Amy Eddings is the local host of “All Things Considered,” which airs from 4 PM until 8 PM weekdays. She started hosting in 2004, after long-time host JoAnn Allen left for the West Coast. Before ATC, Amy was a reporter. Her favorite topics were--and still are--garbage and recycling, which she still reports on whenever she can get out of the studio.
Giving Thanks Around the (Newsroom) Table
Thursday, November 22, 2012
When you can't eat with the ones you love, love eating with the ones you're with. Or something like that, with apologies to Crosby, Stills and Nash.
I worked on Thanksgiving Day: noon to 8 p.m. It meant that, unless I was willing to cook through the night and eat turkey with all the trimmings with my morning cup of coffee, I'd be missing out on a traditional sit-down feast with my best buddies. (My family and my in-laws are in Ohio and Illinois.)
Well, I count my colleagues among my friends, too. So, those of us who drew the short straw on this national holiday decided to bring the feast to the WNYC newsroom while bringing the news to those traveling o'er the river and through the Holland Tunnel to Grandmother's house.
I felt sorry for you listeners stuck in that long, spirit-dampening line at the tunnel. It inched along Varick Street, outside our studio doors. There wasn't a traffic cop in sight, even at Varick and West Houston, a critical intersection.
I heard drivers saying things to other drivers that were not coming from a place of thanksgiving and counted blessings.
I brought the turkey, and I was darn proud of it. I soaked it in a brine, a recommendation I heard Food Network chef Alton Brown tell NPR's Melissa Block on All Things Considered. Brown's recipe calls for rubbing the skin with canola oil and roasting the bird at 500° for 30 minutes, then lowering the temp to 350° for another 2 to 2½ hours. The bird browned up beautifully, but the skin wasn't as crispy and crunchy as it looked. That may be due to it still being moist when I stuck it in the oven, despite my best attempts to dry it off with paper towels. If I had more time, I would have let it dry out in the refrigerator.
I'm happy to report the meat was tender and perfect, not dry at all. I also brought in cabbage, finely shredded and sautéed in butter, with yellow onions, until tender, and my new autumnal addiction, kabocha squash. WQXR host Clayelle Dalferes added cinnamon carrots to the sides for our work feast.
While WNYC digital data master John Keefe contributed his ever-present smile. "I wish I'd have known you guys were doing this," he said.
"I wish I'd known you were the editor for the day, and I'd have roped you in," I responded.
WNYC Weekend ATC host Marc Garber brought cornbread stuffing. He heated it up in the microwave/convection oven in the café and had the entire 8th floor smelling sweetly of corn.
ATC producer Javier Guzman brought an arugula salad with walnuts and goat cheese, a far cry from the arroz con turkey his Puerto Rican-born mom would make.
Announcer Eddie Robinson worked a morning shift, but left dessert for those of us working the afternoon and evening hours. He bought it and toted it in the day before. Despite a large yellow Post-It note reading, "DO NOT TOUCH," some gremlin had already eaten half of it.
Oh well, fewer morning-after regrets for the rest of us. And one serious case of indigestion for them.
No regrets here for working on Thanksgiving Day. My delightful colleagues made it pleasurable, with their company and their food offerings. I hope you had as delicious a day at your Thanksgiving gathering, wherever it was staged.