Christmas, 1992. We ate a spiced beef roast that I had cured with juniper, allspice and salt for two weeks and a Country Christmas Cake, a heavy, dark fruitcake swathed in marzipan that had been aging since October. I’m sure they were wonderful, but I can’t quite remember how they tasted. What I do remember is knowing that I had to make them, next Christmas, as soon as I read “How to Face the Holidays” by Laurie Colwin in the December 1991 issue of Gourmet magazine. It began:
When Thanksgiving has passed and the leaves are off the trees, the harried modern person looks to the winter holidays like someone slumped across a railroad track contemplating an oncoming train.
She has found two splendid things to eat that can be made long in advance. “There is nothing else like them. They must be made by hand. And they cannot be…
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