Saturday, December 29, 2012

Party Food

The season of endless parties is winding down. One last, big bash of the year is just a couple of days away, and then the long, quiet month of January will settle in. I welcome the slower pace, but wish that the parties and dinners of December could be spread out a bit into the New Year. For most of the year, our weekends are pretty relaxed, but come December Chris and I often find ourselves double booked on both Friday and Saturday, rushing from one gathering to the next. They’re all fun events that I look forward to each year—traditional celebrations that we don’t want to miss. And I guess this flurry of activity is a big part of what makes the holidays the holidays.

For these fĂȘtes held either at our house or elsewhere—someone else’s home, or a restaurant, or even out in the woods (a Solstice celebration), food is central. Its tastes, scents, and textures draw people together. It's no wonder that the kitchen is always the most popular place at a party, despite how much the hostess or host tries to spread the revelry around.

Friday, December 21, 2012

To Market, To Market

The second best thing to a summer farmers market is a winter farmers market. In fact, it’s sometimes even more of a treat because it’s a less common occurrence. Plus the vision of fresh, local vegetables piled high when you step in from the cold is even better than holiday sugarplums.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

'Tis the Season

For those of us who celebrate Christmas, putting up the tree is a highlight of the season. I had never cut down my own tree until moving to Vermont, and we’ve since followed this tradition every year. It would be a heck of a lot easier to just walk across the street to our neighbors who sell trees as a fundraiser. These trees are already cut down, of course, but also trimmed, shaped, cleared of debris, and ready to plop right in your stand. But whenever Chris and I raise this as an option, Isabel and Faye always insist that we cut down our own.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Soup, Glorious Soup

During this season of overly rich foods, soup offers a healthy alternative meal when we’re not indulging in holiday excess (not that I mind a little indulgence every now and again). Soup leaves me feeling satisfied, but it’s light at the same time—unless it’s a cream based soup, in which case it qualifies as more of an indulgence. But hey, ‘tis the season.