With the Holidays in full swing, and the advent of a New Year approaching, it’s easy to get lost in the hustle and bustle of the season. We all get caught up in the decorating, shopping, traveling and merry revelry; all the while trying to balance our daily lives and professions.
But even with all that pandemonium, one classic element of the holidays always seems to manifest throughout the season: Fantastic food. Food is an important part of holiday tradition and it plays an integral role in celebrations throughout the country.
One of the great things about good food is how well it can become anchored in your memories. Think about how it appeals to all five of your senses. Surely you can remember the sight of a colorful gingerbread cookie, the whistling sound of a hot kettle of wassail beckoning from the kitchen, the texture of delectable desserts. Of course, the taste and smell of our favorite holiday foods are the most robust anchors to our memories of festive feasts.
Take a moment to remember some of your own favorite foods from past holidays. Think about where you were, who you were with, how everything tasted. Was it just one morsel that stuck in your head and set the standard for that type of food? Perhaps it was an entire meal that collectively composed an unforgettable event.
One of the key elements to making memorable meals is crafting them yourself from scratch. If you insist on not simply feeding your guests, but rather impressing them, why stop there? Go up another notch and commit yourself to infusing your food into the very spirit of the holidays and make delicious memories that become a token of nostalgia. Your goal is to create something so monumental that you have to write down your recipe because so many of your guests will ask you for it.
And here’s the amazing part about handing down that recipe. The people with whom you share your recipe won’t be using it just because it was tasty (that’s just a bonus). They will use it purely for the purpose of recreating the memories you instilled when you first served the dish.
There’s no real secret to making memorable meals, as it hinges heavily on inspiration. However, to be practical, allow me to share one simple tip: Use amazing ingredients. Spare no expense. Get the best stuff you can possibly get with which to compose your masterpiece.
Start with farm fresh, organic foods wherever possible. Skip the super market and head to the source! Stock up on fresh fruits at the farmer’s market (or even the farm itself if you can). Procure delicious nuts and berries as close to the trees from which they were plucked as you possibly can. Don’t settle for anything less than the best, most wholesome and organic ingredients available to you.
Regardless of what you choose to make, or the oven in which you bake, you have the power to create something more timeless than any gift under the tree: A wondrous, joyful, delicious memory.
Mary Blackmon is a food and recipe blogger from Farm Star Living