Holiday Cooking

Jeannie Serpa

Jeannie Serpa lowered her cholesterol by 125 points without drugs, and she reveals how she did it in her book, Eating Your Way to Low Cholesterol. This former schoolteacher is a bit of a renaissance …

Posted

Jeannie Serpa lowered her cholesterol by 125 points without drugs, and she reveals how she did it in her book, Eating Your Way to Low Cholesterol. This former schoolteacher is a bit of a renaissance woman. She’s authored six books in the field of decorative arts and has written for numerous publications. She’s also a stencil designer, entrepreneur and food writer, with her articles appearing in local newspapers.

Jeannie is planning for 43 people at her Thanksgiving table in Narragansett this year. That includes her nine grown children, their spouses, 19 grandchildren and friends. “Our family of good cooks starts planning the menu way in advance of the holiday,” she says. “Emails will be flying, and always the day before the great holiday come the phone calls, asking me for extra serving platters and advice on how to make gravy without lumps. Such fun!”

Like families all over Southern Rhode Island and beyond, the extended Serpa family will gather to celebrate this national holiday. Jeannie says they will take time to say grace before dinner and give thanks, not just for the food, but for the blessings they have received throughout the year. “It’s important that we older folks remind the younger generation that Thanksgiving is not just about food,” she notes.

A family favorite is this recipe for Butternut Squash Bisque. This smooth, velvety soup is the perfect “do-ahead” first course for Thanksgiving dinner. Make it one or two days in advance, omitting the cream, and store in the refrigerator. Before serving, stir in the cream and heat, being careful not to boil. To freeze leftover bisque, allow it (sans cream) to cool completely before sealing in an airtight container.