Apparently, judging from the number of participants we had this month, y’all don’t want to cook things you probably won’t like. Go figure.

Those of us who did try were uniform in our attempt to augment or disguise the hated ingredient with universally beloved cooking methods: (1) cover disgusting item in cheese; (2) cook disgusting item with cured pork product; or (3) fry disgusting item. I muddled through to produce some depressingly repellent pasta sauce with liver. Four other brave souls joined me:

Morsels and Musings
is not US-based, so she calls bell peppers “capsicums” which somehow makes her sound more civilized than me.

She tried – and succeeded! – in turning her dislike around with this roasted pepper soup from Falling Cloudberries, the cutest-named cookbook EVER. She balances out my liver failure*, bringing the tally of success to failure to an even 1-1.


Several people picked ingredients I almost picked myself including From the Galley, who feels the same way as I do about eggplants: acceptable when masked by other flavors, problematic as a main ingredient.

These cheese-coated Italian baked eggplants from Taste of the Mediterranean changed her tune, boosting the “Hey, I liked it” vs. “Ugh, still gross” score to 2-1.

Our first-ever non-blogger, Erin, enters the First Thursday fray with an attempt to like pumpkin, using a recipe for fried pumpkin from Diana Kennedy’s The Essential Cuisines of Mexico.

Writes Erin: “It isn’t horrible but I still don’t really like squash. (Except for pumpkin pie and other yummy pumpkin desserts.) The recipe also took too long (for me) to prepare something that is meant to be appetizer-y. Pumpkin does not allow itself to be peeled without putting up a pretty good struggle.” Score: 2-2.

Hungry in Hogtown
bravely took on one of the most divisive of all vegetables, brussels sprouts, with not one but THREE dishes from The Babbo Cookbook, Happy in the Kitchen and Bouchon.

Unlike my effort with liver, cured Italian meats successfully helped Rob overcome his sprout horror, although his other two tries (where no pork could mask the sprouts’ inherent sproutiness) didn’t go over as well. I call it 2-2-1.

Random number generator Brian selected From the Galley as the recipient of this month’s giveaway. Congrats! Send your mailing address to me at michelle at thursdaynightsmackdown dot com and I’ll get your print in the mail asap.

For December 2008, we’ll be test-driving hors d’oeuvres, so we’ll all know what to serve at our swanky New Year’s Eve party along with the pigs in blankets (which, in my opinion, are non-negotiable). As always, full details on the First Thursdays page.