Paula: Have you heard about the turkey industry woes? They’re taking a hit because people are hosting smaller holiday gatherings this year (and might not need a whole bird), and leg sales are down because Renaissance Faires have been cancelled. There are a lot of disgruntled Lords and Ladies out there.

Scott: You can count me among them! That reminds me, I was the turkey leg juggler at the Middlefaire Renaissance Festival in Hillsboro during high school. That’s where I got the nickname Smoked Turkey Legs Moody. Well, that and a special dance move I’m known for. I think I still have my muffin hat somewhere.

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Paula: Imagine, if you will, the marriage of a baked potato and potato chip. The offspring of this union might very well be Hasselback potatoes, which offer the best of both. With all due respect to the mashed variety, these golden, grill roasted beauties make the perfect holiday side because they look spectacular on the table--they’re surprisingly easy to prepare.

Scott: These are some no-hassle Hasselbacks!

Paula: Simply cut potatoes (a waxy variety like Yukon Gold or even sweet potatoes) into very thin slices, without cutting all the way through. The accordion-like folds separate as they roast, inviting any number of adornments. (Think shredded cheese, bread crumbs, crispy lardons of bacon, or fresh herbs.)

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Scott: This is a deep fried, crunchy miracle perched atop a pickle pedestal. When I bit into it I swear I heard a harp playing in the distance. Maybe it was a banjo. The potato bun muffled my inner dialogue. Either way, true story.

Paula: A truly great chicken sandwich takes you to your happy place, inspiring soundtracks and a montage of joyful visions. Creating layers of flavor elevates this one above the rest. First, a seasoned pickle juice and buttermilk brine infuse the chicken with a tangy flavor. Second, the flour dredge is considerably kicked up with Chica Licka Bam Bam, our Cajun-style spice blend (hence the Bam Bam). Finally, a sticky, hot honey drizzle crowns the crispy chicken with an addictive sweet-and-fiery finish (feel free to adjust the cayenne to your heat preference, or leave it out entirely).

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If you don’t like Brussels sprouts, I blame a traumatic childhood experience that involved the drab, mushy, and overcooked variety. If you’re already a fan, you know sprouts are at their best when they’re nicely browned and crisp. Which takes us to the grill: A quick spin over blistering coals provides charred and smoky flavors that mellow the cruciferous bitterness, make seasonings pop, and a mix of tender and crunchy textures.

As a bonus, the outdoor cook liberates oven space for, say, parade of holiday casseroles. First, you blanch the sprouts in boiling salted water (shocking them in ice water, after, will retain their bright green color). Next, they’re tossed in a seasoned oil made with your Fire & Smoke Society blend. Last night I used Fish Monger, because I knew its base of Mediterranean herbs would be delicious with the sprouts, but Potato Slayer or The Usual would also be excellent choices.

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