Hate to break the news, but the holidays are upon us. With every passing season I vow to never again succumb to holiday stress. This, however, would entail sticking to a plan of preparedness. Truth be told, no matter how ironclad my ‘mental plan of attack’ is laid out, my actions continually fall shy of fruition, and somehow I am left looking like April (Katie Holmes) in the film Pieces of April. What is even sadder is that I am no longer twenty years old, so playing the free-spirited singleton card won’t cut it any longer.
As I sit and ponder my domestic inadequacies, I begin to think that I may not be alone in my struggle to “arise to the occasion.” There must be others out there that share my plight. And then, low and behold, appears an angel in an apron, and while she speaks, she pinches her pie crust, bastes her turkey and puts the finishing touches on her horn of plenty. “The Chopping Block my dear, go to the Chopping Block,” she says. And as she leaves I feel as light and airy as her perfectly risen sweet potato soufflé.
The Chopping Block’s November calendar is indeed packed to the giblets with courses, workshops and demonstrations to help the culinary challenged turn their holiday feast preparations from terrors to cheers. The hands-on Thanksgiving Workshop, a five and a half hour course taught in real time, will add herb roasted turkey with gravy, cranberry sauce, garlic mashed potatoes, sautéed green beans with dried cherries, caramelized shallots and walnuts, corn and bacon pudding and pumpkin pie to your repertoire of gastronomic masterpieces, while the demonstration Thanksgiving Crash Course will leave you equipped with the timing, tricks, shopping lists and recipes to pull off your first Thanksgiving throw-down without a glitch.
Be sure to check out the Vegetarians Eat Thanksgiving, Too and Thanksgiving on the Grill hands-on courses, in addition to a Perfect Picks for Thanksgiving wine tasting event that will take place 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. on Nov. 8.
And for those that are not ready to make the leap to domestic bliss quite yet, be sure to pick up a couple of the Chopping Block’s famous holiday pies. Orders will be taken until 7 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 22.
The Chopping Block is located at 4747 North Lincoln Avenue (773-472-6700). Visit www.thechoppingblock.net for full class calendars.