Palo Alto Weekly

Real Estate - November 2, 2012

Creating a 'foolproof' Thanksgiving

With a little inspiration from Ina Garten, the cook can actually enjoy the dinner

by Lisa Kellman

"She is the modern day Julia Child," claims Sur La Table chef Hilary Freeman.

While Julia Child brought French cooking to the masses, Ina Garten, also known as Food Network's Barefoot Contessa, made it accessible. Freeman along with Garten's new cookbook, "Barefoot Contessa Foolproof: Recipes You Can Trust," will be making Thanksgiving dinner accessible to a limited-seating cooking class at Palo Alto's Sur La Table this November.

Freeman, who graduated from culinary school and now owns her own catering business, believes that sticking to the basics is key. She cautions that can be "overwhelming" if you try to make more than the basic traditional foods like turkey, stuffing and pumpkin pie. Ina Garten enhances these traditional foods.

"I am obsessed with Ina. ... She makes the most amazing pumpkin pie that even people who don't like pumpkin pie like," Freeman said.

To simplify the Thanksgiving feast, Freeman recommends cooks "make a turkey breast that you brine and stuff because you can do it the night before," and then guests aren't fighting over the light and dark meat either. Also, remember that guests like to help the host so let them, she added.

With recipes from Ina Garten's cookbook, including her Ultimate Pumpkin Pie with Rum Whipped Cream, Freeman will demonstrate that "you can still have this delicious meal without slaving away. ... The fact that the host can actually sit down and enjoy it is what Ina is all about."

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What: Ina Garten's Foolproof Thanksgiving

When: Sunday, Nov. 11, 3-5 p.m. (Hilary Freeman); Saturday, Nov. 17, 5-7 p.m.

Where: Sur la Table, 57 Town & Country Village, Palo Alto

Cost: $95, including a copy of "Foolproof"

Info: www.surlatable.com or 800-243-0852

Editorial Intern Lisa Kellman can be emailed at lkellman@paweekly.com.

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