Takeout for the Christmas Overwhelmed!

Do you like to cook a big feast for Christmas Eve? Growing up in New York, my family always did a big Italian-inspired seafood feast on Christmas Eve, with live lobsters and all sorts of make-ahead chilled seafood dishes like mussel salad. However, I’m not spending Christmas in New York this year, and I’ve found cooking with a one- and three-year-old at my side quite like walking a tightrope over an emergency room visit.

So I think I might just do the whole kit and kaboodle Christmas takeout offered by the St. Paul Brasa this year. Here’s how it works. You decide whether you’d like to serve five or ten people this Christmas, and then you call Brasa at 612–245-1740 and place your order. On Christmas Eve, sometime between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m., you zip on over to the Grand Avenue location and pick up a groaning, all-local feast of:

• Lightly Smoked & Roasted Free Range Turkey (already carved)
• Glazed Berkshire Ham (the classic smoked, pink kind, carved)
• Yukon Gold Mashed Potatoes
• Classic Turkey Gravy
• Sage & Onion Dressing
• Roasted Yams with Brown Sugar Glaze
• Savory Corn Pudding
• Fresh Cranberry Sauce
• Coleslaw with Apple
• Small Cornbread & Potato Rolls
• Homemade Cookies
• One Pie of Your Choice: Apple, Pecan or Pumpkin

This Brasa takeout feast comes with instructions so that all can be reheated; you reheat it and whammo! You’re having a picture-perfect, all-local Christmas. It costs $120 for food for five or $225 for a meal for ten. Alex Roberts, chef and owner of both white-tablecloth Restaurant Alma and fast-and-wonderful Brasa tells me that he used to be in charge of a similar takeout meal when he cooked in New York City at a restaurant called Cucina, and he’s very curious whether this meal will find favor here. I told him I suspected people would prefer to spend a little less and cook some parts of their own meal—personally, I like baking, and it’s something that can be done after the kids are in bed. But that’s just me. If you want your meal, call Brasa at 612–245-1740 up until December 22; if you’d like to offer Roberts a suggestion on what would make you order this another year, post it in the comments. He’ll be reading.

777 Grand Ave., St. Paul