December 23, 2011 _
Typical Southern holiday weather today; I had to turn on the air conditioner while I dried my hair this morning, and by mid-afternoon I needed my woolly socks.
My husband and I are heading to Atlanta this weekend to spend Christmas with his family, and our nephews Chris and Vince requested for Christmas Eve dinner a meaty pasta sauce I've made for them for years.
We used to spend a week together each summer on Hilton Head Island, and I have dragged frozen blocks of pasta sauce onto planes and across the country many times. One year, Jim and I flew in a few days early to spend some time in Savannah. We checked into our hotel and I marched into the kitchen, asked for the chef, and demanded he keep my shopping bag of frozen pasta sauce in his freezer. He did, but only after I explained how devastated my nephews would be if they didn't get to enjoy this food. Chefs understand.
So today, my house smells of tomato sauce and slow-braised meat. Saturday, my sister-in-law's will, and we'll have some happy boys. Interestingly enough, this will be the first time my second generation mother-in-law will try my pasta sauce; I'm a little nervous.
Enjoy this week's recipes, and let us know what's on your mind.
P.S. Many of you have been reading my newsletter for quite some time. I'd love to hear from you over the holidays.
James Beard Award Nominations:
The James Beard Foundation is now accepting nominations for chefs and restaurants in various categories, including Best Chef in various regions, Rising Star Chef, Outstanding Pastry Chef, Outstanding Restaurant, Outstanding Service, Best New Restaurant, and Outstanding Restaurateur. I think we need to cast our votes for our Louisiana chefs and restaurants.
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For the first season in years I have not hosted a single holiday gathering at my home. I thought it would be depressing but was I ever wrong. The massive Thanksgiving dinner I typically host was instead put on by my friends Kevin and Tiffany Eyer (pictures here) and it was the best of both worlds. I enjoyed cooking and sharing the fruits of my labor with everyone—at someone else’s house. I was liberated from oceans of shopping, cleaning, decorating, kenneling my dogs, primping my house and garden, and generally driving myself crazy. I enjoyed it so much, in fact, that I am repeating the process for Christmas.
Jyl's reminiscence is here, along with several recipes for her contributions to Christmas dinner.
Celebrate the Food
Culture of the South.
The Southern Food and Beverage Museum current list of events.
Poppy's weekly radio show on public radio: Listen to archived interviews here.
Seafood Stuffed Mirlitons
Congratulations to our reader Tommy Centola on the publication of his first cookbook, "You Can't Keep New Orleans Out of the Cook". This recipe is a classic Louisiana holiday recipe loaded with shrimp, crab meat, and ham, with loads of seasonings. For those of you outside the area, mirlitons may be called chayote in your market.
Holiday Egg Nog
Meyer Lemon Mousse
Light, fluffy, cool, tangy, sweet refreshing—the perfect description for dessert. From Louisiana Kitchen's co-founder and editorial director Jyl Benson's kitchen, this recipe is even better because it's completed with a nominal amount of effort.
Calendar of Events
Published by Kitchen and Culture Co., Louisiana Kitchen magazine will launch in 2012. Our editorial mission is to provide a unique guide to authentic Louisiana cultural and culinary traditions—and of course, the recipes you'll need to create authentic Louisiana cuisine. Your friends and family will love you.
The last two weeks of the year are quiet, and we are on semi-vacation.
We'll be back to our regularly scheduled calendar of events after the first of the year.
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