Holiday Party with Andrew and Zoe (2023) Movie Script

It's the holiday season.
A time
for family, friends...
How's it going?
Good seeing you, man.
...and of course,
lots of food.
Are you punching my dough?
I did by accident.
After 30 years of friendship,
Zoe Francois and I
are finally joining forces
to throw
an epic holiday party.
Happy holidays.
Sharing some of
our most beloved Christmas
and Hanukkah
family traditions.
You so chefed this up.
Learn our secrets
for giving favorite
traditional recipes
some holiday flair.
Tips and tricks
for sharing the work...
And the fun.
Grab a plate,
let's eat.
Pull up a chair
and join the party.
It's the holidays.
It's my absolute
favorite time of the year.
And I love to decorate
and throw parties.
It's just the time of the year
that you go over the top,
and it's all right.
In fact, it's expected.
And it occurred to me
that I have never
thrown a party
with my friend Andrew.
After three decades
of friendship,
we've decided to host a mashup
Christmas-Hanukkah party
for some of our friends.
So I'm gonna have him
over for lunch,
and we're gonna talk about
what we wanna do.
And so, I wanna make him
something super tasty.
Ah, it smells so good.
This Spicy Spinach
Artichoke Dip
is a quick
and delicious recipe
that's so easy
to throw together.
I'm gonna saut
the onions and garlic
and the jalapenos.
I'm gonna add my spinach,
and then
my artichoke hearts.
Okay, so while that
is sitting there,
I'm gonna mix up my cheese
and all the creamy bits.
Stir it all together,
put it right back
into the pan,
a little bit of cheese
on the top,
and then I'm using jalapeno.
Intersperse those
with the Fresno.
One last one.
This looks great.
Andrew and I actually met
over the phone.
He needed a pastry chef,
I needed a job.
I landed in Minneapolis
and I met him
for the first time,
and I was like, "What have I
gotten myself into?"
This man is crazy.
He's also brilliant.
I think it took
about 20 minutes
for us to decide
that we would be
lifetime friends.
She was so talented.
I mean, I knew back then
she was gonna be
a star in this business.
Through the years
we've done a lot
of the same things.
I've held her children
as babies,
and she and her family
are part of
my extended family.
Ah, just look at that.
That toasty cheese,
I love it.
All right.
I just need Andrew.
I'm in the kitchen.
You've gotta deal
with that stoop, lady,
if you have a shovel.
No, I was fine
coming straight in.
I'm cold.
If I had to describe
the relationship
that Zoe and I have,
is that I am her
very irritating older brother.
-I'm just gonna--
-Yeah, just hang it there,
that's fine.
-Are you starving?
-I am starving.
It just, just
came out of the oven.
Like, your timing
could not be better.
I love it.
All right, this is
artichoke dip.
One of my favs.
I tried to burn
your face off with this,
- and it's really not spicy at all.
- -It's so good.
I would rather eat this...
-...on a cold snowy day
than just about
anything else.
-'Cause it warms you up.
-I know.
The thing that
I think I love the most...
-...about this time of year
is actually gathering family.
-...and chosen.
We haven't thrown
a party like this together,
so I'm really excited.
When you were little,
did you do holiday stuff?
Depending on
when Hanukkah landed,
we would do
my mom's family,
and then we would do Christmas
with my dad's family.
- Mmm-hmm.
- And I loved it.
And I had thought
that was totally normal.
And I brought the boys up
-doing both holidays too.
-Me too.
When Noah was about five,
he'd just come
from nursery school
at the temple.
He looked at me one day,
and looked at his stocking
and the tree,
and looked at me like,
"We're Jewish."
And I was like,
"But we celebrate
everything big."
The other
great thing about it,
is like, all of
the food mashups.
So, we have 48 hours.
We have 48 hours.
Should we, like, figure out
-food and...
I need a minute
to think about it,
especially with baking.
-It's all a little bit
of a timing issue.
So, give you a night
to think about it?
So I'm gonna finish up
my cookie house.
I think it'll make
a really sweet centerpiece.
- Can I help?
- Yeah, yeah, yeah.
Traditionally, people would
make a gingerbread house,
but my house looks
like a sugar cookie.
And every year I do this,
and every year it gets
a little bit more ornate.
And I add more details.
Eventually, I'm hoping
to make a life-size one,
so we can have
the party in the house.
When we bought the house,
we found all the blueprints.
I was gonna do
the cookie just...
-you know...
...eyeballing it.
But I have this.
So I can really get,
you know, precise.
Your part may not be
as precise,
-No, mine's gonna be precise.
I love Andrew
just like a brother.
Do I have to do that thing
where I, kind of, like...
Limber up?
-You're in your tracksuit.
-No, I did. I stretch--
- You can do...
- Oh...
before I came in, 'cause I
knew that you would want me...
What do you need me to do?
If you could do
some brick pattern
on the sides like this.
-And then if you want to--
-But so, hold on...
Did I lose you already?
No, no, no, no.
I just wanna do it right.
So this right here,
we'll put...
- It's gonna be this.
- Yeah, perfect.
And then we'll
glue them all together.
-All right.
-Yeah, we'll do-- Yeah, go.
You do your thing.
Man, are you precise.
I have to say,
your piping skills
are to be commended.
Yeah, we might need...
a few more days.
Do you wanna
get together tomorrow,
-and go over our menus?
I like that we're doing
the two different holidays.
-It's awesome.
-I love that.
What do you actually
have at the holidays?
What would you serve?
-What would I serve?
My grandmother's brisket,
which has kicked off Hanukkah
every year
in the Zimmern family
since they could
afford brisket,
which was probably
right after the Depression.
You gotta have fried items
'cause it's Hanukkah.
I do Latkes.
Who doesn't love
a nice fried potato pancake?
And I'd bring stuff
and decorate them.
I was thinking some,
like, rosemary buns
You have to.
I think green beans, you know,
I think it's an important part
of balancing out the plate.
Right? Easy but elegant.
These are all very classic.
Can we lean into sweet potato,
yam land a little bit?
Oh, yeah.
This is what I'm thinking
for dessert.
A Buche de Noel.
'Cause I do it
every single Christmas.
Oh, I know.
It's a showstopper,
and it's just
a super fun dessert.
I wanted to do Sufganiyot,
-the stuffed jelly donuts.
But I was thinking
I would do, like,
a play on that.
You know, we need to, like,
glam this up a little bit.
- We gotta glam it.
- I'm all for it.
Maybe for a little
hors d'oeuvre-y thing.
Maybe like little falafel.
The guest experience
at a holiday party
is really important to me.
So I wanna put out
things that folks can
help themselves to
while I'm finishing
things up in the kitchen.
I don't like
host, hostess gifts.
-For someone to bring us.
We need to
make something for them.
Well, I was thinking
hot chocolate mix
-so they can go home--
-You make your little kits?
-Yeah, with marshmallow.
-With Toffee Matzo,
-which is my thing.
And it's
super easy to make.
This menu is ridiculous,
and so much fun.
- It's gonna be awesome.
- -Plus, it honors the holiday.
Everybody is
gonna be included.
We have a lot
of food to make.
It's gonna be fantastic.
I'm really, really pumped.
I love that I took on, like,
all of these giant projects
for this party,
and Andrew,
I think, basically,
just has to stick
a piece of meat
into the oven.
In order to get this all done,
we're gonna have to do
some of these things
So, Andrew's gonna go home
and start his brisket.
And I'm gonna get started
on the Buche de Noel,
and then we're
gonna get together
and combine our efforts.
Nothing says
the holidays to me
like my grandmother's brisket.
It is the centerpiece
of every great first night
of Hanukkah celebration.
Brisket is it, for me.
My grandmother
just used onions.
And then she finished it
at the end with a little bit
of red wine vinegar.
That was her secret.
When it's holiday time,
I try to make it
a little more elegant.
I just do mirepoix,
really nicely diced celery,
carrot, onion,
and leek.
I hit it with
a bottle of wine
and I braise it
for five or six hours.
It's just...
a smidge more elegant.
Something like this brisket,
I can do a couple of days
in advance.
Making day of celebration
really, really easy.
Essentially warm,
slice and serve.
I'm gonna make a herb mixture
of sage,
and thyme.
And then I'm gonna add
some good salt.
This is actually
my grandmother's salt cellar
that was her mother's.
And this was in her apartment
when I was a little kid.
And it actually hung
on a little hook
because she had
no counter space.
And I love it.
This is probably
my most treasured...
food possession of any kind.
This is where
it all started, right?
This is the world's first
watering hole
when it comes
to my culinary career.
Nothing brought our family
more happiness
than eating the brisket
on a holiday afternoon
or evening
in my grandmother's house.
I would sit on the stool
at the end of her tiny kitchen
in her teeny little apartment
on West End Avenue.
And what would
come out of there
was the best
and most delicious food,
and the most joyous times.
It's probably the reason
that I do what I do today.
And you just lay that down
away from you.
The smell of brisket
to me is Hanukkah.
Absolutely perfect.
Tomato paste.
And we're gonna add
this whole bottle.
I like to bring this
to a boil.
I want this to be
cooking right away
when it goes in the oven.
It's going into a slow oven.
And that, my friends,
is the key
to a good roast like this.
It's gonna be cooking
for the full
five, five and a half,
six-ish hours
that it's gonna take
to make this brisket tender.
Upstaged by my eldest.
Every year,
I make a Buche de Noel.
It's just a really
traditional holiday dessert.
It's the Yule Log in a cake.
That's my signature move
every Christmas.
They're always
a little bit different.
Like a different shape,
a different
flavor combination
just to keep
myself entertained.
This year, I'm going
for a chocolate sponge cake,
and then I'm gonna fill it
with ricotta
and sour cherries,
and espresso buttercream,
and then of course,
the meringue mushrooms
because they're so much fun.
The beautiful thing
about a sponge cake
is that it's light
and airy.
And the way that we're
gonna get that
is by whipping a lot of air
into our eggs.
I'm going to whip air
into the yolks.
And then I'm gonna whip
the whites separately...
and marry them together.
Look at that.
Stirring in the sifted flour
and the cocoa mixture
is the last step.
We're making
all of these components ahead,
and then we get to save
the best part for last,
Probably more than I need,
but it's fun.
We might get a little puff
of the powdered sugar.
And hopefully,
our cake is there.
And I use the towel
to roll it.
You need to do this
while it's hot
so that it's still
super flexible,
and you just use the towel
to roll this
into a nice, tight log.
I love making meringue.
It's just egg whites
and sugar,
and I'm gonna
use this for both
the meringue mushrooms
and the buttercream frosting.
My dad's mom was obsessed
with Christmas.
She made, probably,
12 different kinds
of cookies every year.
We loved it so, so much.
I mean, I grew up
on a commune.
We weren't allowed
to have sugar except
at the holidays.
So of course,
I love the holidays.
So, we're gonna have
our Buche de Noel
or Yule Log,
and it's gonna have
little meringue mushrooms
on the top.
This is the cap
of the mushroom,
and then we can do the stems.
After they're baked,
we'll assemble them
with dollops of chocolate.
Okay, now they're ready
to go into the oven.
I add butter
and espresso powder
mixed with vanilla
to the remaining meringue
to create
the buttercream frosting.
Mmm, it is so delicious.
Andrew's gonna
love it. Mmm.
For our filling,
I'm gonna make
a sour cherry ricotta
whipped cream,
and I'm gonna fold in
little mini chocolate chips.
It's reminiscent of, like,
a cannoli filling.
Every bite has
some of the filling.
When I go
to decorate it tomorrow,
it's going to be
absolutely gorgeous.
The key to throwing
a great party,
holiday or otherwise,
is to get as much stuff done
ahead of time as possible.
That's why I'm gonna make
my falafel mixture now.
I'll take to Zoe's,
fry it there along
with my latkes
right before
our guests arrive.
The moves here
are pretty simple.
I have cardamom and cumin,
I have an onion,
I have some garlic,
and some hot chilies.
I have parsley, I have
mint and cilantro.
I love frying falafel.
It's perfect
for this time of year
because it's fried.
You have to remember,
the whole Hanukkah celebration
revolves around the miraculous
intervention of the divine
that allowed the oil
in the lamp in the temple
to last for eight days
instead of one.
So, fried foods are
traditionally a huge part
of the holiday celebration.
Herby chickpea perfection.
Chickpea flour
and baking soda.
So the last thing
that I need to do is
stick it in the fridge,
then I bring it to Zoe's
and basically,
then it's nap time
until the alarm
on that brisket goes off.
This is
going to be insane.
We have a lot of food to make.
Andrew already made
his brisket.
Look at that.
And I prepped
the Buche de Noel components.
He should be here any time
and we'll cook together
until our guests arrive
in about eight hours.
I know the oven
in gonna be wild.
So I'm gonna bake
these dinner rolls
in a Crock-Pot.
I promise you this works.
And they're so simple.
It's just bread dough
with a roux of flour,
milk, and water added
to the mix.
And it just makes
for the most fluffy,
beautiful, stretchy bun.
The rosemary...
just gonna be so beautiful
with the brisket.
Let it rest about an hour.
Then we can divide it
and make our rolls.
I'm really excited
to get back in the kitchen
and cook next to Zoe again.
Do you need some help?
Yeah, this has to go
right in the fridge
but luckily,
it didn't spill in the car.
All right.
Ooh, it smells so good!
I know her moves,
she knows my moves,
we are like hand in glove.
Dude, what is...
What do you...
Are you punching my dough?
I did by accident.
I assume that you are
gonna take over the oven,
so we're gonna actually
bake them in the Crock-Pot.
-No way.
Doing it in a Crock-Pot
is a genius move.
-Okay, so you wanna help me...
-...break it into
a dozen rolls?
Equal sizes.
Actually, you divide,
I'll roll. Yeah.
-No, not so much
-It's a classic
-Not so much flouring.
No, it wasn't.
That's a classic...
Oh, my goodness.
This is gonna be
a long day.
We don't wanna dry them out.
No, we absolutely don't.
Even when he's in
someone else's kitchen,
he's in charge.
You know, I move
around a kitchen
more like a dance,
and he is a little bit
more like a storm.
You wanna pinch all the,
like, little loose ends
to the bottom.
-That way you have a nice--
-Dumpling style.
-Yeah, dumpling style.
-We have a nice...
This is the classic
fireman's carry.
Everyone two by two.
How many buns did we
come up with?
I don't know.
I thought we divided them
into 12.
I wasn't counting your work.
Neither was I.
Okay, that's it.
Then we put the lid on,
and then at the very end,
I'm gonna throw them
into the broiler
and give them
some caramelization
and some beautiful color.
We'll check in an hour
and see what we've got.
-That's it?
-Yeah, that's it.
-Amazing. Okay.
-I know, so cool.
Zoe says,
"Oh, I'm gonna make
the Sufganiyot."
I happen to be a big,
big jelly donut fan,
which is what those are.
And she's completely
changed the game.
Baking them
as mini Bundt cakes
filled with orange marmalade,
glazed with chocolate ganache,
and then decorated with gelt,
the gold...
Hey, just try to
keep it in the bag.
If you ask
anyone in America
what's the traditional
Hanukkah food,
you know what
they're all gonna say?
- Latkes?
- Latkes.
-And if you ask
anyone in Israel...
-...what's the traditional
holiday food...
-Yeah? you know what
they're gonna say?
-That's right.
I think that's...
Oh, dear.
This why you left me alone
in the pastry department.
This is bringing back
such amazing memories for me.
I loved working
with Andrew in the kitchen.
Mmm, yeah.
And then pop them
into the oven.
that smells good.
It smells so good,
doesn't it?
And I forget
the intense energy
that Andrew brings
to a kitchen,
and his passion,
and his love for the food.
-I think it's still, like,
-Very hot.
- But your hands are tough.
- Hot potato.
My family doesn't consider
a holiday complete
without seeing a big,
orange bowl of whipped
sweet potatoes.
But I started
seasoning them with two
very unusual ingredients.
The first one is goat butter.
That sharp, acidic quality
that conventional butter
doesn't have.
And, then, I put in
smoked brown sugar.
-Smell that.
-Brown sugar
went to the barbecue.
That's exactly right.
That smokiness
of the brown sugar
just goes right in there
and really elevates
the potatoes
into that "Wow" category.
You only got one spoon.,
Oh, thank you.
It is so good. It's perfect.
The sufganiyot cakes
have cooled and we're ready
to top them
with ganache made from
bittersweet chocolate,
heavy cream,
butter, and light
corn syrup.
No, they need, like,
just a little sparkle
to go to a party.
- Some holiday.
- Yes, some holiday.
And, I think, a little gelt
on top of there.
I know.
So much fun,
and it's beautiful,
and it's celebratory.
- And it's so Hanukkah, right?
- -It's very Hanukkah.
- And it's edible gold, so...
- -Yeah.
Also, we got
to use tweezers.
I know. Such a chef move.
Okay, so, we have to assemble
the Buche de Noel.
I thought that we would
put it at an angle
- and, then, cut this one in half.
- -Yeah.
We're gonna glue
the whole thing together
with the buttercream,
- and do one on top, one on the side.
- -One on the side,
so it looks like a fallen log.
-So you wanna get,
like, a swirl.
-Oh, I see. I see.
-Like rings of a tree.
-Yes, there you go.
I made some meringue
bits and pieces
that need to get assembled
into mushrooms.
I am completely
to do any kind of delicate
decor work at all.
And Zoe's
very aware of that,
which is why she assigned me
the job of taking
two teeny, tiny, little
mouse paw sized
pieces of meringue
and join them with a tiny,
little dot of chocolate.
That's her way of getting me
out of her way,
so that she can do her work.
-How's it going over there?
Yeah, you seem a little...
I'm so surprised,
'cause they're so beautiful.
And, then, like a nice
Jewish grandmother,
she looks over, she goes,
"Oh, isn't that sweet.
You did a lovely job."
I know what that's code for.
This is not
one of those desserts
that we're gonna go settle on.
A little gold, a little pearl,
luster dust mushrooms,
and some sugared cherries.
I think that should do it.
Where are you going?
I think this one
needs a little color.
Little bit of snow. Right?
Just a very delicate shake,
man. There you go.
I'm so proud of this.
A bouche de Noel
to beat the band.
- I mean, come on. Stunning.
- Yeah.
There are
two seasons for green beans,
- summer and Christmas.
- Mmm-hmm.
I thought, let's steam
some green beans,
keep it super healthy.
And, then, of course,
I ruined the whole dish
by making a sage
brown butter
hollandaise, essentially.
But it's the holidays.
You're gonna
work out afterwards.
That's what
New Year's resolutions
are for.
Who do you have to know
around here to get bowls?
You could not cut
peanut butter with this.
-What kind of bowl? Here.
-Why do you have so many
serrated knives?
- Goodness, bread.
They're called bread knives.
-Oh, my...
I need to take all these home
and put them on a wheel.
How do you cut anything?
I don't!
-Do you wanna know something?
-You are obsessed.
The only sharp knife you have
is a little one.
Because it was lost
in the drawer,
I didn't even know
it was there.
This is gonna
start my emulsion
along with a little bit
of mustard and a little
dash of cayenne.
That's a lot of butter.
You're gonna brown that?
- Yeah.
- For that amount
of green beans?
-See, everyone loves
the sauce.
-Yeah, mmm.
- The dairy solids...
- Yeah.
...actually get picked up
by the sage and cling to them,
which makes them extra yummy.
It smells so good.
Brown is the color of flavor.
- Mmm.
- -And, then, take that sage-infused butter,
and you pour it
over the eggs and lemon
to emulsify your sauce.
I just think
it's out of this world.
It's so, so good.
Oh, my God.
Okay. Okay.
But don't you think
we can just eat that?
-Oh, dude!
-Do you wanna
just sop up a bun with it?
Oh, the sage!
You did not!
Yeah, that's awesome.
All right, onward.
Latkes are the most
essential part
of a Hanukkah celebration.
Well, maybe the menorah
comes first.
But right after the menorah,
it would have to be
the latkes.
Are you a latke person?
Oh, yes. My grandmother
was the latke queen.
-Was she, really?
She's watching us,
so you better get this right.
Oh, believe me,
the ghost of all
the Zimmerns past
are looking down, as well.
- So everyone has their favorite style.
- -Yeah.
-My grandmother, she loved
crispy potato cakes.
She didn't feel
those were latkes.
-Latkes had to have egg
and matzo meal...
-Yeah. it to absorb
the moisture.
-Okay. Sure
'Cause there needed to be
a pancake-y element to it.
I've played around
with this recipe
over the years
and I steam
Yukon Gold potatoes,
put 'em through a ricer,
couple of eggs,
some matzo meal,
Idaho Russets.
Essentially, three
different ways, grated,
really ground along
with the onions.
You have a mandoline?
Okay, yeah.
Okay, so we have grater,
food processor, a mandoline.
You so chefed this up.
are gonna be
really incredible.
Andrew's latkes
apparently require
every single piece
of equipment that I own,
and I own every piece
of equipment.
- What's all this about?
- -This is all of my grated stuff,
and I'm just gonna
combine this with the egg
and a healthy dose
of white pepper.
- Do you need these drained?
- -Drained and cooled.
Hit me, baby.
- Load me up.
- All the way?
- As much as you can put in there.
- -All right.
- So you see all that moisture...
- -Mmm-hmm.
...that's in there
from the potatoes
and the egg?
-That's where that comes in.
-Okay, how much?
-Just a sprinkle?
- When we form these very delicately...
- -Yeah.
- Right?
- Yeah.
Look at
all the lacy bits.
-Your grandma went through
all this to make hers?
-I'm just gonna say that
list as many times as--
-She had an old, rusty...
-She had an old, rusty version
of this.
That's why I brought it.
You didn't even touch it.
Do you wanna know
something that's really
at the heart of all this?
Don't you get asked
all the time in interviews,
"If you could cook
for one person,
who would you cook for?"
Is it your grandma?
- I wanna cook for my grandma.
- -Aw.
'Cause she taught me...
I mean, motivate...
I sat in her little kitchen,
and that's what...
- I mean, I wanna make her these latkes and...
- -Yeah.
Then, she'd yell at me
and she'd go like,
"Eh, they're okay."
But, then, she would call
my dad later and say,
"I'm so proud of him."
-It's so sweet.
-And I wanna make her roast...
I wanna make all the recipes
she taught me.
-You know?
And that's... Yeah.
I feel the love.
Latkes, to grandmas...
-It's a big deal.
-...were a big deal.
-Big, big deal.
-Yeah, my mom talks
about that all the time
with her mom.
It's very sweet.
It's been a busy day
getting ready
for our holiday party,
and we have
about four hours
until our guests arrive.
The dinner table
is center stage tonight
and I'm doing
a really simple tablescape.
I love doing a tablescape.
It just sets a mood.
And this one,
I didn't wanna use,
like, a traditional
cloth runner,
so I'm just using eucalyptus.
And these actually
just picked right off
of my front hedge.
And, then, what I'm gonna do
is put these little
bouquets of flowers,
and each one
is in an antique
silver vessel.
And I've just been
collecting them.
This one is actually
from my grandmother.
And, so, each one of these
means something to me.
These one's
a little creamer.
It's so simple,
but it comes together
and it's so elegant.
I have to send people
home with something
and, of course,
it has to be a sweet.
So I thought
it'd be really fun to make
hot chocolate kits
and, then, the homemade
marshmallows right at the top.
And I have to do
toffee matzo for my gifts.
-So does everyone
get a mug?
I'm giving everyone
an old tin.
I made
the marshmallows
last night
and flavored them
with cardamom and ginger.
The key here is to get
enough powdered sugar
so that the marshmallows
don't stick terribly
to your cookie cutters.
- Hmm.
- -And, then, you can do all kinds of shapes.
Do you know what that is?
- Brown sugar.
- Correct.
Toffee matzo's really
the easiest recipe
in the whole world.
It's a lot of fun.
I've been eating toffee matzo
since I was a kid.
Aunt Phyllis made it
in our house.
Do you want paper
or foil?
- I'm gonna do
paper, then foil.
- Paper. Oh, got it. Okay.
What Aunt Phyllis did was,
she greased the foil,
then greased the paper,
then put the matzo down
and poured the caramel on top.
Then baked it.
Then brought it out,
and while it was hot,
she put chocolate all over it.
It's gonna get pretty melty
pretty fast. You can almost
see it.
And then, we're gonna
sprinkle the nuts on.
Always toast
your nuts beforehand,
'cause if you just
sprinkle them on top,
the chocolate's...
- Mmm, smells so good.
- -Yeah.
Okay, this is just
hot chocolate mix
that's just cocoa powder,
sugar, some milk powder,
and a little bit
of cardamom
to match the marshmallows.
And they'll float up
to the top when they add
their hot milk.
- It's a great marshmallow.
- -Yeah, it's a great marshmallow.
- Mmm-hmm.
- Ta-da!
-That's enough,
don't you think?
-Let me see.
- Yeah.
- Yeah?
Yeah. I want this little bit.
- Mmm. So delicious.
- Fold that over.
But here's the fun part.
Doesn't that scream
-"You're getting
Christmas cookies"?
-It's so cute.
-But you're not.
You're getting toffee matzo.
-It's really...
It's really, really lovely.
I have to say, I think
my greatest move
at the holidays
is I adopt the role
of merry prankster.
The Christmas tins
are a fun gift for guests.
But I'm beyond excited
about the huge surprise
I have planned for Zoe.
Can I have
some of your scraps
when you're done?
- Gonna put 'em on top of my sweet potatoes.
- -Oh, yeah.
That would be delicious.
We have this beautiful, lacy,
almost like a doily
of marshmallow
that we can drape
over the top.
Mmm, so cool.
And it's perfect.
The marshmallows,
the sweet potatoes,
this lacy bit.
Like, ah, heaven.
Is there anything else
left on this menu
to get done?
-Once we can finish these.
-Oh, my God, yeah.
The brisket.
We have two hours
until guests arrive.
It's getting down
to crunch time.
So I just want...
- It's ice cold and it's this thick.
- -Okay.
So a couple of hours in there
just at 200 degrees
and, then, we'll get
everything out.
-Don't you think?
-I have to...
I forgot something.
-What do you mean
you forgot something?
-I have to go.
-I have to go.
-What do you mean
you to go?
I have to go.
I'll be literally back
in an hour.
All my stuff is ready to go.
-Everything is keeping warm.
I have to go.
-What do you...
I don't understand.
-I have to go! I have to go!
Great. I'll clean up.
- I'm not talking to you anymore.
- Bye!
We're in the middle
of preparing a dinner party.
I cannot believe
he just left me here.
Yeah, make a mess
in the kitchen and head out.
This is the last thing
I have to do,
putting the finishing touches
on my sugar cookie house.
This is my happy spot.
So pretty.
The really beautiful
part of the holidays
is to give someone a gift
that they're not expecting.
I had the idea,
let's bring Mom in
for the party.
She hasn't seen her mother
in a while
and you can't have
a holiday celebration without
at least one mom, right?
Okay, I know
you hated me before.
- What?
- -But look what I picked up at my house.
Oh, my God, it's taken you
so long. I can't get
this thing out...
What have you done?
Oh, my God!
- Surprise!
- What did you do?
I forgot your mom
at my place.
Oh, God.
I hated you so much.
What are you doing here?
-Oh, my God.
-I brought Mom. We can't have
a holiday without your mother.
-I'm so happy to see you.
Yeah. Mazel tov.
This is the thing
about Andrew,
the fact that he showed up
with my mom is just...
That's Andrew.
He is like...
At the end of the day,
he's all about love.
I'm ready
to rock and roll.
- Okay, I have to change.
- What do you mean?
- Don't change.
- Please don't change.
-You did a nice job
cleaning the kitchen.
-I love you the way you are.
- Don't change.
- I can't believe
you did this.
-I just... You just
are wonderful.
-I know. It's all right.
-Thank you.
This is crazy!
-Yeah, it's all right.
- Look at this marshmallow.
That is brilliant.
-Thank you.
Zoe's mom, Lorraine,
is finally here.
So, now, we can really get
the party started.
That's so sweet.
I love it.
-This is my homemade
falafel recipe.
-Oh! Beautiful.
This is beautiful.
Then I'm gonna fry my latkes.
I'm making these
for an audience of one,
- and that person is standing in the kitchen with me.
- -Aw.
-Because your mom
was the latke queen.
Well, my mom, she learned it
from the bubbies.
Yeah, of course.
-My bubbies will be thrilled
that someone else...
-...from another family
is rejoicing in our latkes.
-Okay. Aw.
- Everyone's
in the same pool, right?
- Ah, love it. Got it.
-Smells like Hanukkah.
-Smells good in here,
doesn't it?
-Oh, you look gorgeous. Wow.
-Thank you. You do, too!
Is this super-hot?
- Yeah. Super-hot.
- Yeah. Dude!
Mmm. Mmm!
-Yeah, what do you think?
-Okay. I'm in trouble.
- Really good.
- All you had to say.
-Don't tell him.
-I'm in trouble
with my ancestors.
The guests will
be here any minute,
so now I can start
to top the latkes.
And after two hours
of warming in the oven,
the brisket is ready to slice.
I'll cut that for you
in a second.
- Look at that.
- -It's falling off already.
- Just let me eat it.
- -It's not falling off.
No, this one.
-Just this little bit.
-Fine, that's fine.
Mmm, mmm!
-What do you think?
Merry Christmas.
-And a happy Hanukkah
to all.
-Happy Hanukkah.
Mmm, that is beautiful.
Oh! Doorbell.
-Keep them out of here.
Dinner is a "help yourself
in the kitchen" affair.
And the goal is to wow
our friends when they walk
into the room.
- Oh, what?
- Hi!
Oh, hi!
-Thanks for having us.
Oh, thank you.
-Happy holidays!
Look at that!
- Falafel-dafel.
- -Falafel-dafel, as we should.
- Come, sit down.
- Come on in.
Try a falafel.
- Yes!
- Oh, my God!
- Yes!
- -That sauce is the good one.
It's the good one.
Yeah, it's the spicy one.
This is great.
Grab a plate. Let's eat.
- Oh, my goodness.
- Oh, my goodness.
This is gorgeous.
This is
sweet potatoes
with smoked brown sugar
and goat butter.
Steamed green beans
with fried sage
- and a brown butter sage hollandaise.
- -Oh, my gosh.
Those are rosemary milk bread,
but they were baked
in a Crock-Pot,
because we ran out
of oven space.
Very ingenious.
- A brisket with roasted veg, extra gravy.
- -It's beautiful.
Oh, potato latkes.
- No, this is too pretty.
Look at that!
-Oh, my gosh.
Apple sauce
and sour cream, creme fraiche,
smoked salmon, caviar.
- Go bonkers.
- I'm gonna start
with the latkes. Do you wanna?
Oh, yes, please.
Thank you.
- Oh, my gosh.
Yum, yum, yum.
All right. Let's eat.
-That'd be great.
I love watching people
eat something
and have that moment of joy.
That's why I do this.
I mean, I love the process
of it, and I had a great time
with Andrew,
but without that moment
of feeding my friends,
you know,
then it's just cooking.
This is a great latke.
The edges are so crispy.
- So good.
The brisket is great.
May I just say,
the table is full,
the house is warm,
but it's the companionship
of good friends that make
these moments special.
we're not finished.
We get to eat your house?
Oh, light's on!
Oh, my goodness!
- Beautiful.
- Yes!
Being back in the kitchen
with Zoe
and cooking together again
was probably more rewarding
and more eye-opening
than I had ever considered.
She's one of my all-time
favorite humans.
These are the moments
about the holidays.
It doesn't matter.
Perfection is so not
the point.
You know? It's these moments.
It's like, this is the thing
that we're gonna remember.
-Thanks so much
for having us.
- To the hostess!
- And Uncle Andy!
- Cheers, guys. Cheers.
- Somehow, I feel
that's gonna stick.