For me, the Holiday Season has always been about food. I mean...family. Okay, family and food. I have been blessed with a mother and father who both cook amazing gourmet meals on a regular basis. You might say I've become a little spoiled over the years, having grown up watching the Food Network instead of listening to a bedtime story. I'd often go to a friend's house for dinner and have to hide my dismay at the tuna casserole and creamed peas presented to me.
"You mean, you didn't brine your turkey for twenty-four hours in a crushed rosemary salt bath? That salmon isn't Wild Alaskan and slow-roasted on a cedar plank? You're drinking...red table wine?! Oh, the horror. Okay, so I'm a bit of a food snob. But I've tried to cultivate this foodie pride into something productive: actually learning to cook.
This past Thanksgiving was my first attempt at bringing a dish to our already heaving table of delicious treats. My pancetta-braised brussels sprouts and orange zest-infused sweet potatoes went over very well with the nuclear family and cautiously tried by others. I now feel confident enough to be in charge of dessert this Christmas dinner, which is no laughing matter. My parents have been planning the menu for weeks, and my brother is even brewing a special batch of gingerbread beer up in Alaska to bring down.
This dessert has some mighty big shoes to fill. Will I stick to a family favorite: vanilla bean crème brulée? (We do love torching the sugar on top together.) Maybe I'll Paula Deen it up with Krispy Kreme Bread Pudding with Butter Rum Sauce. (Yes, that's Krispy Kreme doughnuts.) Or perhaps I'll stray off the beaten path with a Spiced Honey Semifreddo with Dried Fruit and Almonds. Whatever I end up making, it'll always have that one special ingredient: lots and lots of butter. I mean...love. Okay, butter and love.