Good news: As an adult, you don't have to wait for December 25 to treat yourself. Instead, unwrap something delicious every day this week, whether it's steaming dumplings, homemade pita, perfect sushi or the feeling of giving. See our suggestions below.
And it's not too late to get in on a Christmas Eve or Christmas meal package from your favorite restaurant; see our separate list for options — but hurry, because time is running out.
Monday, December 21
Good golly, we're almost to the end of one of the more awful years to have ever dealt it out for 365 days. Reward yourself for making it through the vast majority of 2020 (355 and counting) on Monday, December 21, by getting over to Brass Tacks, 1526 Blake Street, for an Oh Golly Dumplings pop-up. Visit Tock to pre-order creative dishes like la-son-tons (lasagna wontons with Italian sausage, red sauce, mozz and ricotta) as well as Midwestern classics like grape jelly meatballs — wrapped in dumpling dough! You can also get your mitts on boozy beverages from the bar; we're saving room for wassail, génépy hot chocolate and party punch (also made with an undeniably Middle American ingredient: orange sherbet). Pick up your meal between 3 and 8 p.m., and if you have your mind made up on items that are already sold out online, take heart: A limited number of the buffalo chicken and potato, leek and mushroom dumplings will be available for walk-up orders.
Lafayette's Acreage, 1380 Horizon Avenue, is sending you home full of cider and good cheer on Monday, December 21. Show up between 4:30 and 8 p.m., and for $12, you'll get two 10-ounce pours in a festive camp mug to take home as a reminder of the weirdest Christmas most of us will ever experience (hopefully). Proceeds will benefit the Hanzon Foundation, which was established by Lonnie Hanzon, the artist behind Camp Christmas. See its Instagram page for details and reserve outdoor seating on Tock.
Tuesday, December 22
’Tis the season for comfort food. And starting on Tuesday, December 22, you can learn how to make soul food of the Jewish variety with a series of weekly cooking classes that run through January 12. From 4:30 to 5:30 p.m., learn how to make hummus and pita from scratch, mandelbrot (a twice-baked almond cookie similar to biscotti), noodle or gluten-free potato kugel and several different varieties of charoset (a traditional fruit and nut relish). This week's class highlights pita and hummus; sign up for $36 on Judaism Your Way's website, and you'll get instruction as well as recipes and ingredient lists. Sign up for the complete series for just $118.
Wednesday, December 23
Dos Luces Brewery, 1236 South Broadway, is serving a takeout beer dinner in conjunction with Four Directions Cuisine on Wednesday, December 23. The entirely gluten-free grub can also be made vegan and includes three courses: a winter squash salad; a quinoa "bibimbop" bowl of greens, quinoa, squash, heirloom corn and beans and a pickled egg with salsa verde; and thumbprint cookies. Each course comes with a bottle of chicha, pulque and hard agua fresca for $40; you can add on a bottle of aged imperial chicha with pomegranate for an additional $20. Order on the Dos Luces website by Monday, December 21, and pick up your meal between 4 and 6 p.m. on December 23.
It's been a while — and it will be even longer — since we've been allowed to have a seat at a sushi bar and watch the chef turn raw fish and rice into something greater than the sum of its parts. So Sushi Den, 1487 South Pearl Street, is launching a pair of to-go feasts that will be available starting Wednesday, December 23. The Holiday is a spread of three colorful bento boxes plus dessert that serves two for $140; it's available now through Saturday, January 2. Find details and ordering info here. The Chef's Table at Home is an omakase-style menu with sushi and sashimi selected by the chef based on your preferences; this menu runs approximately $125 per person, which may vary based on market prices, and is available until further notice. See the restaurant's website for ordering info. Note all orders for the Holiday or Chef's Table at Home must be received at least 24 hours in advance, by 5:30 p.m. the previous day.
Thursday, December 24
Thursday, December 24, is a good time for everyone to either ask others for help or ask themselves what they can do for others. Either way, a good place to start is at one of three Denver Community Fridges scattered around the metro area. The functioning refrigerators are located outside and are accessible all day, every day. If you need a meal, show up and take what you need. If you can lend a hand, please donate quality food clearly marked with an expiration date and ingredients (if it's homemade); the only donations the effort can't accommodate are packages of raw meat. Donors are asked to straighten up the fridges and dispose of any food that's past its expiration date when they drop off new food. Visit the project's Instagram page and tap Info to ensure you're doing things right (and not creating more work for organizers!), then drop by one of the refrigerators outside Mutiny Information Cafe (2 South Broadway), Huckleberry Roasters (4301 Pecos Street) or Base Coat Nail Salon (2700 Walnut Street) to give or take a little bit of joy.
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