Drink In the Moment

We’re entering the season of celebrations and it’s the most eating time of year.

The winter holidays are occasions for most of us to pull out all the culinary stops as we entertain family, friends and associates. Whether we’re setting our tables with heirloom china, real silver and fine linens or with brightly colored paper plates and plastic utensils, good food and drink is sure to be the centerpiece. We’ll resurrect treasured recipes, look for new twists on traditional dishes and seek out fresh ideas to liven up our gatherings. This second issue of Feast! has plenty to offer.

But as novelist Mary Doria Russell reminds us (see page 38), sometimes the best, most memorable meals are those we throw together at a moment’s notice out of odds and ends. Such spontaneous banquets are wonderful because we sit down with others and eat together. Food tastes better served with lively conversation and laughter. Throw in a bottle of champagne and any dinner can become great.

So don’t get burned-out in pursuit of perfection. Forget trying to scale the gourmet equivalent of Mount Everest, tackling incredibly challenging recipes, unless that’s your idea of fun.

Most of all don’t wait for some red-letter date on the calendar to get festive. Cook something tasty, such as Carla Snyder’s Amish pot roast or Zach Bruell’s tuna carpaccio, whenever you’re in the mood. Or shake up some Century-style apple martinis. As an alternative to kitchen duty, pick from among the many terrific restaurants in town. Invite people you like to join you. Turn off cell phones and pagers. Stop checking your watch. Remember that leisurely means unhurried. That’s the real secret to living well and turning any day into a holiday.

Feast! is here to help. Our pages are filled with deliciously different ideas about places to go, things to try and products to buy. I really enjoyed putting this issue together, but I’m already thinking about the next one. So I need Feast! readers to be my extra eyes, ears and taste buds. Tell me about where you go, whom you know and what you discover in our food community. Don’t hesitate to tell me about the kinds of stories you’d like to see in future issues of the magazine. I want to hear from you. And, of course, if you like what you see here and have a few encouraging words about our new venture, share that with us too. Enjoy.

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