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I (really) love to put out a spread of great food and drink, but the last few times I’ve hosted a big party, I’ve felt like I spent the whole party taking coats, mixing drinks, getting appetizers from the oven to the serving tray, instead of actually, y’know, spending time with all these people I like. So lately, as part of my ongoing quest for more meaningful interactions, I’ve been throwing smaller parties of four or five where I really have the time to enjoy the festivities. A few close friends, some good food, and a couple great bottles of wine is always the best.
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Last Saturday, we picked up our Christmas tree. Brian wanted to drive to the nice in-town place where we got a tree last year, but heading out to the country to chop down our own was very high on my things-to-do-now-that-we-don’t-live-Brooklyn wish list, and because he could see I had my heart set on it, we drove south to a tree farm. As we crossed the county line south of town, I realized that the “just over the river” place I’d picked was actually 30 miles past the river –– over winding backcountry roads of varying degrees of pavedness through the rain-soaked Virginia hills and forests shrouded in fog. We arrived, were given instructions by a kind older man with a very specific central Virginia accent that is best described as Southern meets Canadian. We set out to find our tree and after some slogging through wet fields selected a Norway spruce. Instead of chopping, Brian sawed it down with a dull hacksaw. After we carted it back, paid, and tied it to the car, we happily made our way home, stopping at our favorite rural pizza place (our favorite pizza in Virginia!) on the way back.
But in the backdrop of all this merriment, are a few stressors. read more »
And just like that, spring is here. A lone bird chirps on the afternoon breeze. Across my back yard, the cherry tree (this one) is starting to bloom, making the branches look fluffy and white. But let’s not waste time on small talk, we need to get outside. read more »
It’s been an odd, nearly balmy, winter in the city. Here in February, I spotted a few flakes of snow, but also buds, blossoms, flowers, and even a mosquito. And a few weeks ago, the wild chives started pushing up (about a month early). Wayward chives aside, the growing season is still a long way out. But cultivated mushrooms, which can be grown year-round, are widely available at the local markets, and they’re a meaty delicacy in a season of want. read more »
We made an excellent mushroom soup this weekend. It was actually our daughter’s idea, but then she didn’t eat any. It was easier to make than a traditional cream of mushroom (no roux!), but so tasty and filling. With nutty mushroom flavors, and notes of lemon and Madeira, it’s at once elegant and hearty. Ours was accompanied by grilled cheese, though I think some garlic and Parmesan toast would be ideal. If you’re suffering from the cold weather like we are, head over to Babble.com’s Family Kitchen and check it out.
We take Thanksgiving pretty seriously here at Brooklyn Supper. For the past 6 years Brian and I have stayed put and invited friends and family to cram into our one-bedroom apartment for a giant feast. I love every part of Thanksgiving, getting ready in the weeks before, frantic Wednesday before prep, waking up at 6am and dealing with the turkey, and then, the big moment. Guests arrive and, it’s Thanksgiving!
Whether you’re hosting a celebration of your own this year, or just bring a dish or two, we’ve got you covered. Over on Babble.com’s Family Kitchen, we’ve been in the Thanksgiving spirit for weeks. Here are some of the Thanksgiving-friendly recipes we posted this week:
Mark Bittman’s Roasted Butternut Squash Soup with Bacon and Apples
4 Make-Ahead Thanksgiving Recipes (more work now = more relaxing when it counts)
Lemony Roasted Brussels Sprouts
Classic Herbed Stuffed Mushrooms
And for some ideas from Brooklyn Supper Thanksgivings past, try these: read more »