Holiday Time

The thing about the holidays is that we expect to cook more than any other time of year while having less time to do it. Every year about this time, I think: Oh no, here comes the turkey again. My brain starts considering the Thanksgiving menu for about 30 seconds before turning tail and running off screaming in another direction. Who has time to menu plan?! The kids get the flu, the pace picks up at work, the house is a mess…what’s not on the schedule is an afternoon browsing through every cookbook I own looking for creative new ways to deal with Big Bird. But look! EYB says I have 51 ways to deal with a whole turkey. And what if I want to indulge my passionate feelings about chestnuts (and when don’t I)? And hey, you know what? I love pomegranates but I can never think of how to fit them in at dinner. Also, I need something green. Didn’t I find some green-bean recipe I loved last year? 5 minutes later, I have the rudiments of a Thanksgiving menu… What’s more, apparently I have 11 recipes using “turkey – meat cooked”–maybe, for a change, we won’t be having leftover turkey sandwiches straight through to December this year. With all the time I just saved, I might as well get started early on the holiday cookie season, because I can already tell that I need one of those Double Dark Chocolate Cherry Cookies I love so much from the Sweet Melissa Baking Book. Not to mention La Befana’s Stars, those irresistible, buttery little stars with the sprinkles, from Gina de Palma’s Dolce Italiano. And I still have weeks to go before Christmas–plenty of time for me to find out a way to do something with, say, goose, pine nuts, red currants, brandy, and escarole… So as the cold, the shopping, the travel plans, and hordes of family loom over the shrinking year-end calendar, cross one headache off your list. I can’t promise you’ll be able to anything about the headache you’ll have on the Friday after Thanksgiving, or on December 26th, but I do have one suggestion: try typing “hangover” in the EYB recipe search box. I promise, you won’t come up empty. Susie

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