Editor’s Note: Delicious and Delightful

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For me, the holidays are all about the pie.
From pumpkin and apple at Thanksgiving to

chocolate cream and boysenberry at Christmas to lemon meringue on New Year’s Eve, a flaky crust with a delicious filling is my favorite part of the season. I happily (even eagerly) upend tradition when it comes to dinner entrees and sides, but on the dessert table, I expect there to be pie and plenty of it — ideally in
a wide variety of flavors.

So, for this year’s traditional roundup of winter recipes, we decided to focus on pie. Leslie Arnette of The Bread Box (pictured on our cover) graciously shared some of her favorite concoctions with us, including a wonderful savory option that would be great for brunch. Most of her offerings feature a delectable, buttery shortbread crust rather than the usual rolled-out pie dough. So I guess that makes them more “tart” than “pie.” But they’re so attractive and scrumptious (and easy to bake to boot) that I’ll allow it. There’s room for lots of different creations under the pie-brella.

Any day with pie is a day of celebration. But there’s more than just pie (and tarts) to celebrate this month. It seems to be an extra joyous December, as many communities are resuming some of the entertainment and events that used to make this time of year so special. Oxnard and Ventura once again have their respective Parades of Lights scheduled, The Nutcracker will be back on stage
(thanks to a few different ballet companies) and there’s even sledding at the Ventura County Fairgrounds. The city of Camarillo is excited to celebrate the season with its annual Christmas Parade, Santa’s Village, the Polar Bear Plunge, etc. — all canceled in 2020, all eagerly anticipated in 2021. We take a look at what the Pleasant Valley Recreation and Park District has in store in About Town.

Another place getting into the spirit of things is Moorpark College, in particular America’s Teaching Zoo. Lights, music and more are being offered throughout the month, making this a great time to see one of Ventura County’s most unique resources. We talk about the founding of the zoo, the animals in its care, the valuable training students receive and more in Profile.

Adorable animals, Santa Claus and celebration, parades and pie: It’s going to be a merry month indeed! I hope all of you are able to enjoy the festivities, fun and flavor — now and in the year to come!

– Nancy D. Lackey Shaffer
nancy@ventanamonthly.com