By Suzanne Dunaway
ust the other night, tiny vampires, ghosts and devils were spiriting themselves around the neighborhoods for treats and when the night was over, I thought I had time to take a breath. Just moments later the turkeys came trotting into town and summer's overgrown squash were becoming table decorations for hoards of family members eating far too much and wondering how to holiday shop on such a full tummy.
It all goes too fast.
"Too much, too soon" describes the holidays for me.
However, you can liven up your overworked and waning spirits with a few fresh ideas for your turkey table — corn pudding for one, cranberry muffins for another, and bourbon balls to roll out as a finale.
First, make cranberry muffin dough and while the cranberries mate with the orange peel and the mix waits for the oven, get on with pudding.
Yes, there is really is corn in Italian markets. Not southern, tender, perfect ears of golden succulence but corn nice enough to make a pudding.
Since the oven is on and the pudding must cool a little, spoon the muffin mix into the muffin tins, brush each with a little melted butter and bake for 25 minutes or until puffed and golden.
Now the good part.
Once turkey, dressing (or stuffing, as many are wont to call it), green beans, creamed onions, mashed potatoes, grapefruit and avocado salad, pumpkin pie with whipped cream (unsweetened, honey, or it ain't southern) and café are mere Proustian memories, bring out the bourbon balls!
Everyone knows that chocolate is a great digestive, (not in Fernet Branca's league, but...), and they go well with the last sip of red wine or after-dinner Cognac.
Cool the mixture in the fridge for an hour, then make into 1-inch balls and roll in more powdered cocoa. These are great for building up energy to face the next hurdle, your gift list. Christmas, Hanukkah and New Year's are coming faster than a breeding pullet.
In winter, one of the world's great meat-and-bean dishes, cassoulet, can rescue you from all manner of chills.
Pondering food can push you light years away from enjoying what goes into your mouth.
Amid unfolding natural tragedy and tales of woe, it takes a cook to tell you where to seek refuge: in the kitchen.
Hot enough inside? Longing for a cool dish? Turn to the trusty potato and get creative
Discovering a letter from Rome written in 1987 lets you take a walk in another world, though much endures.
More Suzanne's Taste