The Christmas menu changes a bit every year but over time ours has evolved to everyone having the opportunity to make what they like with a little attention to balance. This means vegetables and some dishes not too full of butter, cheese or sugar. When my sister said she wanted winter squash, I knew this would be easy. Our back porch has a terrific selection of winter squash. I’ve been baking squash every few days and using it in new ways, most recently, adding spoonfuls to quesadillas and black bean burritos. If you too have a surfeit of squash I figure you can use a few recipe ideas.
I see many recipes calling for peeled and cubed squash, a process I find hard on the hands. I suggest placing the winter squash in a 350 degree oven for twenty to thirty minutes. Remove from heat, cool then peel and cube. The squash will hold together in cubes but the rind is easily peeled away without risk of cutting a finger or feeling you’ve arm wrestled when you finish. You are simply cooking in two stages and the total cooking time stays about the same.
Here is our tentative menu. Not everyone has decided what they will fix and some of us can’t stop with only one dish. It will be a big family gathering and we’ll cook and eat our way through the day. This is the essence of a family holiday, good food, good company and good conversation. This is a menu of seasonal foods.
Christmas Menu 2007
Turkey, Gravy, & Dressing
2 Cranberry Sauces fresh & cooked (my sister’s family likes fresh, we favor cooked)
Green Salad with Pecans & Oranges and shallot dressing
Parsnip Pear Puree from The Silver Palate Good Times Cookbook
Potatoes Mashed with garlic & rosemary
Steamed Gingerbread & Orange Pudding with whipped cream,
Cookies & Fruitcake
Crudités & olives pre dinner snacks
Squash with Onions & Almonds modified from The Scent of Orange Blossoms: Sephardic Cuisine from Morocco
coffee & tea
Parsley puree “Mark Bittman NY Times archives” A vivid green puree of parsley and olive oil
Wine & Sparkling Cider