December is the most wonderful time of the year. The snow starts to fall, radio stations play Michael Bublé on a loop, and UNH Dining once again has the opportunity to dazzle students with amazing food. This year’s Holiday Meal at three dining halls was the biggest and best extravaganza all year. I personally ate enough for eight nights of Hanukkah and twelve days of Christmas!
From the moment students walked into HoCo, they were greeted with animatronic snowmen and gorgeous poinsettias (side note: my UNH bucket list includes visiting our poinsettia greenhouse). The staff was all decked out in Santa hats and the occasional Christmas sweater. The gingerbread house decorated by Roger Lanctot, UNH pastry chef extraordinaire, could have won any contest and a gingerbread family made it complete. With holiday tunes blasting through the speakers, it was hard not to get excited about the holidays… and of course the food did not disappoint.
For appetizers, there were mozzarella sticks, spicy meatballs, and the best spinach and artichoke dip (seriously, I ate my weight in this stuff).
There was also a cheese platter, veggie and dip platter, and two cold tomato salads. In my family, bread is one of the most important parts of the meal, which HoCo catered to with a huge assortment of fine delicious breads. I could have easily stopped there, but then I saw the celebration roast. If you read my last entry about the Thanksgiving Dinner, you’d know I’m a huge Tofurky fan. Celebration roast was like an amp’d up version of Tofurky and it was delicious. For those who wanted the real deal, there was salmon, chicken cordon bleu, and roast beast (oops, roast beef). My personal favorite side dish was the butternut squash ravioli, which were like candy in pasta and it leads me to my favorite part of the night…
I have ranted and raved this semester about UNH Dining’s incredible dessert talent. Well, at the holiday dinner, they simply outdid themselves. The selection included homemade fudge and assorted bark, classic holiday cookies, and rum chiffon pie. The showstoppers definitely were the assorted decorated cakes, from stockings to snow men; they tasted even better than they looked! The masterpiece was really the giant tiered cake that had students stopping in their tracks to take pictures. The sizzle station also transformed into a dessert station, where a chocolate chip cookie was warmed on the flat top and finished off with peppermint ice cream and whipped cream.
The holiday spirit was in the air all night long and I couldn’t help but think how lucky UNH students are to live and work in such a wonderful atmosphere.
The holidays are all about family and friends getting together to celebrate each other and the coming year ahead. Before everyone started cramming for finals and packing up to go home, it was great to come together and celebrate a season full of joy. Some of the best memories I’ve made this past semester happened around the dinner table with my friends in HoCo, and it simply couldn’t have been possible without the amazing UNH Dining staff. And that is what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown…
Written by Samantha Friedman, UNH Class of 2015