Kraftskiva, a Swedish harvest celebration, is centered around a heaping platter of crayfish, which have been boiled with fresh dill. Crayfish need little more than a dollop of lemony mayonnaise to accentuate their delicate flavor.
England's spin on the Christmas cocktail was the ancient beverage known as wassail, essentially Middle English for "cheers." The base alcohol was beer, mead, or wine, heated with sliced apples and spices and served in the customary wassail bowl. This version, scented with cloves and allspice, cleverly combines apples with cider and Calvados.
Turning a tough cut of meat into a hearty, succulent meal involves only a couple of hours of slow simmering. Many recipes call for a simple stock or red wine, which not only braises the meat but also imparts a flavor and, in turn, thickens and reduces into the perfect accompanying sauce. This recipe uses Belgian-style ale, which enhances the simple, earthy taste of the beef and saut;ed onions. Serve with small boiled new potatoes.