The two months from Halloween to New Year's can feel like one long meal. (Getting my son a costume is such a small price to pay in exchange for his going out and collecting chocolate for me to enjoy after he goes to bed.) In between Thanksgiving and Christmas and New Year's Day there are parties and leftovers and, often, too much muchness.
A good solution is to go into these situations with a strategy. New York restaurateur (and Iron Chef judge) Donatella Arpaia has learned this from experience. "I make a mental plan when it's Christmas and my mom has a 20-course feast with the meatballs and the chicken cutlets," she told me. "I says, 'Okay, what are my most favorite things? I'm going to eat that, and that and that. And that's all.'" The rest, she says, "is a feast for the eyes."
On Iron Chef, she has to at least try a bite of everything. But in real life, we don't have to eat it all -- eat only the food you really love.