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The Local Palate Magazine | Winter 2021-22

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From the minute I pull out my tattered and stained Thanksgiving recipes to well after the New Year’s bottle pop, it’s officially party season at our house. My family revels in the traditions (read: the food). There’s the big lunch outing we have when my sister and her crew arrive in Nashville on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving (it usually involves hot chicken), then the croissants and sticky buns my kids and I indulge in on Christmas morning, and, of course, the black-eyed peas and collards that simmer away on New Year’s Day. Oh, and my birthday falls in early January, so we push the whole dry January thing by a month because the party just keeps on rolling. It is, to say the least, my absolute favorite three months of the year.

These past few years have been quieter but no less celebratory for us. And we’re hoping this year brings back all of the kitchen rituals we love. I’m definitely adding a few dishes to the rotation, too, especially after working with chef Vivek Surti on our Thanksgiving feature. I’m probably not brave enough (yet) to deep fry my own turkey like he does year after year, but I’m all in on the lobster dressing and green beans cloaked in coconut cream that Surti serves on the side. And those potato rolls? You might want to make two trays.

I’m also planning to extend the party further into 2022 (don’t we deserve it?) so that I can try my hand at the recipes by chefs Tim Ma and Andrew Chiou, who look to their own pasts, and the holiday traditions to bring us a Chinese New Year feast. Since I’m not fortunate enough to live near Lucky Danger, their fast-casual spot in Washington, DC, these easy-going but celebratory recipes are the next best thing.

There’s plenty more here to give your holidays an extra nudge—like, say, how to make a traditional croquembouche, or a few new riffs for your wintertime cocktail routine. After all that, though, you may want to tackle the trails or hop on two wheels. Our newest team member, assistant editor and intrepid reporter Jacob Hollifield, will motivate you with his recent road trip from Tryon, North Carolina, to Black Mountain. We’re excited to have him on board—and look forward to delivering more of his in-the-field reporting.

Let’s kick off the season right, shall we? A toast from me to you: Here’s to a joyful, soul-filling, and nourishing holiday season—may it last as long as you need it to.

The Perfect complements