persimmon3This isn’t your typical family concoction. I’m bringing you a musky, earthy cocktail for tonight’s feasting and a “country noir” novel to boot (sure to satisfy any mutinous feelings brought on by the ensuing family gathering). Daniel Woodrell is mostly known for his chilling, dark and exquisite Winters Bonemade into the 2010 film featuring an up-and-coming Jennifer Lawrence–but when I pull him off the shelves these days, it is for his collection of short stories in The Outlaw Album.” Deeply tender and sinister, Woodrell’s shorts take place in the Ozarks and are even more biting than his novels. In language reminiscent of Flannery O’Connor and Truman Capote, Woodrell illumines the interior desires and even sadistic needs of his characters, showing us only the mercy they offer themselves.

Sidenote: Should you prefer your dark with a taste of humor, Jess Walker is your man for this Thanksgiving. Set in Spokane, Washington, Citinzen Vince gives you crime from the viewpoint of the criminal in a gritty and hilarious look at American democracy.

To accompany “The Outlaw Album” and Citizen Vince, a flask of whiskey might be more appropriate. But for today, I would suggest this cocktail (which we made as a mocktail) that has been steeping in my kitchen all morning:

a hands of ginger

4 ripe hachiya persimmons, pulp scooped, pureed, and strained

8 oz of apple cider

juice from 5 lemons

a favorite bourbon (Bulleit is a personal favorite)

Peel and dice the ginger and simmer in a large pot filled with water until a sip of it gives you a nice ginger burn in your throat. Let cool (or keep hot for a cider-ish alternative) and mix with the persimmon puree, apple cider, and lemon juice to taste. Sweet can be added with a touch of honey, although the persimmons do most of that work on their own. You can mix with a shot of burbon, or drink all on its own.

Happy Thanksgiving from all of us at Foothill!

– by Sophie Soprani

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