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