What a success our Thanksgiving was this year! There were no misses on the table: A beautifully golden turkey–how is it that chefs on Top Chef can’t get that right?–sausage and apple stuffing; mashed potatoes and gravy; broccoli salad; roasted delicata squash with pomegranate seeds; roasted sunchokes–a conversation starter and a first for nearly everyone at our table–and pies, with salty caramel taking the, er, cake. The wine for the most part was a sparkling white made for Whole Foods that is a convincing stand-in for champagne called De Chanceny Cremant de Loire. All in all, a meal to be proud of.
Except…Perhaps I did let my guests down on one count. Cocktails. As in, I didn’t offer any. Jason Wilson wrote compellingly last week in the Washington Post that this is the time for splurging on your bar as a treat for yourself and your guests. I went in the opposite direction and saw it as an opportunity to offload a bottle of Baileys Irish Cream that had finagled a spot in my bar and set up permanent residence. I poured out small glasses of it for all my guests with their desserts and later emptied most of them down the drain. I don’t know if I even cared that no one wanted it.
Along with some guilt, the holiday left me with a crate of tangerines so riddled with seeds that they far exceeded the house “worth the effort” threshold. And so, as we enter the most intensive period of entertaining–I think I’m hosting five meals in the next week–I’m going to double down on a refreshing holiday spirit. Maybe something as simple as cava+tangerine juice+bitters or maybe something with tequila. I thought I saw a bottle collecting cobwebs in the back of my liquor cabinet.
I’ll make Wilson a promise: As soon as I clear out a couple of these accidental bottles–as in they chose me, not the other way around–I’ll gladly stock up on some of the good stuff.