For the past 27 years, the last bite of the Thanksgiving leftovers has been the official starting bell for our holiday season at the Radish.
In any normal year, the Radish team would be scurrying like a pack of well-caffeinated elves preparing for the next frenetic three weeks. As daunting as executing 40+ events with guest counts ranging from 80 – 400 in such a compressed time frame can be, I love seeing how we all come together to work ridiculously long hours while existing on a steady diet of Christmas cookies, eggnog & coffee.
This year will look very different because of Covid. Instead of decking the halls or all hands-on deck, we will be quietly hibernating until it’s safe to return to work.
Our kitchen filled with Madonna’s “Santa Baby,” Wham!’s “Last Christmas” and the cacophony of busy chefs will be replaced by a silent and dark kitchen this year. Staring at our empty December calendar, I get a little nostalgic for the holiday hustle, hard work and fun.
These are a few of my favorite things…
- doing a double-take at seeing our entire office team donning aprons to help make hundreds of perfectly formed Dungeness crab cakes.
- our floral team happily creating dozens of winter wonderland-themed centerpieces to match each client’s aesthetic.
- the event staff enthusiastically hugging at the beginning of their shift … despite working an 11-hour shift until 2am the night before.
- whipping up a batch of our signature cocktails for the team to be 100% sure that our “Spiced Winter Storm” and “Pear Whiskey Gingersnap” are on point.
- the dark o’clock mornings when our pastry chef tirelessly places the perfect poof of house-made marshmallow on hundreds of miniature s’more cups, caramelizes cases of pears for desserts & salads, and turns out pan after pan of delicate frangipane & caramel-nut tarts.
- admiring our very own chalk artist as she pens the holiday menu signage in her mesmerizing script
- watching our staffing manager deftly convince Radishes to come out of retirement for “guest appearance shifts” on impossibly busy days.
- carefully loading up the trucks in frigid temperatures while simultaneously tracking the paths of impending snowstorms.
- the cases of fresh cranberries we transform into “Those Sugared Cranberries” used to garnish anything and everything…our desserts, cheeseboards, buffet tables, bars. (see recipe below)
As I write this and nibble on the last drumstick from our Thanksgiving dinner, I’m so grateful I can treasure these memories. I also know I should savor the quiet and stillness of this year because I will probably never have this much time to spend with my family doing all those holiday-y things that regular people do.
But mostly, I cannot wait to get back to work and sprinkle the magic of “Those Sugared Cranberries” around next year.
Cheers to a happy & safe holiday season from our Radish family to yours!
Those Sugared Cranberries
They are fabulous as snacks served in a cocktail glass or footed bowl or used as a garnish for desserts or a cheese platter.
- 1 bag 12 oz bag of fresh cranberries
- 1-2 cups white sugar
- 1 egg white
In a large mixing bowl, whisk egg white gently for 10 seconds
Add cranberries to the bowl to coat evenly. Pour off any extra egg white
Place the cranberries evenly on a sheet pan
Sprinkle one cup of sugar over cranberries and shake the pan to roll the cranberries evenly with sugar
Add more sugar until cranberries are covered with the desired amount of sugar (there will be extra sugar left on the pan)
Allow do air-dry for one hour on the sheet pan
Enjoy immediately or place in an air tight container for up to 3 days (do not refrigerate)