wine. 

Are you tired of the same old Thanksgiving conversations about Uncle Beezie’s corns, or Aunt Lulu’s prize winning rabbit hutches, or why Cousin Karl can’t get his shit together? Wouldn’t it be nice not to have to yell, “Shut the fuck up,” before the turkey is even carved?

Just imagine if you could mix it up a little. What if you could add three more new and interesting famous or semi-famous people (animals or Vampires) to your guest list?

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I’ve complied a list of writers, artists, creative film folks, scientists, and others who I think would be interesting. I can’t guarantee they all like turkey, but that’s ok. Everybody can bring their favorite side dishes and deserts to share.

If you don’t know who someone on the list is just look them up. You ought to be able to find everyone if you do the Google thing.

 

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Burning Question #36: Pick Three Guests to Join Your Thanksgiving Table

Hey, if you have room add up to five more guests. The more the merrier.

To tell the truth my Thanksgiving celebrations have been absolutely wonderful with family and wonderful friends. But hey, we always have an open door and welcome new folks at my home.

I’ll have more on Thanksgiving later. In the meantime put in your vote (you can vote multiple answers on this poll) and add your own thought in the comments.

PLEASE add them in the comments below even if you’ve added something to the “other” choice. That doesn’t always show up.

Have fun.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

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Silver memories of past and future

Together in the filtered light

Counting silver

Memories of parties

Celebrations

Traditions

Long conversations over wine

And cake.

Soon the knives and forks

Minus the moon and a cow

Will go with the spoons

To a new home

With new traditions

New hopes and dreams

And witness more love

Friendship

And life.

 

My husband and daughter are selling silver plate and sterling on ebay this week (Spring break.) She is learning about sales and business and setting a fine table. It is a way for father and daughter to bond and share.

The art of setting a fine table is fading away, but there are times when we should all bring out something special, be it a piece of silver, a crystal vase, or a beautiful set of goblets. Sets of silver plate are inexpensive, often less than stainless you’d get from any modern store. But there is something beautiful and calm and classy about the old patterns. The silver plate is warm and inviting.

Plus you can give your set a story and a history – it doesn’t have to be true, or can be true to you, or just interesting speculation.

Oh, and don’t forget to hang a spoon off of our nose (click here to find out how.)

 

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

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Vampire Thanksgiving

Spice and caramel scented candles

Fresh flowers

A nice bit of Bourbon

Cranberries

Zinfandel and Cabernet

Roasted hazelnuts and cashews

Strong cheese

A turkey in the smoker outside

Mixed blood of musicians and free thinkers

Pumpkin and butternut squash soup

Swiss chard with bacon

An caramelized onion tart with a ground walnut crust

Tart apples and pomegranates.

And a table set with old silver and old friends.

 

Our feast will be simple this year but the main courses will be good conversation and the joy of being together for no reason other than to enjoy each the company of those we love. Be it two or twenty – the goal is the same.

As a rule we don’t have our guests for dinner. It isn’t the way of our Vampire culture, so feel free to drop by (it will be safe.)

Garrett is bringing a few friends home from college to join us – a brother and sister who grew up in boarding schools and have no family near.  Of course all of my brothers, my parents, and quite a few friends are coming. There will be many stories to tell and many more to hear.

I’ll try to cover the entire holiday season starting right now. So more to come… there will be a few glitches but you know how it is being a busy Vampire mom.

 

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

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Savory Vampire Cocktails – or – You Can Have Your Bacon and Drink It Too!

When the weather cools down our entertaining schedule picks up. That means Teddy (my fabulous, handsome, witty and delightful husband) is making his more savory cocktails.

By savory I mean nothing too sweet and specifically drinks with a little meat in them (and blood of course for the Vampire versions.) Some are based on beef broth and others are infused with bacon.

Also, don’t forget to cook with booze. It gives taste and tenderizes food. Plus (for those of you who don’t drink) the alcohol cooks off. Adding a beer to your slow cooker chili will make it fantastic but you won’t get drunk off of it.

 

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Forget the fruit and the fluff.

We’re going for the hard stuff.

 

That’s No Bull Shot

  • 2 ounces vodka
  • 2 oz blood
  • 1/4 fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/2-cup of cold beef concentrate
  • 2-6 dashes of Tabasco or other hot sauce to taste
  • A dash of ground pepper
  • A dash of cayenne pepper
  • A dash of kosher salt

Instructions:

Shake all ingredients in a shaker with liberal amounts of ice. Garnish with a slice of lemon.

Note: If you’re not a Vampire leave out the blood.

 

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Bloody Bovine

  • 2 oz vodka
  • 4 oz of V8 or Trader Joe’s Vegetable Cocktail Juice
  • 4 oz chilled beef concentrate
  • 4 oz blood
  • 1 tsp of peeled and finely grated fresh horseradish (If you don’t have fresh use the kind in the jar. Don’t use the cream horse radish sauce because it will be disgusting.)
  • A pinch celery salt
  • 2 dashes of Worcestershire sauce
  • 3 dashes of Tabasco Sauce or more to taste
  • A liberal sprinkle of ground pepper
  • 1/4 oz fresh lemon juice (just squeeze in a few wedges)
  • And a big green olive or two. Try a blue cheese stuffed one.

Instructions:

Combine everything over ice in a big glass (or two if you want to share). Stir. Ganish with a long piece of fresh red bell pepper.

Note: If you’re not a Vampire leave out the blood.

 

Now Let’s Talk BACON

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It’s all about the bacon. And the news is good.

You can now have your bacon and drink it too.

 

How to make Bacon Washed Booze.

 

You can add bacon flavor to vodka, whiskey or broubon. And it is easy. AND best of all you’ll get to eat the bacon.

This is fantastic in a Bloody Ceasar or Bloody Mary.

 

Bacon Washed Booze

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound good quality bacon
  • 26 ounces vodka, whiskey or bourbon (some people like to use rum too. I say go for it.)
  • 2 quart Mason jars
  • Fine mesh strainer or cheesecloth and funnel
  1. Fry up your bacon on low heat until nicely crisp but not charred. You don’t want to burn it. Pour fat from the pan into a heat-safe bowl (like a Pyrex bowl).
  2. Remove bacon strips and put them on a plate that’s covered with a paper towel. Let stand for five minutes.
  3. Pour alcohol of your choice into a large mason jar.
  4. When the bacon has cooled slightly, add strips into the Mason jar with the alcohol. Pour bacon fat into the jar as well. Let jar stand at room temperature for four hours and stir mixture every hour. Remove the bacon strips (but not the fat)
  5. Put the jar into the freezer overnight. The fat will solidify and rise to the top, scrape as much fat out of the jar as possible.
  6. Using a fine-mesh strainer pour vodka from one jar to a new empty mason jar. The strainer should catch lots of bacon fat and other stuff.
  7. Wash the original jar used and train the bacon infused alcohol one more time into the now clean and empty Mason jar. Enjoy.

 

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Make a dry Bacon Martini and garnish with a strip of bacon. Or try a Smokey Vampire. Yum.

 The Smokey Vampire

  • 2 oz. Bacon Infused Bourbon (or Whiskey)
  • 1/4 oz. maple syrup
  • 2 dashes Angostura bitters
  • Orange juice (just a bit)
  • Blood (just a bit)

In mixing glass, stir 2 ounces bacon-infused bourbon, maple syrup, and bitters with ice. Strain into chilled rocks glass filled with ice. Garnish with bacon and if you want add a splash of orange juice and blood.

Note: If you’re not a Vampire leave out the blood.

 

You gotta love a drinking chimp.

You gotta love a drinking chimp.

 

A word of caution: You can use the bacon booze for just about anything but Teddy advises NOT mixing it with tonic water. Nasty nasty nasty. Save your tonic water for your good gin without the bacon.

 

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Party on Vampires but REMEMBER don’t drink and drive.

Elections and parenting and cats and stupid people and especially stupid Vampires are enough to drive anyone to drink – BUT don’t. Drink to enjoy the flavors and relax and never too much. And of course, never drink and drive (or ride a horse or bicycle while drinking and never drink while rollerskating.) Really, don’t drink and drive. It isn’t worth it.

 

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I just added this one for kicks and grins. You know, the whole Blood and Sand thing. All girls (and some boys) love Valentino, who might… or might not be a Vampire now.

So welcome in the cooler weather (except for my friends in the Southern Hemisphere then have a great summer) with open arms. Don’t bring in the holidays with stress but with a quiet joy. Let go of the crap and start some new traditions. If you don’t like someone don’t spend the holidays with them – give that to yourself as a gift you always wanted.

So cheers! Teddy and I will be bringing you more holiday fun for Thanksgiving, including wine and food and Vampire fun.

xoxoxox

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

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Shopping List for a Vampire Thanksgiving

Cheese of all kinds

New candle tapers

Cinnamon

And Poet’s Blood

Cloves

And Onions

Marrow Bones

And nice red wine

California Zinfandels plus Chardonnay

Swiss Chard and Dark Green Kale

Deep red apples

Winter squash

Blood Oranges

And a Turkey for our Werewolf friends.

A good port

A nice Bourbon

And mulled blood cider

With the warm scent of fresh baked bread and pie for the ghost

And blessings on all for friendship and love

And joy that we can all sit together

In peace and good company.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

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Vampire Cocktails – Teddy’s almost complete list

Everyone loves cocktails – and nobody loves them better than my husband Teddy. Here are a few of our favorites you can enjoy! 

Note: Some of the recipes call for blood (yes, we’re Vampires). If you’re a regular human (non-vampire) it would be really gross for you soooooooooooo – replace “blood” with tomato juice, cranberry juice or orange juice. Just look at the recipe and see what sounds like a good fit – or just leave the blood out completely. It’s ok. We understand.

Hot and Spicy Cinnamon Vampire Cocktail

  • 3 shots Vodka (I like the kind in the blue bottle for mixed drinks)
  • 8 oz. Blood (splurge and make it human)
  • 1/4 tsp. Celery Salt
  • 1/4 tsp. Cinnamon
  • 1 whole Olive (garlic or pimento stuffed)
  • 1 dash Pepper, black
  • 1-2 dashes Pepper, cayenne
  • optional dash Salt
  • 1/4 tsp. Tobasco (you know the first batch ever made was made by Louisiana vampires!)
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp. Worchestershire

Pour it all over ice in a tall chilled glass. Stir. Enjoy!

If you aren’t a vampire replace the blood with tomato juice or V8.

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Blood Sucker

  • 1 cup ice
  • 1 1/2 ounces gin
  • 1/2 ounce cherry-flavored brandy
  • 1/4 ounce triple sec
  • 1/4 ounce blood (your choice)
  • 4 ounces pineapple juice
  • 1/2 ounce lime juice
  • 1/2 ounce grenadine syrup
  • 1 cup ice
  • 1 slice fresh pineapple
  • 1 maraschino cherry

If you aren’t a vampire replace the blood with pineapple juice (or more gin).

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Vampire Head Rush

  • 2 oz Bourbon
  • 12 oz Dark Beer (Teddy Suggests something like Downtown Brown)
  • 2 oz Blood
  • Pour all in a tall glass over ice.

Clara calls it a head rush because she says it looks like something out of a toilet. Middle School humor.

Oh well. 

If you aren’t a vampire leave out the blood.

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Werewolf on the Rocks

  • 3 oz Bourbon
  • Splash of dry Vermouth
  • Splash of Orange Juice
  • A twist of lemon peel
  • Pour over frozen blood balls (ice cubes made from blood poured and frozen in cute little shapes)

If you aren’t a vampire make ice cubes out of orange or cranberry juice (yum).

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Vampire Iced Tea

  • 1 gallon water
  • 12-15 tea bags – any flavor you want. We like a nice strong black tea with a touch of fruit in it. Lady Earl Gray works well. Put tea bags and water in a jar. Put it outside in the sun for about 2-3 hours to brew. Don’t put it on the grass – it won’t get hot enough. A drive way or deck works best.
  • 1 jar (32 oz) of unsweetened Cranberry Juice (we like Trader Joes)
  • 12 oz blood
  • Artificial sweetener of your choice to taste (remember dear human visitors that we don’t handle sugar well)
  • Mix it all up and pour over ice with a sprig of mint and a sprig of rosemary.
  • Adults – add a large slosh of Vodka or Bourbon to the mix for some extra punch to this punch!

If you aren’t a vampire replace the blood with more cranberry juice, orange juice or more vodka.

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Vampire Nuts

Kids and adults like this mix. If teen boys are around I usually triple the recipe.

  • 1½ cup hazelnuts (roasted)
  • ½ cup pumpkin seeds (roasted)
  • 1 cup whole cashews (roasted)
  • 1/2 cup walnuts halves or pieces (roasted)
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh sage
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh rosemary leaves
  • 2 tablespoons Grade A maple syrup
  • ¾ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tsp powered blood (optional – be I recommend – it adds a bit of bite to the nuts)

1. Preheat the oven to 400°. In a medium bowl, combine the hazelnuts, pumpkin seeds, cashews, sage, thyme, maple syrup, cayenne pepper, sea salt and black pepper. Spread the mixture on a baking sheet or stone (I like using my stone) and place in the oven. Bake, stirring occasionally, until browned and fragrant, about 15 minutes.

2. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool slightly. Serve warm or at room temperature.

If you aren’t a vampire leave out the powdered blood.

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And the perfect cocktail to go with those nuts is…

Nocturnal Summer Cooler

  • 6 limes
  • 1 cup packed mint leaves, no stems, plus 6 sprigs for garnish
  • 3 unwaxed cucumbers
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 2 cups gin (we like the kind in the green bottle)
  • 1 cup purified blood
  • Sparkling water

1. Thinly slice 3 limes and place in a pitcher. Juice the rest and add juice to pitcher. Add mint leaves. Slice 2 cucumbers and add, then add sugar. Stir. Add gin. Place in refrigerator  30 minutes or longer.

2. Peel remaining cucumber and cut lengthwise into 6 spears.

3. Fill 6 highball or other large glasses with ice. Strain mixture from pitcher into each. Top with a splash of sparkling water, garnish each glass with a sprig of mint and a cucumber spear, and serve. You can also garnish with a sprig of rosemary for a more savory taste.

If you aren’t a vampire replace the blood with your favorite juice (we like cranberry or blueberry)

And as always, don’t drink and drive!

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman