My Holiday holiday is Christmas and I loved all the gold and red glitter of last year's LCBO Food & Drink's festive season issue. I am always hopeful for a cover that gets me in the Christmas party spirit. A warmth that draws me in.
I have to say that wasn't my reaction when my eyes made contact with magazine in the store. I wondered about the casual setting, as the holidays are a time to put on the Ritz, get out the finery and fuss over the littlest of details. Having now read the magazine cover to cover, I love so much of it. The fancy and the bling is there.
I do love the look of those smørrebrød-like bites - Horseradish and Smoked Trout Paté on Rye Croutons.
It wasn't until I read editor Jody Dunn's welcome that I found out Emerald Green is the 'IT' colour for 2013 says Pantone. I glanced back at the cover and noticed the colour of the logo. The masthead. The skin on the cucumber. The feathering of microgreens. All Pantone's Emerald Green. There is more of that beautiful green inside.
Tradition is that I weigh the holiday issue of LCBO's Food and Drink. 890 grams. 1190 grams with all the inserts. Heftiest ever!
We were having big talk at the dinner table recently about horseradish. We all love it and love it strong. Clean your nose out strong. The Food Trends article by Lucy Waverman is called Horseradish. Lucy says, "Horseradish is the ingredient of the moment." Happily I am dialed in to what's the latest for once. I agree with Lucy that the best result comes from using fresh root, peeling it and microplaning on the spot. Jars of horseradish can be handy, but their kick dissipates over time.
A hometown shout out for Steve Robinson. He is chef Marc Lepine's sommelier at critically acclaimed Atelier restaurant here in Ottawa and he is featured in Sommelier Selections by Nancy Won.
This issue is loaded. Why I love it maybe more than other Holiday issues is that it revisits a lot of the classics. A few twists to make them new. But nothing really wild. The holiday season is steeped in food tradition for many of us. Those coming to our table expect some specific once-a-year favourite dishes. The recipes here are not meant to make them so different. Just better.
Did you know that in 2005 Forbes.com selected the knife as the single most important tool in human history? I learned that from Robert Hercz in his in-depth article called Knives. Thankfully my dining partners have dispensed with the "stuff-and-cut" method of eating meat. Read every word of it. And apparently it "remained acceptable to carry food to the mouth with a knife until the early 20th century." Believe it or not, I still see people do it today. Stop please! Having an excellent knife is a wonderful gift but consider a gift certificate to a quality cutlery and cookware shop and let them pick their own.
I have parties to attend and food to plan and so I am appreciative of the suggestions in this issue. Here is what is on my food play list:
- Butter-Roasted Pear & Apple Compote with Mascarpone Cheese and Deep-Fried Eggs with Asiago, Spinach & Tomato (From Before The Feast by Marilyn Bentz-Crowley)
- Roasted Vegetables with Horseradish Vinaigrette (From Horseradish by Lucy Waverman)
- Key Lime Shooters (From Drink Matchmaker - Sensational Sippers by Julia Aitken)
- Garganelli with Ricotta & Blistered Cherry Tomatoes and Abalone Mushrooms with 6-Minute Egg and Romesco Sauce ( From Small Plates by Lucy Waverman and James Chatto)
- Sparkling Elderflower Ice (From White Wonders by Victoria Walsh)
- Lobster Diavolo (From Deep Sea Dining by Emily Richards)
- Herb-Roasted Rutabaga Batons & Cipollini Onions (From Tried & New by Jennifer MacKenzie)
- Salmon Rillettes (From Late Night Supper by Lucy Waverman)
- Gruyère & Cranberry Risotto (From Finding Favour with Flavour by Tonia Wilson-Vuksanovic)
I heard there were printing and distribution issues that meant some stores did not receive the magazine on time for Wednesday opening. I hope you have yours.
Plan ahead: The Winter issue hits the stores in ten weeks on Wednesday, January 15th.