McSweeney's

I've been fortunate to have had a number of writing angels in my life. McSweeney's is a major one. Much of my short-form humor has shown up in McSweeney's books and the site, and this has led to other things for me, not to mention a memorable book signing and a dear friend or two. So thankful.

The nice people of McSweeneydom continue to run a particular piece of mine each Thanksgiving week: The Butterball Help-Line Help-Line. It tickles me when I see it pop up each year -- I think we're now in year eight -- and I appreciate the love.

If you've read any of Wilfair, you can probably tell I'm into light satire and heavier sentimentality. I think I used to favor satire more, but I'm becoming a bit of a softie as time passes. I do try and keep some bite in the mix, and I'm fond of sassy jokey-joking. But ultimately I crave happy endings in this tumultuous world. Happy endings and meaningful middles.

Anywho. This piece reveals my affection for sassy jokey-joking and for ending on an up note. That's probably who I am, in a nutshell, or at least how I like to write.

Thank you, McSweeney's! I am grateful.

P.S. Sorry, nutmeg.

8 comments:

wealhtheow said...

Get some fresh, whole nutmeg and use a microplane grater. It is LIFE-CHANGING.

Wilfair Book said...

Lady, I have a microplane grater! I actually love nutmeg. Secret's out. It fit the joke at the time, and I've lived with spice guilt forever after.

I suspect you're quite the cook, wealhtheow. Am I correct?

Wilfair Book said...

Actually, let me amend that: Nutmeg can be gritty. Mega grit is a texture I'm not fond of. I can be a bit of a texture weirdo with food, but not unbearingly, I hope. The grater helps the grit though. (My all-time texture issue: eggplant. LOVE the flavor, just not the mealy middle. Perhaps that's why Gomery orders an eggplant wrap in "Redwoodian": I wanted to work through my eggplant issues.)

wealhtheow said...

Well, I have PRETENSIONS of being quite the cook, which I don't believe is quite the same thing. But when I have time, I like to do as much in my own kitchen as possible. Cooking up my own beans rather than using canned, baking my own bread, making my own peanut butter and jam, grinding my own spices.

That said, you are equally likely to find me bringing home dinner from Chipotle or tossing a frozen mac & cheeze into the microwave.

bess said...

I can't believe you wrote the Butterball Help Help-line! I'm a big fan of McSweeney's and that piece always cracks me up. What fun.

I have called the helpline in the past about defrosting a bird and they are very soothing and helpful.

Wilfair Book said...

wealhtheow: This is a-ma-zing. Homemade peanut butter? Gahhhh, eyes rolling. PB is probably one of my most favorite foods. I like that it can be used in sweet or savory dishes. Love that you go the from-scratch route with beans and bread, too.

Do you leave the butter super nutty and crunchy? In my dreams you do.

bess: I've always wanted to call the turkey hotline but I've never had a need. My husband has a way with the bird and I stick to the sides. I make a really interesting cranberry dish, I will say. Now, interpret "interesting" however you like because here's the secret ingredient: jalapeno. Lots of it.

I feel like I just threw back my cape and revealed myself as the person behind a piece you know! Revealed myself dramatically! If only I had a cape. I have a few charming capelets, but those are not very useful for big moments of revealing identity. They only cover my shoulders, mostly.

Carly said...

I have major texture issues. Example: Those yogurts with the fruit on the bottom? Gross. I hate those slimy little faux-fruit bits. Also, chunks in my smoothie. It's called a SMOOTHie for a reason, people! I greatly dislike sucking a mushy piece of fruit up my straw.

That being said, I do like grit if it's sugar. One year at christmas my mom ruined a batch of fudge by putting too much sugar in or something and it was gritty. I loved it. Every year I hope she screws it up again.

Wilfair Book said...

Carly! I meant to answer this. That is so funny about your mom's fudge. Yeah, there are a couple of recipe screw-ups that I try and replicate. But it is hard to redo a whoopsie perfectly, you know? :)

Gritty fudge. Hmm. I'd have to sample to decide my feelings.

 
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