Holiday Cheer in a Glass…

When it’s nearing Thanksgiving (the 4th Thursday of November), you know it’s just the beginning of a long period of eating, cooking, and celebrating that goes on through the New Year… or at least you hear about it from other people for that long.

Because it’s HOLIDAY TIME!

You know, that time when thinking about what to eat, drink, and cook consumes most of your hours of the day… or even more so than usual.  After all, those foods will be the pièce de résistance of the dinner table (supposedly as edible proof that you care; not to diminish the importance these holidays have for people, just a comment on the over emphasis big business places on such things because it sells their goods).  I know, I know.  Of course, the act of caring about bringing loved ones together and nourishing them is a great thing itself.  In fact, that part is wonderful!  Just sometimes it’d be nice to have it a little less commercialized.  Why have shiny advertisements diminish how you choose to nourish loved ones or how you celebrate togetherness, especially in the name of selling material products?  It can mean something different for everyone.  But the resulting emotions resonate universally.  Who wouldn’t want to raise a glass to that?!

Piper-Heidsieck Champagne
(of Reims, France)
champagneWhich transitions nicely to this picture 🙂 .  A bottle of bubbly to help you get warm and fuzzy.
Plus, it tasted nice alongside a slightly spicy meal.  One of many other drinks during Thanksgiving week.  Now, before you get concerned wondering how many drinks from how many wine bottles I may have consumed, it was all shared amongst six people.  Honest 😉 .

Privateer Rum Cocktail
brown sugar Privateer rumAfter having wine the previous days, a cocktail was a nice break… a mix of a local (to Boston)
American rum from Privateer Rum.  Enjoyed with a dinner out on one of my days off.

Foie Gras Snack
foie gras w: borderI don’t know about you, but I love to snack on something when I have a drink.  Multiple snack times over the course of the week included foie gras, brie, kettle corn popcorn, etc.  Gotta eat something between meals 🙂 .  I ate well that week.  And it was all greatly enjoyed!

Chardonnay Cranberry Sauce
Chardonnay cranberry sauce 2
What would Thanksgiving be without cranberries (particularly in the Northeast, as there are many cranberry bogs in Massachusetts)?  I had gotten fresh cranberries thinking I would make this cranberry & raisin crostata.  It’s a recipe from an old issue of Gourmet magazine but I only discovered it through this blog, “Blogging Over Thyme“, which I found on Pinterest (gotta love finding great stuff in the many corners of the internet).  It sounded like a simple and satisfying little sweet to make, but I was too full on snacks and other meals to make it 😛 (but I do hope to make it in the near future).  So instead, I decided to make cranberry sauce… albeit, at midnight.

I looked at many recipes of which required the cranberries to be cooked in a sauce pan with orange juice, water, and/or with some bourbon.  Instead, I used leftover chardonnay (Ridge’s Santa Cruz Mountains Estate chardonnay; it’s a shame I didn’t finish it because it was good, but still has found use) which provided some acid and an alcohol element for the sauce.  I also added nutmeg, ground ginger, and about a cup of brown sugar for a 12 ounce bag of cranberries.  I enjoy the tartness of it with a slight sweetness.

Chardonnay Cranberry Sauce
Served on Toast with Herbed Cheese & Apples
chardonnay cran apple chz toast 2Then, the next morning, I was thinking about sweet and savory combination possibilities.  I
thought of treating it like a jam and eating it with herbed cheese and apples on toast.
So, voilà!  YUM.

Cheers!  Enjoy your eats and time of celebration.


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