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holiday food

Yes, it's possible.
I gather fall ingredients and pack up the freezer just like the squirrels that can be seen gathering and burying nuts and seeds for the winter months. This time of year is dedicated to squirreling away containers and freezer baggies of all our fall family favourites.
There is one upside to the cold blistery weather during the holiday season and that's all the gently simmering food you can braise, boil, simmer and roast. There is something wonderfully comforting about taking a few seasonal ingredients, putting them into a pot in a particular order and -- shazam -- you've got a stew going!
I prefer hot weather, so I'm always a bit sad when winter gets closer. I do, however, have one consolation prize: soup. It probably wouldn't be an exaggeration to say that soup is my favourite thing to eat. As a result, I've gotten pretty good at making it, and I can throw together a basic vegetable soup without much thought or trouble; so that's what we're doing this week!
No more columns about healthy replacements for shortbread, egg nog, or those amazing chocolate seashells. We need to get back to making treats just that: treats. Something to look forward to, and something to be respected.
Playing on the classic winter combination of beef and barley, I thought using low sodium beef broth would make a chewy and delicious pilaf dotted with a few sweet currants and the fennel for a subtle anise note.
Do you have any idea how many calories are in some of the ubiquitous foods on the holiday table? Here is a list of the foods I avoid at all costs; they are just not worth it, no matter how good they taste. If you put them all together in one evening, you could be waddling home with an extra 3000 calories.
This week, I've decided to make dishes for an office holiday party or pot luck dinner that I think everyone will love without all the fried or heavy offerings. My inspiration for my first dish is the Greek holiday table which by definition has a ton of options.