THE MAIN EVENT
You get the call . . . this year it’s YOUR turn to host the big family dinner. No pressure, just make the best meal your family has ever had! I still remember the very first big family holiday dinner I hosted. It was my first Thanksgiving out of university, years before I studied to become a chef, and I was proud to have an apartment with a decent kitchen (even then, it was a priority for me!). I can’t recall the turkey and stuffing, although I’m sure there were phone calls home to Mom to guide me through it, but I do remember being immensely proud of the pumpkin pie—my first ever attempt. It was only as I was bringing it to the table that I realized I had completely forgotten to add any sugar to the filling! I made a 180 back to the kitchen, poked holes into the filling with a skewer and poured maple syrup overtop, hoping it would seep in. It didn’t.
On that note, I now share with you the wisdom accumulated over the years that have followed that very first festive meal. I’ve included three menus, one of them a vegetarian option, that will help you tailor the dinner to Thanksgiving or Christmas. I offer traditional preparations and some more unconventional ones, or combine a couple if you have both vegetarians and meat eaters in your group. This is your year!