When the weather turns cold, and all you want to do is stay cozy and warm, the best thing to do is to make a big pot of hearty soup. On days like these, nothing is more comforting than this ham and white bean soup. (Well, maybe some fuzzy woolen slippers, but you can’t eat those!)
My father loves cranberry sauce. I think he looks forward to Thanksgiving just because he knows his slices of turkey will come with a generous serving of cranberry sauce on the side. Cranberries are only available fresh for a few months starting in October, so he’ll stock up in the fall and freeze several bags. When he finally runs out of them sometime in May, he’ll start buying the canned stuff. He’ll hide the cans in a remote corner of the pantry and eat up the canned cranberries all by himself.
One of my favorite sides to any holiday meal is roasted root vegetables. Parsnips, carrots, rutabagas, beets, sweet potatoes—they’re all so good! Root vegetables have a lot of natural sugars in them which caramelize when roasted at a high enough temperature. They’re also packed with vitamins and beta carotene. So, starchy they may be, but they are also good for you too. (As if I need any encouragement, you can’t keep me away from them!)
My mother knows a thing or two about cooking beef. She knows all of the cuts and the best way to prepare them. Perhaps it’s because she came of cooking age during a time when most neighborhoods still had local butchers who prepared the cuts themselves and freely shared information with customers about what to do with them.
If you show up at my father’s house with a bagful of fresh brussels sprouts to be cooked, he will howl and complain like a 3-year old confronted with liver and onions. Such then, is the sweet satisfaction of seeing this dyed-in-the-wool brussels sprouts avoider pick these roasted emerald jewels out of the pan and munch on them like candy.