What a Spread!

Parties and get-togethers are swinging this holiday season, especially a year after many people were unable to see their loved ones in the past year and a half. Thanks to vaccines, holiday parties are possible again. If you plan to hold a holiday dinner or party, try a few of our ideas!

Charcuterie boards are popular year round but even more so during the holiday season. In fact, in lieu of gingerbread houses, some people are making charcuterie chalets! It’s a Swiss cabin made with cured meats like prosciutto, genoa salame, and mortadella and cheeses like Spanish manchego, Swiss gruyère and German Muenster. But if you’re just doing a standard charcuterie board, you’ll need some nuts, olives, and possibly some fruit spread. Fig spread is one of my personal favorites for cheese, especially brie but you can also try a caramelized red onion chutney made with 3-year-old balsamic vinegar of modena or an apricot conserve made with Spanish apricots and French Armagnac brandy. And don’t forget the crackers!

Brandy butter is an unfamiliar Christmas item to many Americans but it may become more known in the years to come. For those who don’t know what brandy butter is, it’s a strong but sweet and creamy accompaniment to any mince pie or Christmas pudding. Dab a spoonful onto a warm piece of Christmas pudding and watch it melt, sliding off to the side. And you don’t need to enjoy it on a Christmas dessert as brandy butter can be enjoyed any time of the year on any dessert. Try it on a spotted dick pudding or warm apple pie. However, if you’re not into alcoholic based spreads, you can still enjoy something creamy to balance out the sweetness of pies and puddings. Add some clotted cream or double Devon cream to your holiday dessert to add some light and mellow texture and flavor. Just remember to warm the mince pies and puddings!

Be sure to get your vaccine or get tested for covid, socially distance, and wear a mask if possible! Here’s hoping 2022 will be a fully festive season!

-CD

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