PHOTO BY MELINDA ORTLEY
Every Christmas Eve, I make my mother-in-law’s creamy bourbon-laced eggnog. Margo always served it alongside her pecan cheeseball, and so do I. The drink became more meaningful after she died. My sisters-in-law and I call each other in a panic when one of us can’t find her handwritten recipe. We can’t wrap presents without a glass. The tradition ties us to Margo, to the season and to each other.
When contributor Meredith Steele was growing up, her family didn’t bake holiday cookies. But it’s an activity she now shares with her daughter, Mia, whose sweet hands grace the cover of this issue. Meredith reminds us—you can start your own traditions. Her cookie recipe is on Page 22.
Afternoon tea is a daily tradition for holistic health practitioner Sapna Punjabi-Gupta. In India, where Sapna grew up, every household has an heirloom recipe for spiced chai. Sapna shares hers in Notable Edibles.
Storytelling is a tradition as old as humankind. Nancy Falster’s story about her farm dog, Stuart, was meant for her grandchildren, but she thought others needed to hear her message. Find out why in Notable Edibles.
Once upon a time, people hung their socks by the fireplace to dry, making an easy target for St. Nick. For stocking stuffers this year, think bean-to-bar chocolate. On Page 27, Karel Holloway tells of three local food artisans who are crafting it.
Beef—a Texas tradition. In “Raising the Steaks,”(Page 31), Kim Pierce profiles four local butcher shops that specialize in homegrown. Go to edibledfw.com for Lauren Coe’s Bourbon-Glazed Tenderloin recipe. A tasty addition to your holiday table.
Some traditions just aren’t worth saving. Like Grandma’s boiled cauliflower, says Cowgirl Chef Ellise Pierce. Ellise offers five better ways to serve chou-fleur on Page 12. Bourbon is not just Kentucky-made these days. Texas distillers are breaking that tradition, and Lauren Coe and I help you meet your North Texas bourbon-makers on Page 34.
I never considered the source of my mother-in-law’s eggnog recipe—it was simply hers. Recently I uncovered the true originator in Margo’s well-used copy of Helen Corbitt’s Cookbook. Pre-Julia Child, Corbitt was the darling of the culinary world, especially in Texas. She lorded over Neiman-Marcus’ Zodiac Room in the days of white gloves. Store president Stanley Marcus proclaimed her “the Balenciaga of Food.” In the margins of Corbitt’s Party Punch section, I found Margo’s handwriting next to “Eggnog (For 30).” She had scribbled some calculations, reducing the quantity.
I know now that Helen Corbitt wrote our family’s heirloom recipe. But it’s a fact I choose to forget. That eggnog will always be Margo’s.
From Nanci, me and our entire crew, happy holidays to you and yours!