Post #436 5 Great Turkey Day Nibbles

November 23, 2015 at 3:07 PM | Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

The Great Feast Day is upon us.  This year, since I’m working on the day, the feast is being orchestrated by Partner/Spouse and a friend.  I know nothing of the plans and will know nothing of the plans until 4:30pm Thursday when I will arrive home to a chilled glass of wine and whatever sumptuous spread is placed before me.  Dinner will be around six, plenty of time to have another glass of wine and nibble something delectable before the big meal.

The store I work at now is a higher end grocery store (for this area) and started being busy about two weeks ago.  I get a kick out of talking with the customers about recipes and plans for their feast and sharing recipes that I’ve used in the past.

For instance, last night a lady and her son, about 13 or so, were buying a large package of sliced pepperoni.  I asked what she was planning to do with it.

“It’s for him, he loves the stuff.  He’ll probably just put it on crackers and chow down.”

I looked at her son who was bagging as fast as I was ringing through the items.  “Have you ever tried pepperoni crisps?” I asked him.

He shook his head but looked expectant.  I turned back to the mom and said, “Lay the pepperoni slices in a single layer on a baking sheet.  Heat your oven to 425 and bake them for fifteen minutes.  When they cool down, they turn crispy and you can eat them just like that.”

Both of them said, “Ooooohh!” at the same time.  It was like stereo.  Kid says, “Mom, can we try that tonight?”

Her reply was, “We’ll heat the oven while we’re putting the groceries away.”

Sounds like I made a couple of fans.

A week or so ago, I was bagging for one customer and he brought up a full stalk of Brussels Sprouts.  I haven’t seen them on the stalk in ages and said so.  We started swapping simple recipes for them and he told me he was going to try one he’d read about on FB recently.

Clean the sprouts and cut them in half.  Lay them face down on a lightly oiled baking sheet and roast them without moving them around until the outer leaves are brown and crispy.  Let them cool, then spread a light layer of cream cheese on them and top with a variety of things like dill relish, bacon, prosciutto, parmesan, bleu cheese, etc.  Then eat them.

We sell a lot of fresh herbs, some that are growing in tiny pots.  We sell mostly fresh basil that way since it’s the one that most people know.  One lady had two Asian pears and a pot of basil.  She was going to slice the pear thin into cracker sized pieces.  Then she was going to marinate them in a white balsamic vinegar.  Just before serving, she was going to shake the vinegar off and lay them flat on a plate and place a single basil leaf on each one.  The combination of flavors, she said, was exquisite and the dish itself was incredibly simple to make.

One couple came through recently and I noted they had a package of puffed pastry and a small round Brie.  I said, “Someone’s going to bake a Brie, aren’t they?”

They both laughed and said yes.  I told them about the restaurant her in home town that sells the best baked Brie and told them how it was done.

Just after I finished, watching their grins, I noticed the other ingredients for the exact dish coming down the belt at me.  We all shared a laugh as the guy told me they were making that dish, but with raspberries instead of strawberries.  They even had the drizzle of honey and balsamic right.  So I told them to mash the berries slightly so they’d absorb more of the flavors.

Just last night, a lady overheard me talking about a recipe and asked my advice for something simple but impressive to take to an office gathering.

I asked if she like cucumbers and told her to slice an English cucumber thinly, spread the rounds with a light layer of cream cheese, then top with anything she like just as she would crackers.  I told her to mix it up and to slice the cukes on a bias to get different shapes.  She loved the idea and we talked about the things to put on top until I had to get to the next customer.  She promised to come back and let me know how it goes.

Well, I hope you like the ideas and I hope you have a great holiday.  I’ll be back on a regular basis soon!

As always,



  1. I am not a pepperoni fan, and so I won’t be crisping any soon, but I loved that story and can hear that little boy saying “Oooh.”
    As for Brussels Sprouts, I am all about roasting them with bacon and red onion and then drizzling a little Balsamic reduction over the top.

    • We do the onion and balsamic, too, but usually as a side dish/salad kind of thing. Recently, we’ve gotten into reducing balsamic into a syrup. Once you get beyond the acrid stage as the vinegar simmers off, you’re left with a tart and sweet glaze to drizzle over anything. As Guy Fieri says, “I’d eat an old flip flop with that stuff on it.” Have a great holiday!

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