in celebration of vegetables…

this article in today’s section of the l.a. times literally made me smile. in it, russ parsons talks about the sad little vegetable, outshined each year, at holiday tables by the roast or ham or whatever form of meat entrée that may be the star of your get together. and so,  in this season of practicality and – for the first time in a long time, a true appreciation of sharing – we should take another look at our friend, the vegetable side dish.

just as so many of us are making gifts and appreciating the small, quiet gestures of the holidays this year, so too can a beautiful vegetarian dish make our hearts (and tummies) swell. but for mr. parsons, it goes deeper than that:

And let’s face it, there’s no part of the Christmas dinner that is more overlooked than the vegetable. We have an uneasy relationship with them to begin with. There is always a taint of obligation when it comes to vegetables. No matter how delicious they may be, that pleasure is always somewhat undercut by the knowledge that they’re also good for us. It’s like getting slippers for Christmas, or a vacuum cleaner.

Well, maybe it’s time we grew up a little, huh? In the first place, I asked for slippers this year, and my daughter asked for a vacuum cleaner. So let’s not make any jokes. Practical gifts that give small pleasures throughout the year are not to be overlooked.

his recipe for a cauliflower and potato gratin is the one that got my attention. made from simple ingredients and easy to prepare, this will become a supper staple in our house – not just for the holidays, but throughout the upcoming year. the words of mr. parsons reminded me of the true spirit of the holidays – it truly is about the people around the table this year, more than ever – so here’s to veggie dishes, potlucks and slippers!

season’s gratins!

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