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Season's Eatings

The Tasting Table Family Christmas Letter 2016
The Tasting Table Family Christmas Letter 2016
Photo: StockRocket/Shutterstock

All December long, we're bringing you the recipes, tips and tricks you need to Feast your way through the holidays, no matter how you celebrate the season.

Dear cherished friends and family,

Can you believe another Christmas has rolled around already? It seems like just yesterday we were decorating sugar cookies in Aspen for the holidays. But here we are a year later, and, boy, what a year it's been! We’re all a bit older now, still as fit as fiddles—give or take a few pounds.

As per usual, it’s been a whirlwind of travel. In February, we popped over to visit the ghost of our friend Julia Child at her home in Provence. At the time, we thought it would be a yoga retreat, which, as advanced yogis—gotta work off all those delectable homemade croissants somehow—we were thrilled by. Turns out it has been turned into a time-share. I believe the kids call that an Airbnb? So hard to keep up with them these days!

Before we could even unpack our bags it was time for a jaunt to Denmark for a quick dinner at Noma (we simply had to go one last time before it closed) and the chance to ponder the future of new Nordic cuisine. The food scene up north is divine. If you haven't been, go now before it becomes the new Florida.

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In the fall, we met dear dear friend Ruth Reichl up in the Hudson Valley for a Malaysian feast and a little wine tasting. You haven't lived until you've shared a steaming bowl of Backbar's curried crab soup with Ruth. Simply to die for. Blame it on the fish sauce, but we were so inspired by our time "away from it all" that we made an offer on an adorable eight-room cottage. All will be welcome for a brief (kidding . . . sort of) stay once we are up and running. It’s been a real headache dealing with all the gut renovations, but that claw-foot bathtub isn't going to install itself, right?

Although you all know that in this family we've been serious wine connoisseurs since our days at Brown, this year we decided to branch out and start exploring the world of craft beer. Yes, you read that correctly. This whole thing started after a chance visit to soon-to-be-defunct Michelin-starred Greenpoint restaurant Luksus for a tutorial from chef Daniel Burns about pairing food and beer—this fellow is so good he even cowrote a book about it with brewer Jeppe Jarnit-Bjergsø—which led us to Chicago in search of a 12-layer chocolate cake that's getting paired with cinnamon-and-chocolate-flavored beer. Feeling inspired, we started messing around in the kitchen and came up with our own beer-doused tiramisu, which, by the end of the night, had us as tipsy as when we were back at those late-night ragers during our heady grad school years. Remember those?! We hardly do!

Ever grateful for our riches, we know it is more important now than ever to help salve the world’s wounds. So whether it is spreading our knowledge about the best way to reheat pizza or the right way to eat sushi (which doesn’t involve chopsticks!) or the proper way to use your knife honer, we’re happy to selflessly share.

In the meantime, if any of you are in Berlin for the holidays, let us know. You’re more than welcome to swing by the condo. We'll even whip up a batch of that shakshuka you all love so much.

#Blessed,

The Tasting Table Family

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