I made a soup today. I thought it was going to be brilliant, fantastic. It had all the right stuff—garlic and shallots and cumin and coriander and enough cilantro to stuff a mattress. It had carrots and split peas and a little bit of spinach, and when you were done you were supposed to serve it with za'atar smothered bread. Yum! But it also called for 15 cups of water, and I questioned the measurement, and then went ahead with it, and the results were, well, meh. I should have known.

Tomorrow, though, I will be doing the biggest grocery shop EVER, and when I get home I will be making a big pot of Portuguese kale soup. They've been making linguica in house at the restaurant in Provincetown, and I've got a bunch of kale and potatoes from the farmers' market and tomatoes put up in the freezer and kidney beans left over from our grain & bean CSA. I'm going to make a double batch, so that when all the travelers arrive weary Wednesday we'll have something to get us through the Angie's baking and the sticky bun charades and the prep that will accompany Alex's questionable-yet-awesome plan to spit-roast two legs of lamb over a tray of potatoes inside of our kitchen oven. (Thank you, Darina Allen!)

Oh! and then we have to get ready for Christmas dinner, which will involve glazing the smoked ham we just got with our half a pig from Seawind Meadows, halving heaps of Brussels sprouts, and roasting, emptying, butter-adding, re-stuffing, cheesing, and re-baking a whole bunch of big ole potatoes, in honor of my grandmother who makes them best. GAAAH and then there are oysters to shuck and biscuits to bake and Manhattans to drink and maybe we should just make a pitcher?

Which is all to say: HAPPY MERRY, from us all. Hope it's good out there.

P.S. Apologies for the recent lack of food-related photos. Happy solstice and all, but I'm looking forward to the return of light during the cooking hour.

P.P.S. Also, in the New Year, can we talk about the January issue of Bon Appétit? It is filled with so much good stuff, so many excellent ideas, that I'm not even sure where to start. (Although I'm leaning toward clams in this coconut stock.) I'll see you soon, friends.


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