Most fun this week has been menu planning with my sister-in-law, Genie, for a few days of family get-togethers . Genie, editor of the beautiful, quarterly magazine Edible Rhody, is not only a great chef and food writer but, by virtue of her work, knows all the best resources - the finest butcher, where to get fresh oysters, who has great wines and cheese, and so on. She and my husband will run be running the kitchen, as usual. I won't even be baking because Genie makes the most exquisite Buche de Noel.
I will focus on supplying a little holiday 'cheer' for those who have been working on feeding the rest of us so well. Yes, friends, I have been back on eBay buying vintage glasses.
And here is what I will be filling them with this year: Blood-Orange Champagne Cocktails.
Ingredients: 2 1/4 cups freshly squeezed or frozen blood-orange juice
2 750-ml bottles champagne, chilled.
Directions: Pour 3 tablespoons juice in each glass, top with champagne, and enjoy!
Easy and delicious, recipe courtesy of Martha Stewart.
A block of florist's foam in a wood container (use a plastic liner so you can keep it damp) is the base for mixed greens, juniper sprigs and citrus fruit on picks. Clove studded orange pomanders smell wonderful - my girls have loved making them since they were young.
Assorted pine cones (these have been spray painted) and small bunches of tulips in colored glasses.
Layer two glass cake stands with evergreen sprigs, pine cones, glass ornaments and red berries.
In the middle of a shallow dish is a vase filled with white hyacinth stems surrounded by boxwood and pine cones.
Mini bouquets in a painted glasses wrapped with gold ribbon. (An opportunity to use your glue gun.)
Felt wrapped vases make oversize votives for candles, and etched glasses are filled with bayberry stems.
Seedling yew trees in a shallow metal tray layered with moss and white and purple eggplants. I would use pomegranates, crabapples and mini forelle pears.
An amaryllis with cranberries in a glass hurricane; red ribbon and an evergreen sprig.
Wishing you and yours the best this holiday season and for the year ahead!