Cover image for How to celebrate everything : recipes and rituals for birthdays, holidays, family dinners, and every day in between
Title:
How to celebrate everything : recipes and rituals for birthdays, holidays, family dinners, and every day in between
ISBN:
9780804176309
Edition:
First edition.
Physical Description:
xxix, 288 pages : color illustrations ; 24 cm
General Note:
Includes index.
Contents:
Introduction. Why rituals? -- Holidays we didn't invent. "Everything" ; Easter ham ; The edible gift ritual (Valentine's day, Mother's day, Father's day ; Fourth of July, aka cousinland ; Halloween launch party ; On Thanksgiving traditions ; How to avoid empty celebration syndrome ; The holiday party ; My dad's genius entertaining trick ; Christmas in Virginia ; Fancy-pants dinner (New Year's Eve) -- Our family rituals. The walk to the farmer's market ; The one-on-one date ; Fruit first thing ; Pickling ; Lunch with Dad ; The sleepover breakfast ; Vacation rituals ; Miracle mashed potatoes ; Après ski -- Birthdays. Abby's birthdaypalooza ; Andy's birthday breakfasts ; Jenny's mud cake ; Phoebe's ice cream cake ; Pick a country, any country ; A sane parent's guide to throwing an at-home birthday party -- Family dinners. Did I ever tell you...? ; Sunday dinners ; Eating in front of the TV ; After-dinner rituals ; On signature dinners -- In conclusion. Rituals and holidays organized by calendar.
Genre:
Summary:
"From the creator of the popular blog and book Dinner: A Love Story and author of the New York Times bestseller Dinner: The Playbook comes a warm and inviting guide with more than one hundred time-tested recipes and a host of inspiring ideas for turning birthdays, holidays, and everyday occasions into cherished traditions. "Families crave rituals," says Jenny Rosenstrach, and by rituals she means not just the big celebrations--Valentine's Day dinners, Mother's Day brunches, Thanksgiving feasts--but the little ones we may not even realize are rituals: A platter of deluxe nachos on Super Bowl Sunday or a bowl of creamy mashed potatoes after every braces-tightening session. Whether simple or elaborate, daily or annually, these rituals all serve the same purpose for Rosenstrach: to bring comfort, connection, and meaning to everyday family life. Recipes here are organized into groupings unique to Rosenstrach but familiar to everyone: Our Family Rituals (think tomato sandwiches for lunch after a family walk to the market, or homemade popovers on sleepover mornings); Holidays We Didn't Invent, including Friday Challah and Easter Ham (yes, both, more on that inside); a Halloween Launch Party for trick-or-treaters, featuring a self-serve simmering pot of Chicken Chorizo Chili. A section on Birthdays includes Rosenstrach's legendary chocolate frosted "mud" cake as well as a one-size-fits-all party planner with menus that do not rely on pizza. Lastly, in Family Dinners you'll find celebratory Sunday meals (Soy-Glazed Grilled Pork Chops, Harissa Roasted Chicken, Summer Cobbler) alongside Rosenstrach's signature easy weeknight fare (Crispy Chickpeas and Yogurt, Shrimp Tacos with Avocado "Butter," and vegetable-packed Burrito Bowls)--all of which translate to prime quality time with the family. In this digital, overscheduled age, How to Celebrate Everything helps families slow down, capture the moments that matter--and eat well while doing it"--
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Summary

Summary

A New York Times Best Cookbook of Fall 2016 * A warm and inviting guide to turning birthdays, holidays, and everyday occasions into cherished traditions, with more than 100 time-tested recipes--from the creator of the popular blog and book Dinner: A Love Story and author of the New York Times bestseller Dinner: The Playbook

"Families crave rituals," says Jenny Rosenstrach, and by rituals she means not just the big celebrations--Valentine's Day dinners, Mother's Day brunches, Halloween send-offs, Thanksgiving feasts, holiday cocktail parties--but the little ones we may not even realize are rituals: a platter of deluxe nachos on Super Bowl Sunday, or a bowl of creamy mashed potatoes after every braces-tightening session. Whether simple or elaborate, daily or annual, these rituals all serve the same purpose for Rosenstrach: to bring comfort, connection, and meaning to every day.

100+ recipes, including:
* popovers, apple fritters, and golden pancakes, perfect for sleepover mornings or birthday breakfasts
* "Interfaith Sliders": one version with ham and another with brisket
* Rosenstrach's legendary chocolate Mud Cake--plus an entire section on birthdays, including a one-size-fits-all party planner that does not rely on pizza
* complete menus for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's Eve
* and, of course, dozens of Rosenstrach's signature family dinners: Grilled Soy-Glazed Pork Chops, Harissa Roasted Chicken, Crispy Chickpeas with Yogurt Sauce and Naan, Grilled Spicy Shrimp Tacos with Avocado Butter and Summer Cabbage, and more

In this digital, overscheduled age, How to Celebrate Everything helps families slow down, capture the moments that matter--and eat well while doing it.

Praise for How to Celebrate Everything

"I have been an ardent fan of Jenny Rosenstrach's beautiful writing for years. I always know that every word of her books will be something to savor, and How to Celebrate Everything will strike a chord with anyone who enjoys family, friends, and delicious food." --Ree Drummond, New York Times bestselling author of The Pioneer Woman Cooks

"Enjoy How to Celebrate Everything for the easy-to-follow recipes. But even more satisfying are the wonderful anecdotes of family life and [Jenny Rosenstrach's] genial examination of the lasting role that food plays in our lives beyond the plate." -- Family Circle (September "What We're Reading" Pick)

"With characteristic warmth and humor, [Rosenstrach] urges readers to ritualize and celebrate the small moments in family life by sharing stories from her own. . . . Rosenstrach is a skilled storyteller and introduces each occasion with an engaging essay before offering up the much-loved recipes that inspired it. . . . A delicious and delightful ode to the ways family and food intertwine, reinforcing each other." -- Booklist

"Featured recipes are proven kid friendly and presented with humorous mommy angst and nostalgic commentary . . . Rosenstrach inspires, reminding us that the real celebration is family itself." -- Publishers Weekly

"This well-designed cookbook comes with a side helping of lifestyle inspiration." -- Library Journal


Author Notes

Jenny Rosenstrach is the creator of Dinner: A Love Story, the award-winning website devoted to family dinner, and the New York Times bestselling author of Dinner: A Love Story (Ecco), Dinner: The Playbook (Ballantine), and How to Celebrate Everything (Ballantine) . She was the features director at Cookie magazine for four years and special projects editor at Real Simple for six. Her essays and articles have appeared in numerous national publications and anthologies, including The New York Times Book Review , Real Simple , Martha Stewart Living , Whole Living , and the op-ed page of The New York Times . She has appeared on NPR's Weekend Edition and NBC's Today . She and her husband, Andy Ward, write the Providers column for Bon Appétit . They live with their two daughters in Westchester County, New York.


Reviews 3

Publisher's Weekly Review

Rosenstrach, a meal-planning maven, popular blogger, and bestselling author (Dinner: A Love Story), expands her family mealtime focus by providing a "blueprint for starting rituals and optimizing celebrations." She offers practical planning tips and more than 100 recipes for routinely creating celebrations where "food is at the heart" of family bonding and tradition. Organized around themes and events, Rosenstrach identifies four major ritual groupings: holidays we didn't invent, family rituals, birthdays, and family dinners. Featured recipes are proven kid friendly and presented with humorous mommy angst and nostalgic commentary. A pre-trick-or-treat Halloween party showcases franks and baked beans from scratch and a chicken chorizo chili. In "Thanksgiving Traditions," there's a full menu, as well as her mother's "Seven Things to Remember When Roasting a Bird." Holiday recipes include potato latkes with seven toppings. There are sleep-over breakfasts featuring pancakes, fritters, and popovers, along with Sunday dinner favorites such as salmon and potatoes with yogurt sauce. A "Master Party Chart" provides a useful template for planning birthday themes, crafts, games, food, cake, and party favors. Recipes are far from over-the-top, but Rosenstrach inspires, reminding us that the real celebration is family itself. (Sept.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.


Booklist Review

Rosenstrach's latest book, like her first two and her blog (Dinner: A Love Story), is equal parts food memoir, lifestyle guide, and cookbook. With characteristic warmth and humor, she urges readers to ritualize and celebrate the small moments in family life by sharing stories from her own. Daily walks to the school bus stop with her two daughters, sleepovers with friends, or a trip to the orthodontist all become opportunities to serve up love, comfort, and community, along with good food that makes memories. Rosenstrach is a skilled storyteller and introduces each occasion with an engaging essay before offering up the much-loved recipes that inspired it brown butter apple birthday pie for the daughter who eschews cake, interfaith brisket and ham sliders on challah rolls for the family's December holiday party, or grilled picnic chicken that recalls childhood summers (Rosenstrach's own and her children's) spent playing outdoors with cousins. This book is a delicious and delightful ode to the ways family and food intertwine, reinforcing each other.--Neumer Lara, Alison Copyright 2016 Booklist


Library Journal Review

Author and blogger Rosenstrach (Dinner) focuses her latest effort on what to eat during the celebrations and everyday routines that become treasured family memories. Those familiar with Rosenstrach's blog, dinneralovestory.com, will find the format of the book to be similar. Simple, kid-friendly recipes are interspersed with personal anecdotes, advice, and lessons the author has learned in her time as a mother and home chef. For the most part, the recipes are updates of home cooking classics, streamlined and easy to prepare for both small and large gatherings. Some feature unexpected yet accessible ingredients that add a bit of sophistication to common meals such as hamburgers, roast chicken, and potato salad. The layout is uncluttered, and the directions easy to follow. In Rosenstrach's parlance, everyday family routines become "rituals," events made to be honored with a special dish or dessert. -VERDICT This well-designed cookbook comes with a side helping of lifestyle inspiration. Fans of both mommy- and food-blogging will find something of interest here.-Rebecca Brody, Westfield State Univ., MA © Copyright 2016. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Excerpts

Excerpts

INTRODUCTION   WHY RITUALS?   "Babies crave routines."   This is what the pediatrician told my husband, Andy, and me on a winter day in 2002, one week after I gave birth to our first daughter, Phoebe. We were unshowered and exhausted, running primarily on new-baby adrenaline, but thirteen years later I can hear those words as though he were standing right in front of me. If I were making a movie of my parenting life, it would be the scene that's revisited throughout the film, fuzzy, sepia-tinted, maybe even in slow motion.   Of course, to a rookie mom and dad, who might've paid a small fortune just to sleep for two straight hours, the concept of a routine seemed laughable. (At that point, the concept of ever watching another twenty-four-minute episode of The Larry Sanders Show seemed laughable.) But sure enough, it wasn't long before we'd regained the semblance of a schedule: I'd nurse the baby every three hours; she'd take two naps, a long one in the morning and a short one in the afternoon. Before bedtime, there'd be a rousing rendition of "She'll Be Comin' Round the Mountain" from our Music Together CD, followed by a story in the rocking chair, and a final round of nursing. (Or, as Andy used to call it, "The Knockout Blow.") As soon as Phoebe was safely down for the count, we'd pour ourselves a glass of wine and (ahhh) make dinner.   I don't mean to suggest those early days were perfect pictures of order and calm--quite the opposite, in fact, especially after her sister, Abby, showed up twenty months later, bent on upending all notions of twenty-first-century civilized living. But feeding, sleeping, making dinner, sacrificing any shred of dignity in the name of eliciting a giggle--those were the main dots to connect in the course of our days with babies and, later, with toddlers. It was rarely a straight line from one dot to the next, and it rarely resulted in a pretty picture, but the dots were our guides, our goals. Without them, without the routine, there was nothing preventing us from descending into a state of chaos.   Thirteen years later--different dots, different pictures--I find the doctor's advice as resonant as ever. The babies--and in our case, the babies' parents--still crave routines. We like knowing that gym is on Tuesday (wear sneakers) and art is on Thursdays (wear clothes you won't mind ruining). We like knowing that Mom works from home on Wednesdays. We like knowing that allowance comes on Fridays. We like knowing that the school bus will pull up to the corner at eight fifteen sharp and that dinner will happen around seven o'clock. In short, we like knowing that we have some measure of control over things. (Even though deep down, we also know that this control rides side by side with denial.)   And yet, more than a dozen years into this parenting thing, I'm tempted to amend the doctor's advice a bit. If I were a pediatrician, and not a--ahem--food blogger, this is what I'd tell parents, the rookies and the vets, about my own experience:   Babies crave routines. Families crave rituals.   If routines are about keeping our family from going off the rails, rituals are about infusing those routine days with meaning.   Let's take that morning bus, for instance. Catching it when the girls were in elementary school was never easy. Never! Invariably, with five minutes left on the clock, we'd be turning the house upside down in search of a missing glove or workbook. Every morning we had to remind the girls to pack-your-bag-brush-your-teeth-grab-your-lunch, to hurry up already with the slo-mo loop-de-loop shoe tying. (And every morning, I'd wind up screaming Good Lord! You'd think we didn't do this whole thing yesterday! Then immediately hate myself.) It was during this seven-year stretch that I developed my superior talent as permission-slip-signing speed-walker.   But once we were finally out the door and safely headed in the right direction, I loved our bus stop ritual. Wow, did I love it. On the way to the pickup corner, we'd walk by a yellowing maple in the fall, a row of exploding magnolia trees in the spring, and thickets of honeysuckle bushes in June. We'd meet up with seven or eight other families, who, all told, counted four dogs (including Iris, our Boston terrier) and almost a dozen kids. As soon as everyone heard the rumbling of the bus as it struggled to make it up the hill, the kids, all wearing giant backpacks that threatened to topple them, would line up on the corner like little robots, knees rising as high as their chests as they took that first step aboard. The parents, some clutching coffee mugs and wearing ski jackets over pajamas, some suited up and ready for their walk to the commuter train, all searched the darkened windows for their kids, waved goodbye like maniacs, then hung around to chat with one another while the dogs tangled leashes and licked each other.   So, you might be thinking, that sounds a lot like my morning routine. How does something as mundane as walking to the bus stop qualify as meaningful? How does it get promoted to the status of ritual?   I'll tell you how. Standing out there on that corner year after year, we watched the neighborhood kids sprout before our eyes, evolving from princesses into tomboys and then back again. We laughed at the boys who insisted on wearing shorts on frigid winter days, and at the parents who were powerless to control it. We pretended not to care too much when the kids grew out of kissing us goodbye. We coordinated playdates and dinner parties, shared vacation plans, and swapped Twitter handles. We discussed why the cheese shop in town was closing, when the Halloween parade started, who the new permanent third-grade sub was, and everything else that passed for big news in our small-town New York suburb. On the first and last days of school, at least one person had a camera, and multiple photos were taken of the bus-boarders, even though I knew that, by doing so, we were only setting ourselves up for heartbreak down the road. Look how teeny you were! That was your first day of first grade! Look at Piper when she was just a puppy! Remember those silver sandals you wore every day? (Excuse me while I start weeping on my keyboard.)   In other words, the school bus send-off transcended routine because it connected us to something larger. It connected us to our community in a way that, I later realized, would be hard to replicate once there was no more bus to catch. Mostly, though, it connected us as a family. As harried as we felt, as chaotic as the workday ahead of us promised to be, we started off every morning together. From beginning to end, I'd estimate that bus stop ritual lasted under eight minutes each day, but it was pretty much guaranteed that at one point during those eight minutes, a little hand would mindlessly reach up and latch on to mine. (This, in spite of my best Cruella De Vil impersonation only minutes earlier.) That gesture alone put enough fuel in the happy tank to power an entire day at the office.   My family craves rituals. Some of them, like walking to the bus stop, are simple, daily, and downright random. Others, like cooking Thanksgiving dinner with my mother, "Grandma Jody," or baking Christmas cookies with Andy's mom, "Grandma Hubba," are big, huge, once-a-year food-related rituals attached to big, huge, once-a-year holidays. One ritual, family dinner (which is also the subject of my blog, Dinner: A Love Story), is so fundamental to the psychological health of our household that we think of it as our North Star, something worth organizing our days--maybe even our lives--around.   Whether they're big or small, simple or elaborate, daily or yearly, all our rituals serve the same purpose: They bring comfort, connection, and meaning to our days, days that might otherwise just wind up blurring together. On a daily basis, rituals help me answer the questions that are central to my life as a parent: How do we help our children recognize things that matter? How do we teach them to be grateful for everything they have--not the latest Nike Free Runs, but friends and family and community? How do we make days feel special? How do we hold on to moments that are so easily lost in the jam-packed calendar, that disappear behind us like a jet trail?   This book is about the importance of rituals and celebrations in our family, and I hope it serves as a blueprint for starting rituals and optimizing celebrations in yours. For us, it's about waking up on our birthdays to a Big Deal Breakfast (homemade waffles with berries and whipped cream for Abby; sausage-and-egg biscuits for Andy). It's about eating Phoebe-invented butter-fried, cinnamon-dusted pineapple chunks every New Year's Eve and a Jenga-like platter of deluxe nachos every Super Bowl. It's about walking to the farmer's market every Saturday morning from June through November and, season permitting, collecting all the ingredients for a proper tomato sandwich that we will devour for lunch later that afternoon. It's about serving creamy, comforting mashed potatoes after every braces-tightening visit to the orthodontist. It's about the post-dinner concert ritual--laying down a strand of Christmas lights around the perimeter of the upstairs hall to create a "stage," then being treated to "The Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy," an a capella Taylor Swift ballad, or a Neil Young air guitar solo with a tennis racket. (Wow, do I miss those days.) It's very much about the box of Pop-Tarts Andy throws in the cart as soon as we begin grocery shopping for the vacation rental: The kids aren't allowed to eat Pop-Tarts for breakfast in their regular lives, and the thrill they get from breaking this rule reminds us that the point of vacation is inserting happiness wherever you can, and getting as far away from your daily routine as possible.   Excerpted from How to Celebrate Everything: A Family Guide to Rituals and Recipes for Birthdays, Holidays, and Every Day in Between by Jenny Rosenstrach All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.


Table of Contents

Introductionp. ix
Why Rituals?
Part I Holidays We Didn't Inventp. 1
"Everything"p. 2
Easter Hamp. 9
The Edible Gift Ritual (Valentine's Day, Mother's Day, Father's Day)p. 15
Fourth of July, aka Cousinlandp. 28
Halloween Launch Partyp. 37
On Thanksgiving Traditionsp. 43
How to Avoid Empty Celebration Syndromep. 60
The Holiday Partyp. 68
My Dad's Genius Entertaining Trickp. 77
Christmas in Virginiap. 78
Fancy-Pants Dinner (New Year's Eve)p. 89
Part II Our Family Ritualsp. 97
The Walk to the Farmer's Marketp. 98
The One-on-One Datep. 122
Fruit First Thingp. 133
Picklingp. 135
Lunch with Dadp. 143
The Sleepover Breakfastp. 146
Vacation Ritualsp. 156
Miracle Mashed Potatoesp. 168
Après Skip. 176
Part III Birthdaysp. 185
Abby's Birthdaypaloozap. 186
Andy's Birthday Breakfastsp. 196
Jenny's Mud Cakep. 199
Phoebe's Ice Cream Cakep. 206
Pick a Country, Any Countryp. 211
A Sane Parent's Guide to Throwing an At-Horne Birthday Partyp. 214
Part IV Family Dinnersp. 227
Did I Ever Tell You ...?p. 228
Sunday Dinnersp. 236
Eating in Front of the TVp. 258
After-Dinner Ritualsp. 267
On Signature Dinnersp. 276
In Conclusionp. 287
Rituals and Holidays Organized by Calendarp. 289
Acknowledgmentsp. 291
Indexp. 292