…and what have I done?
Well, I have cooked. And eaten. And drank. And fed people. And then started cooking again.
I have baked sugar cookies, chocolate chip cookies, macadamia nut cookies and date cookies.
I have feasted on London broil, cocktail shrimp, pad Thai, crab dip, meatballs, miniature egg rolls, lobster amandine, pistachio-crusted salmon, chicken piccata, breakfast casseroles and much more.
I have torn open boxes of Frango chocolates and cans of piroulines; crates of tiny, liquor-filled chocolate bottles and bags of Belgian candy; pillowy sacks of brownie mix and pancake mix.
I have stocked my kitchen with cooking-themed gifts — a pink spatula, a digital thermometer, a tea pot, a tea ball, a fridge magnet with measurement breakdowns, a tiny frying pan for melting butter or browning nuts.
About 10 days (and probably 10 pounds) later, I wonder which dish, which candy, which gift I treasure the most. But it isn’t any of those tangible things. Instead, it was the chance to laugh with my dad over a plate of Thai food and to get in the kitchen with my mom and cook up a big meal like we used to.
Food would be nothing without fellowship. That’s what the holidays always teach me.
But I cannot ignore the dishes I learned to make and the joy of eating them, too. Surprisingly, when I thought back on my Christmas holiday, I found that the easiest, most simple dish I learned to make was my favorite. And the most subtly sweet cookie I learned to make tasted the very best.
Here are my top two recipes of the holiday season. If you aren’t tired of cooking yet, give them a try! And please write in and share your own culinary experiences this holiday season. Which recipe are you most likely to make again before next Christmas?