Deep Breaths, Everyone

Deep Breaths, Everyone

Holy feathered bird. Is it really that time already? Suddenly I’m aware of the word “holiday” everywhere, and the countdown has begun. I need menus, wrapping paper, gift lists, and a general sense of order before the chaos begins.

Thankfully, we’ve got a handy team right here to help us all stay organized, and that “us” includes you, too. We’ve armed ourselves for the season with a list of ways to prepare turkey for Thanksgiving (including the leftovers, which can be the biggest challenge for the home cook), and all month long we’ll unveil suggestions for your gourmet gift list, whether your recipients are casual acquaintances or beloved family members.

To start with, we’ve divided our Gilded Fork Boutique gifts into price ranges: Under $50, $50-100 and $100 and Up, so you can find something for a modest hostess gift or a decadent indulgence for the gastronome in your life. Later in November we’ll also provide you with some gift-giving ideas by personality (i.e. the Sweet Tooth, the Avid Cook, the Neophyte, etc.), so get your pen ready.

Have you signed up for our free Gilded Select™ newsletter yet? I suggest you do, as we’ll continue to offer special pricing on our boutique items throughout the holidays. Every penny counts, people!

In case you haven’t guessed it by now, our Main Ingredient for November is turkey. Predictable, yes — but essential? You betcha. Don’t worry, we’re not going to do anything super-freakish with the bird, as I know from personal experience that The Family does not enjoy deviations from tradition on our holiday table. Given my trauma in that area I have stuck with little touches here and there to satisfy my palate without alienating Them. The Sister will of course host things this year, so I will do my best to stay out of the way and drink much of the Moscato d’Asti I brought back from Italy. It makes the day smoother all around.

We’ll then head into an Indulgence of sage, the perfect counterpart to fowl, and one of the tastiest fuzzy leaves ever to grow in nature. Its delicate flavor just screams savory delights, but fear not, as the Pastry Princess has taken on some sweet variations as well. (Note: She has now officially been crowned on our masthead, along with Queen Lia. You’ll also notice that we’ve added a taster to the banner — he is a complete diva, and tried to insist upon being at the top of the list, but that just isn’t happening.)

In other news, I’ve just returned from a glorious trip to the Piemonte region of Italy, where I tasted my way through the vineyards and truffled activities prevalent at this time of year. Naturally I recorded much of the trip to share with you, and my most recent Food Philosophy podcast will take you along with me on a simulated truffle hunt with Lady the Truffle Dog, as well as give you an auditory glimpse of the infamous White Truffle Festival in Alba. I’m also delighted to share that the show has really taken off thanks to its distribution through the PodShow network — my truffle jaunt had nearly 30,000 downloads on its first day in circulation!

A few days after I came back from Piemonte, Chef Mark headed off to the Rioja region of Spain for a wine and food tasting tour, so he too will have audio footage from his adventure on the ReMARKable Palate podcast. For the record, yes, we’re having a blast.

We hope you find lots of great information here this month for all of your holiday celebrations, from Spanish wines and tapas ideas (perfect for cocktail parties) to simple, elegant preparations for your seated gatherings; don’t forget to visit our Entertaining section for tips on planning, menu ideas and wine pairings. It promises to be a festive season here at the Gilded Fork house, so we’ll meet you in the cellar for a toast!

Wishing you a wonderful holiday season!