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Holiday Meals

One of the great features (and there are many) of getting together for holiday meals is the chance to try something new.  For the most part, your guests will probably be expecting to have the meal set in stone - if it is an annual event that you host.  But, this does not mean that you can't have one food item - or two - that live in rotation at the Chef's discretion.  When you go to a restaurant you hope for the same thing - most of the meals better be the same, but there will hopefully be something new to drawl us out of our routine.

I suppose that is the nature of our grazing habits.  We love routine, but we also love to brag about our recent "prize" or "food acquisition".  Plain and Fancy.

So, give it a try.  Look for one or two things this year that are a bit off the beaten trail for your menu.  Maybe you could try a new soup or bread (usually a safe item to consider as a "movable feast"). Breads and soups are thought of as extremely versatile in their rendering.  You have less of a chance of starting a coup if you offer a different bread or soup than you do if you were to add aardvark to the stuffing.  People don't generally tolerate a major shift in a staple unless it is offered in addition to the usual one (i.e., aardvark stuffing is fine if the usual chestnut stuffing is still somewhere around).

You can also try moving a new vegetable into the routine along with the usual suspects.  One new vegetable in addition to the regulars won't upset folks.  Plus, if they hate it, they can still wash their mouths out with the expected creamed onions or some such thing.

It is in that light that I have gone out searching for something new.  I will scour all my usual sources for some new ideas for the holiday palate.  I'll post them in the blog for all to see.

Today I have found a fine trial dish.  Actually, it found me.  But a minute ago, while looking through the e-cookbooks and sites, a tweet landed on my screen that fit the bill for something old dressed up in a new flavor.  It is from Rodale, a trusted companion over the years, and a source that has always lived up to its beta aim: "where health meets green."  Pomegranate-glazed carrots.  Mmmmmmm.


Don't forget there are all sorts of fun facts about food to learn while getting ready...things to share around the table or over a chardonnay.  Pomegranates for instance are a big rave in the health community.  Check out Pomegranates.
 
Turn on the holiday music, find the right beverage, and crack out the cookbooks.  It is time to get CREATIVE! And (I have to laugh out loud at this one) -  don't forget the BUTTER.  ( Thanks for reminding me of Julia's love of butter, Julie).

Ciao!

+Tom

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