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For Thanksgiving I cooked an ultra gourmet feast. I eagerly read my Bon Appétit and circled all the items I wanted to try. I made a fennel, golden raisin and sausage stuffing, and brussels sprouts with bacon and apple cider vinaigrette. I brined the turkey, made a potato gratin and these beautiful flourless chocolate cakes for dessert. When I asked my family what they wanted for Christmas dinner this year they begged me…”please no gourmet food”. They wanted ham, that dreaded green bean casserole, mashed potatoes, gravy and pumpkin pie. It was my Christmas present to them to make exactly what they asked for. They loved it!

Christmas Eve I went to Becky’s house and ate Lebanese food. We had stuffed grape leaves, hummus, lavash and lentil soup. Later that day I went to my fiancée’s grandparents house and we ate frankfurters and semel with stone ground mustard. The food was amazing, as was my Christmas dinner. It was not a five star gourmet meal with paired wine, but it was great food shared with family. We laughed, we told stories and took pictures and celebrated. It was a nice reminder for me that I don’t need to try new and extensive recipes for the holidays. A ham and green bean casserole (although I made mine from scratch) are just fine. Cheers!