There is a warmth about the holidays that cuts the chill in the air, yet gives us joy in catching snowflakes on our tongue. With fires burning and stoves and ovens churning, the season highlights the important connections in our lives: connections to family and friends, to specific foods and the earth, and to helping one another and giving back to community.

Our Holiday issue covers a variety of South Shore and South Coast denizens who have made a difference in others’ lives, whether it be many or a select few. From a long-lost godmother’s lasagna to a war veterans’ descendant who bought a farm to help returning soldiers integrate into civilian life, the people you’ll read about in these pages walk the talk. When it comes to feeding the hungry, Trucchi’s, Sacred Heart Academy, and a nine-year-old boy in Carver all have creative ways to put food on the table for those most in need. You’ll also discover how Bell’s Seasoning (tap-tap-tap) became a Thanksgiving “go-to” from the founder’s granddaughter who interestingly was introduced to it on the opposite coast in California. Food Gift Love is reviewed, a book which offers great gift giving ideas and is a great gift itself. We too give thanks to Mayflower Brewery, who has been serving us for almost ten years, and learn just how the business got started and how it keeps growing.

For the chef within all of us, the eSS&SC Holiday Issue is brimming with recipes to sate the largest crowd or the most intimate of gatherings. Cranberries, of course, are discussed, though some of the tart berries pop up in an unusually peppy way. You’ll also learn the Portuguese technique for roasting chestnuts, perfect for warming the coldest of nights. What readers may find as a real treat is a locavore’s guide to homemade gift giving—a slew of ideas that incorporates sweets, savories, and alcohol. How can you go wrong?

Now, we guess there may be a Scrooge or two among us, or those for whom holidays may not elicit the happiest times. For you, we hope that experimenting with the recipes or reading some of the inspirational stories will help the season pass easier and tastier than in years past. The stories and recipes reflect holiday traditions of yore as well as providing novel ideas to create new memories for family, friends, and all those who need our love and support.

It is with great thanks that we wish all of you a happy holiday season. We are grateful to have you as readers. We hope this issue sweetens and conjures up memories of traditions, connects you to new and exciting ways to give (and feast) locavore-style, and reaffirms the fact that giving back really can and does make a difference.

Eat thoughtfully,
Terry Vandewater, Assistant Editor
Laurie Hepworth & Michael Hart