All of a sudden, the holidays are upon us! I walked into a store yesterday and was assaulted by their Christmas displays. I don’t know about you, but I’m not ready for that yet, although in years past I have been.  I’m not in that space this year. This year I just want to be with my family and friends around my table or fireplace. The centerpiece of my kitchen is a five-foot round table where my family and guests gather to share food. There’s something magical about sitting at a round table, with everyone’s place at the table being equal.

One of my guests said recently, “Julie’s Table is a lot more than cooking classes- it’s building community.” and I agree! A community is what happens naturally when people come together to cook and eat.  It’s one of the reasons I’m passionate about teaching folks to cook- the importance of breaking bread together! And cooking and eating together builds family bonds, too, and to me, that is what the holidays are about.

My holiday plan is to to be intentional about planning and prepping meals so that part of the season is handled.  Toward that goal, I will be posting videos featuring my meal plans for the weeks ahead so I can stay accountable to this goal and maybe help you out as well. Look for those coming soon.

There are some upcoming classes on the calendar that might be interesting for you.

Breads Class, Wednesday, November 7 from 10am-12, $40 – you’ll learn an amazing artisan bread, delicious pumpkin bread, and cinnamon rolls (and take a pan home for your family!)

Pie Class, Nov. 9 from 4-6pm or Nov. 12 from 10am-12, $40 – I’ll teach you an easy pie crust for your upcoming holiday pies, the secret to making meringue, and you will leave with a pie! Tasting included

Cookie Exchange, Nov. 26 from 4-6pm, $40 – We will create 6 different cookie recipes and you will leave with an assorted cookie tray!

Pasta Class, Nov. 28 from 6-8pm, $50 – learn to make homemade pasta, and a delicious recipe for Spinach-Cheese Ravioli with homemade marinara; tasting meal included.

And now here is my go-to recipe for cornbread out of an old Joy of Cooking cookbook. As the weather gets colder, I  know you will love it as an accompaniment to your fall dishes. It’s also the basis for the cornbread dressing that I serve on Thanksgiving. Enjoy!

Buttermilk Cornbread:

Preheat oven to 425 degrees

Combine dry ingredients:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • 1 ½ tsp baking powder
  • 3 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ¾ cup cornmeal

Wet Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ cup buttermilk
  • 2 eggs
  • 4 Tbsp melted butter

Combine buttermilk, eggs and melted butter. Pour into dry ingredients and quickly combine, being careful not to over stir. Pour batter into a preheated and greased pan. You’ll see the batter immediately puff up around sides!

***I use a 7×11” Pyrex dish that I place in the oven before I combine wet and dry ingredients. Just before I get ready to put the batter into it, I pour in some corn oil and rotate the dish to make sure the oil coats all the sides.***

Bake for 15 minutes or until edges are golden and crusty.