PERHAPS NO FRUIT HAS COME TO SYMBOLIZE A PARTICULAR TIME OF THE YEAR more than cranberries. Cranberries are virtually synonymous with the holidays. November and December wouldn’t be the same without my mom’s cranberry apple gelatin salad, or my aunt’s cranberry bread, or my mother-in-law’s cranberry orange sauce, as well as the canned version tipped onto a plate.
In my house, the first of October marks the start of pre-“holiday” season. This is also the time my brother calls to tell me he is already drawing up plans for where he plans to hang the 10,000 holiday lights he owns. My sister calls to discuss who’s going to be where for which holiday and I’m already thinking about the turkey that needs roasting in less than two months’ time.
How does one prepare for roasting the Thanksgiving table pièce de résistance? Most of us, myself included, roast a turkey once a year. You either get it right on the big day, or you serve it dry and burnt and hope things go better the following year when you can’t remember what you did or didn’t do the year before. What can be done to help flex those poultry roasting muscles before it’s game time?
Two words: Roast chicken.
As a kid, hot chocolate didn’t do much for me. I realize that seems un-Americana. What could be more reminiscent of childhood winters than a steaming hot cup of cocoa, topped with whipped cream and stirred with a peppermint stick? Well, I was the kid who found that whole concoction rather cloying. I preferred my chocolate dark and in bar-form.