You know it’s 2020 when every day feels like Groundhog Day, face coverings are becoming a fashion statement, and “social distancing,” “online learning,” and “Zoom” seem to be the buzzwords of the year. With all the days, weeks and months running together, it’s hard to believe that this year is (finally) coming to an end! But what does that mean for this year’s holiday celebrations amidst the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic?
As has been the case for most things this year, it is likely that your holidays may look a little different than usual. Many people will not be traveling to visit friends or family. The phone is starting to ring again and slowly but surely people are starting to get together again. Local gatherings may be smaller than usual, as some families may choose to keep to themselves. But if there’s one thing we’ve learned this year, it’s that while we may need to adapt the way we do things, the metaphorical “party” must go on!
Whether you are cooking up traditional family favorites or bringing in the professionals to help you whip together a stress-free holiday meal, nothing beats this special time of year with the ones you love! While everyone has their own comfort levels when it comes to social gatherings right now, we wish you all a happy and healthy holiday season, however you choose to celebrate COVID style.
Whether you’re going for a mini gathering with your immediate family, an intimate “friendsgiving,” or a small reunion with extended family, Thanksgiving is the perfect opportunity to relax and reflect on the many blessings in our lives with the people who mean the most to us… Especially after the year we have had! Let’s not forget the great football and delicious meal to be thankful for, too!
Helga’s Thanksgiving Banquet
- Banana nut bread canapes with creamy pumpkin roses
- A variety of mushroom caps filled with crabmeat, and spinach with cheese
- Belgian endives filled with smoked whitefish
- Roasted Turkey with homemade stuffing, gravy and orange cranberry sauce
- Spiral-cut honey-glazed ham served with honey mustard
- Potatoes au gratin
- Spinach salad with sugar coated almonds and mandarin oranges in balsamic vinaigrette
- Rolls and butter
- Country Apple Tart
- Pumpkin Pie
Hanukkah is another holiday that allows for some much-needed family time and celebration among Jewish families. Grab the Manischewitz (or sparkling cider for the kids) and gather everyone for a round of dreidel before lighting the menorah, for a Festival of Lights that all will cherish!
Helga’s Hanukkah Delight
- Brie cheese with honey, dried fruits, nuts, and crackers
- Chopped liver with matzoh
- Smoked salmon blini topped with chives, crème Fraiche and capers
- Succulent beef brisket served with tender roasted potatoes and carrots
- Chicken Mojito: grilled breast of chicken topped with a flavorful dressing of olive oil, red and green peppers, and cilantro
- Latkes: miniature potato pancakes served with applesauce
- Custardy Noodle Kugel: Egg noodle casserole baked to perfection with cinnamon and vanilla
- Arugula salad with beets, olives, and feta cheese drizzled with red wine vinaigrette
- Black and white cookies
- Sufganiyot jelly donuts
Ask Christian families how they celebrate Christmas, and you’ll get many similar responses: church, quality family time, stockings and presents, lots of hot cocoa, cookies and eggnog, and much anticipation over the coveted White Christmas! However, what one family considers a “traditional” Christmas dinner often varies quite a bit. Many families feast on a dinner similar to their Thanksgiving meal with turkey, mashed potatoes, etc. while others like to mix it up with a Virginia baked ham or beef tenderloin. Regardless of which menu you choose, everyone will be sure to agree it’s the most wonderful time of the year!
Helga’s Holiday Feast
- Holiday red and green pepper boats filled with saga cream
- Steamed shrimp served on a bed of fresh seaweed with tangy cocktail sauce and lemon
- Crabmeat Charissa: hot crab spread with artichoke hearts on French bread
- Beef tenderloin roasted to perfection and carved to order, accompanied by Bearnaise sauce, horseradish and Dijon mustard
- Whole poached Norwegian salmon elegantly garnished with lemon scaled and served with cucumber dill sauce, flanked by cascading French baguettes
- Roasted red bliss herbed potatoes
- Homestyle broccoli and cauliflower topped with breadcrumbs
- Winter salad of chopped romaine, Bosc pears, walnuts and Manchego cheese, and balsamic vinaigrette
- An elaborate bread display with a variety of rolls and butter
- Colorful assortment of holiday cookies
- Miniature Linzer tarts: Viennese classic with plump raspberries and hazelnut crust
- Christmas tree display of fresh fruit kebabs with raspberry yogurt dipping sauce
New Year’s Eve
There’s nothing more exciting and hopeful than celebrating the New Year with family and friends, especially following the tragic and unprecedented year we’ve all endured. Champagne (or sparkling cider), great food and great company make the perfect combination to ring in the much anticipated new year!
Helga’s Millennial Holiday Celebration
- Crisp phyllo money bags filled with wild mushrooms, served with Hollandaise sauce
- Grilled beef hibachi skewers
- Grilled swordfish on ginger-jalapeño rice cakes
- Porkloin stuffed with plums and served with ginger plum and mustard caper sauce
- Grilled chicken satay with spicy Thai peanut dipping sauce
- Roasted leg of lamb served in a rich brown gravy
- Assorted sushi, cucumber and California rolls served with pickled ginger, soy sauce and wasabi
- Orzo and peas tossed with feta cheese
- Curried lentil salad with shrimp and chiffonated spinach
- Winter fruit salad tossed with dried apricots, cherries, nuts and fresh mint
- Pumpkin Roll – pumpkin sponge cake rolled with cream cheese filling and nuts
- Cranberry Apple Strudel sprinkled with powdered sugar
- Strawberries dipped in dark and white chocolate
Michael Evans is chef-owner of Helga’s Caterers, a family-owned, full-service catering company with over 35 years of experience in providing fine food and excellent service for all of your catering needs throughout the D.C. Metro Area.