I’m not one to relegate the festive spirit of the holidays to only the holiday season; I readily take advantage of the days following them as well, using the entire winter season as an excuse to gather family and friends around our dining room table. I love curating a room full of people I care about and channeling those fond sentiments through sumptuous feasts—the kind that only seem appropriate at Christmas time.
A lovely sirloin roast is ideal when pan seared with olive oil and a nice crust of sea salt and cracked pepper with rosemary and mushrooms grilled alongside it. We love foul in our family, and while duck, turkey, and chicken have their place, goose seems particularly germane to winter feasting. My trick with cooking goose is (unfortunately) a little high-maintenance—but worth it. Frequent basting and draining the pan of fat while it cooks is the key, so make use of your spare time in the kitchen while watching over your bird and prepare a pan or two of roasted winter vegetables: parsnips are now in season and are perfect when roasted (nearly charred if I have my way) with olive oil and salt.
I like topping off the meal with a festively-decorated Mille Crepe cake, or traditional pudding in homage to my English mother. She still can’t believe that this iconic British dessert dating back to medieval times hasn’t taken hold in America—quince, apples, prunes and currants soaked in sherry and seasoned with liquorice, treacle, lemon and cloves—what’s not to like?
For my less adventurous guests I can always bring out a Laduree macaron croquembouche and from there it’s on to the “champagne and cocktails” course. Holiday cocktails are a fun excuse to get creative, such as a festive twist on the Hot Toddy: adding clove, cinnamon and honey to the traditional mix of lemon, hot water and spiced rum…can you tell I’m still dreaming of my recent trip to Mustique?