Food

Heat, Then Eat

A very merry roundup

Wednesday, December 16, 2020

When Governor Jay Inslee recently extended a statewide ban on indoor dining in restaurants and gatherings with people outside of your household from Dec. 14 until early January, it wasn’t a huge surprise. With Washington’s recent spike in COVID-19 cases and the exponential rate of growth of the coronavirus in the Pacific Northwest, it seems prudent to continue the restrictions through the holidays.

The news wasn’t entirely a bah-humbug scenario. Inslee’s edict came with an announcement that an additional $50 million in aid to businesses and workers most impacted by these public health measures would be made available—in addition to the $135 million in relief announced before Thanksgiving—and he also urged the federal government to get off their duffs and act on a more comprehensive national relief bill as soon as possible.

That said, restaurants complying with the order can still use all the help they can get. In Bellingham, a number of eateries and grocers who cooked Thanksgiving feasts for the masses in November are again pulling out all the stops for Christmas dinner. With your advance purchase of their heat-and-serve offerings, you’ll not only be securing delicious multi-course meals and cutting down on party planning, you’ll also be bolstering the economy.

“Studies have shown that local independent retailers recirculate 47 percent of their revenue back into the community, while only 14 percent of national chains’ revenue stays in the community,” read a recent press release from Sustainable Connections—who have also compiled a Local Gift Guide and are offering Think Local First gift cards redeemable at more than 130 Whatcom County businesses.

“More dramatically, restaurants, who have been hit especially hard during the pandemic, recirculate 73 percent of their revenue back into the community, versus only 30 percent for national chains,” they continue. “By supporting local businesses, more money continues circulating through the local community. This is achieved through a combination of profits paid to local business owners, wages paid to local workers, goods and services procured locally for internal use or resale, and charitable giving within the community.”

At Boundary Bay Brewery, its annual Christmas Eve Pasta Feed will look a little different this year, as it will be taking place in your kitchen instead of inside their dining room. Choose between small, medium, large or family-style pasta kits, or select a buffet package that includes a small portion of each option—including spaghetti and meatballs, fettuccini Alfredo, classic manicotti, vegetarian puttanesca, and lasagne. Pick up your order or have it delivered Dec. 23 or 24, and consider adding on a couple six-packs of their award-winning beer, pecan pie, or holiday cookie and treat boxes baked with love by Boundary Bay head elf Janet Lightner.

At both Community Food Co-op locales, order complete holiday ham or turkey dinners for Christmas or New Year’s Day (deadlines are 9pm Mon., Dec. 21 for the former, and 9pm Mon., Dec. 28 for the latter). Traditional, vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free dishes will be available to the masses, and shoppers can also choose from an a la carte menu including salads, gravy, roasted figs, wild rice stuffing, orange and tarragon glazed carrots, smashed potatoes and a variety of scrumptious desserts—including a beauty dubbed Winter Wonderland Cake.

On State Street, Cosmos Bistro will again be getting in on the holiday take-and-bake action, and you’d be wise to sign up for the savory goodness. Each meal will serve four to six people, and will include a main course of honey roasted ham or butternut and portobella lasagna. Sides include cheesy potato gratin, rosemary “carameltzed” carrots, green bean casserole, Parker House rolls with herbed butter, a bottle of wine and a chocolate hazelnut yule log cake. Many of those offerings can also be found on an a la carte lineup, as can a variety of appetizers and a holiday dessert tray.

“Holidays by the pound” can be ordered at Danielle’s Back East BBQ through Sun., Dec. 20, with pickup available Wed., Dec. 23 at the Bellingham Yacht Club. Whether you’re entranced by the mobile eatery’s deep-fried turkey breast, Carolina pulled pork, Texas-smoked beef brisket, or honey smoked ribs, they’ve got what you’re craving. While you’re at it, add on side dishes such as mashed or scalloped potatoes, brown butter French green beans, mac and cheese or hushpuppies. “All you have to do is heat, eat and take the credit,” they say. Sounds like a solid plan.

Evolve Chocolate + Cafe’s Thanksgiving dinner was so successful, many who ordered from the restaurant on the top floor of Village Books are hoping it continues as a holiday tradition. Those same diners will also be thrilled to hear owners Christy and Shannon Fox are cooking up a Christmas Eve Dinner. Choose from entrees including crab cakes, squash cassoulet or braised lamb shanks, and enjoy braised broccoli and scalloped potatoes as sides. Dessert will come in the form of Buche de Noel—comprised of vanilla bean sponge cake, guava mousse, rose water whipped cream and a dark chocolate glaze. Add on Chef Christy’s Eggnog, and your feast will be complete.

Trust us when we say that you’ll want to include a growler of beer when picking up Christmas dinner slider kits from The Local Public House in downtown Bellingham. Choose from two pounds of house-smoked pulled turkey or house pulled pork, and your order will include barbecue sauce, pickles, onions and sweet buns that are ready to assemble. Additional sides include mac-and-cheese and porter baked beans, and orders are due by Sat., Dec. 19 for pickup or delivery on Wed. Dec. 23.

While this roundup is by no means complete, it should provide you with plenty of ideas about where to source seasonal suppers while also supporting businesses you’d like to see still be there on the other side of the pandemic. We’re all in this together, even if we’re spending the holidays on our own.

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Sunday
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10:00am

Registration is currently open for an online “Grow Your Groceries Winter 2021” series starting Feb. 2 with WSU Skagit. The 12-week series will cover all aspects of home gardening for food…

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5:00pm

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10:00am

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