Monday, October 3, 2011

the holidays

people always ask me, 'what's your favourite thing to make?' and it's most definitely a giant holiday meal. thanksgiving, christmas, easter - i love them all. my first thanksgiving away from home, my brother & i made a traditional holiday dinner in a teeny galley kitchen and baked everything in a minute toaster oven, so it still felt like thanksgiving even though we couldn't make it home. miraculously enough, it all turned out great... perhaps due to the copious quantities of butter that went into everything!

every year after that, the festivities grew & grew. many of my friends were really into cooking as well and in my last year away at school we had a gigantic thanksgiving dinner with more than 20 friends gathered together to stuff our collective faces... now that's my idea of a good time!

when i was cooking in restaurants, every day before the doors opened we would sit down for staff dinner. on special occasions, we would pull out all the stops and having a kitchen full of professionals, makes quick work of a typically daunting task. restaurant staff are often forced to work on holidays so by cooking an epic meal, the staff would forget that they weren't at home with their families & able to fall asleep in a recliner after dinner. i think the most memorable one involved a monstrous deep-fried turkey... so fast & so good.

now that i'm back home, i don't actually have to do anything for the holiday meals - grandma still takes care of it all. that leaves me plenty of time to cook a turkey dinner to sell at the market next weekend. here's what i'll be making:

brined & roasted turkey with gravy
white root vegetable puree (potato, parsnip, celeriac)
sweet potato casserole with toasted pecans
cranberry, pear & sage dressing
roasted market veggies - brussel sprouts, beets, white turnips & carrots
cauliflower gratin
wild rice salad with roasted squash & pumpkin seeds

i plan on packaging everything up in portions to feed two people as part of a holiday meal. if you're interested in ordering larger portions to serve a crowd for thanksgiving dinner just let me know: or (902) 850-2465. items can be picked up from me at the halifax seaport market on saturday from 7am-4pm or sunday from 8am-4pm... or potentially delivered depending on how my week shapes up.

this week i will also be making full sized pumpkin pies (9 inch) & the cupcakes will be taking a decidedly festive turn. some of you may remember the pumpkin cheesecake/cupcake hybrids from last winter, they will be making their triumphant return this week. i'll also have apple spice cupcakes with maple frosting & gingerbread cakes with caramel frosting, and of course i'll have the usual red velvet & chocolate varieties as well.

i've also noticed that christmas decorations are making their way into the stores... a little crazy i know, but now is the time to get organized. if you're planning a holiday cocktail party, gathering or small sit-down dinner, then i'm your gal. i've also been approached by a freelance bartender (benjamin emodi of blended bartending) so we can take care of all your party food & drink needs. i'm trying to build an arsenal of servers so i can expand my catering capabilities... so let me know if you have an upcoming event you'd like catered.

to get in the holiday spirit, i'll also be donating cupcakes to the silent auction at the festival of trees. the festival of trees is an event to support the mental health foundation of nova scotia & they auction off beautifully decorated christmas trees at a black tie gala. this is the 20th anniversary of the event & it has raised over $3 million since its inception. my cupcakes will be auctioned off at the holiday luncheon on november 25th so check it out.

ok, time to get outside & enjoy the last of what has turned into a beautiful day.

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