Thanks to Julee Rosso, owner of the Wickwood Inn in Saugatuck, for part 2 of her series, Lessons from an Innkeeper. As we approach the holidays, remember that a B&B can be the perfect place to relax, renew, and get in the spirit during the coming season.
During the holidays, I believe cooking becomes about more than just the finished product. My priorities:
Keep it fresh. Start your meal planning in the produce section. No longer are we charmed by eating everything, anywhere, all the time. We want to eat only food at its freshest and best.
Lighten up. Simpler is always best. There’s no reason to stuff your guests at holiday time. Save that for the turkey! Instead of two kinds of potatoes, serve more vegetables or even wild rice. Begin with a soup—squash, roasted beet, potato, leek or broccoli. Brush the turkey with olive oil instead of butter. Try roasted winter veggies brushed with olive oil and sprinkled with herbs.
Celebrate your family’s history. Make those treasured recipes in memory of those who aren’t there—scalloped oysters from Grandma, Uncle George’s applesauce. These connections are especially important during the holidays. Ask family members to volunteer to bring a dish for the big holiday meal. It makes everyone feel involved.
Make it memorable. Set aside an evening or weekend for the family cooks (all ages welcome) or a flock of good friends to bake holiday cookies together.
Make enough to share. Send guests home with leftovers from your holiday meal, maybe in a special container or on a plate that doubles as a gift. Throughout the season, remember an elderly relative, neighbor or sick friend. Frozen soups, stews, pasta sauces and one-dish meals make thoughtful gifts.
Trees, garlands, and sparkling lights make the holidays come alive, especially at the Wickwood Inn. Next week, Julee shares her strategies for creating holiday magic.
Julee Rosso is the owner of the Wickwood Inn in Saugatuck, author of the Silver Palate Cookbook, and Michigan Travel Ideas contributor. If you have questions or comments for Julee, please leave a comment below, or contact her via Facebook or on Twitter.