Weekends are the perfect time to prepare the
unhurried foods of winter—sweet-potato and creamy
broccoli soups, standing rib roasts and warm garlic
spinach spread, cheesecakes and roasted vegetables,
scampi risotto and warm Brie. This is when you can
slow down to spend some leisurely time in the kitchen.
Fill your cupboards with foods that instantly
add depth to any meal—canned tomatoes, rice,
lentils, dried peas and beans, and pastas. Make rich,
flavorful stocks for risottos and soups.
Bring on the desserts. They don’t have to be
complicated, just good. James Beard, the master of
good food and taste, once expressed his fondness
for a dessert that was nothing more than roasted
bananas topped with butter, brown sugar, rum
and vanilla ice cream.
Winter can be fierce. Winter can be
chilly. Winter can be dark. And winter can be
wonderful. It’s all in how you approach it.
One of the best ways we know to see the
wonders of this most beautiful season is
through good food and good friends—
whether it be a festive buffet with an edible
centerpiece, a luxurious holiday dinner or the
gathering of friends to watch a bowl game,
eat Italian or be warmed by the fire.
Layered Decorating Elegance
The multi-layered decorating approach that was
started in autumn is continued, but now in a much
grander fashion. We suggest embellishing nature’s
colorings with gold, bronze or silver.
Try metal leafing; it’s easy. Inexpensive kits can
be found in most craft shops, but be forewarned
that once you get a taste for gilding, you may never
want to stop. If gilding seems like too much work,
there are also jars of rubbing gel in every color
imaginable. While not as showy, they definitely are
an easy way to lend a hint of elegance to evergreens,
pinecones, nuts, vegetables, fruits and dried flowers.
Just remember that whatever you gild or rub with
color is no longer edible. For a festive look, nestle
inexpensive tiny white lights among the decorations,
and add that unexpected splash of color with
gorgeous red poinsettias. (Costco brings in 10-inch
poinsettias, two-gallon rosemary cones and 25-foot
cedar garlands for the holiday season.)
Once the New Year’s celebrations are over,
remove all fall decorations and start with a clean
slate. The goal is an elegant simplicity that fights
the gloom of winter, which is why we suggest
filling your home with vibrant blooming plants.
(Costco’s phalaenopsis and cymbidium orchids are
breathtaking and available during this season.)