For the first time in three generations, Nashville is facing a holiday season without yeast rolls and pecan pies from Becker's Bakery, the 12th Avenue South institution that closed in January after more than 75 years in business. Susan Sloser, a member of St. Augustine's Chapel on the Vanderbilt Campus, is putting on her apron to fill your baking needs, at the same time raising dough for Vanderbilt Wesley/Canterbury Group's Spring Break mission trip to New Mexico.
This past Sunday, she tested her products between services at the chapel, and the unsolicited testimonials went something like this: "Delicious!" "Fabulous!" "Incredible!" "Oh my God!" "Mmmmmmmm." "Are there any more cinnamon rolls?"
There's more where they came fromthough quantities are limitedif you place your order before Dec. 15, to be picked up at the chapel, 200 24th Ave. S. (Students will be gone by then, so street parking will be plentiful.) Available for purchase are pumpkin pies ($7), pecan pies ($9), yeast rolls (12 for $4) and big, fat, sticky cinnamon rolls (six large for $5). Orders can be placed at dough4dough@hotmail.
com or by calling 390-4422. Large orders of $20 or more can be picked up as late as Dec. 19. All proceeds go to fund the students' Habitat for Humanity trip to New Mexico.
We are the world
Cheekwood, another Nashville institution of good taste, has long attracted locals and visitors to its annual "Trees of Christmas" exhibition. This year, it has expanded its reach to encircle the globe with its Festival of Holidays.
The Museum and its on-site Pineapple Room restaurant/gift shop are offering several ways to go global. On Sunday, Dec. 12 and 19, Holiday Teaa very British traditionwill take place 4 to 6 p.m. in the Pineapple Room. As live holiday music provides a soundtrack to the festivities, scones, pastries, tea sandwiches and holiday sweets will be served, and servers will also be pouring hot chocolate, sherry, wine and champagne. Cost is $30 per person for members, $35 for nonmembers, which includes admission to the museum. Call 354-6371 for reservations.
If the play is the thing for you, then kill two partridges with one stone by signing up for the Tennessee Rep/Cheekwood Holiday Package. On Sunday, Dec. 12, have bruncha fine American traditionin the Pineapple Room from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., take in the exhibits in the museum, and then at 3 p.m. board a motor coach to TPAC for the matinee performance of The Rep's Holiday Memories. Cost is $60; call 742-4060 to reserve a place on the bus.
The Rep package is geared toward a more mature audience, but Cheekwood also has something for the smaller residents of this small world after all. From 1 to 5 p.m. on Dec. 12, interactive multicultural activities, music and, most importantly, snacks should snag tykes' short attention spans while offering a lesson in the unique traditions of Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa and Navidad.
In addition to a dozen musical performances representing each of these holidays, there will be foods to go along. Kwanzaa serves cornbread, sweet potato tarts and turnip greens; Hanukkah offers cookies. Navidad presents an array of specialties from across Latin America: natilla and buñuelos, two different types of Colombian sweets; gallina rellena, a stuffed poultry dish from Nicaragua; and traditional Mexican cookies. And what would Christmas be without Christmas cookies and eggnog?
For more information about the Festival of Holidays events, call 356-8000 or visit www.cheekwood.org.
Tayst the New Year
Don't wait till the last minute to make your New Year's Eve plans. Restaurant and wine bar tayst has done all the work; all you need to do is make the call to reserve one of just 76 seats available for its first ever New Year's Eve celebration. There will be only one seating between 5:30 and 7:30 p.
m., so the table is yours for the night. Eat your way from 2004 into 2005 with the 10-course chef's tasting menu at $80 per person; if desired, each course will be paired with an appropriate wine chosen by Steve Boyer, by the flight ($30) or the whole shebang ($50). Chef Jeremy Barlow notes that the menu is a work in progress, depending on what strikes his fancy of the best available seasonal products. Dan Morrissey is standing by to take your call, 383-1953.