The Twelve
Think Red!

Feeding the Spirit

In my current quest to Reclaim Christmas for Myself, I've been giving a lot of thought to what feeds my spirit . . . and what doesn't.  This year, I am determined to focus my time and energy on those elements of the Christmas season that lift me up . . . and I am equally determined to let go of those elements that don't. 

So, when this magazine

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arrived in my mailbox, I got to thinking about about holiday food.  Cookies.  Special feasts.  Holiday treats.  I love to cook.  I love to make desserts.  Cookies?  Not so much.

It seems almost . . . heretical. . . to admit my disdain for the Christmas Cookie.  But, here I am.  Publicly claiming that baking Christmas cookies is a major energy-drain for me.  I typically bake dozens and dozens of cookies.  I pack them in colorful tins.  I give them to friends and neighbors.  I EAT them (which is the only part I really enjoy!).  But, in truth, the pressure and obligation of baking them makes me very Scrooge-y.

I decided to just . . . skip through the magazine spread featuring this year's selection of delectable (yet futzy) holiday cookies.  I just didn't look.  

And, then, I discovered this. . .

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It's this year's Cooking Light holiday feast -- tastefully put together by the editors and test kitchen staff of Cooking Light.  This spread makes my mouth water, and makes my heart sing!  Oh, the possibilities!  From a winter salad with roasted beets and a creamy crab bisque. . .

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to a main course of brined pork loin (with a brown sugar-bourbon glaze), green beans and mushrooms, apples with bacon, and mashed potatoes with horseradish butter. . .

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to the desserts (oh! the desserts!) of German chocolate mousse and roasted pear creme brulee tart. . .

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THIS is a holiday feast idea that makes my heart sing and my imagination soar!

Maybe I could have the energy to create such a feast if I didn't mess around with the cookie nonsense?  I'm thinking it's worth a try!  Cooking a futzy meal would actually boost my spirit.  I can plan and think about this meal all month long -- and it will continue to make me happy and a little excited about the adventure of it.  As opposed planning and thinking about the cookie sessions. . . with dread and a heavy sense of obligation.

So, here's my first step toward Reclaiming Christmas for Myself!  Christmas cookies?  Out!  Adventurous holiday feast?  In!

PS -- Don't worry, family.  I WILL still make Pepparkakor.  Even I, the cookie Scrooge, can't give up the Pepparkakor!