This Christmas will be my first with homemade Christmas ornaments. Growing up, I always had the most perfect Christmas trees complete with dozens of ornaments my mother had collected from various trips around the world: they were always perfectly color-coordinated and so beautifully lit that it would break your heart to see the Christmas season go.
I know I've only just arrived here at The Kitchn and I was raised to always be a polite guest, but I'm going to start this guest post out on a note that could ruffle some feathers. I'm a mug of spiked hot mulled cider in and I'm feeling a little daring, so here goes nothing: I don't much like Christmas cookies. Blasphemous, I know. Especially for a food blogger. Writing a holiday guest post. Mere days before Christmas.
In the past few years, our family has 'modernized' our Christmas feast. The whole turkey, potatoes and pie menu seems tired following on the coattails of Thanksgiving, so we try to make it more fun. This year we're doing grilled pizzas (I realize this is a blessing that comes with living on the Southern West Coast) and I'm experimenting with a few different treats. Serving individual desserts feels personal, as though I am passing on an edible gift to the loved ones at my table.
I am not exactly sure what most people eat for breakfast on Christmas morning. There is often a lot of talk about dinner: roasts and hams, traditional side dishes, and glittering desserts. But the day has to start somehow; you can't dig through stockings and unwrap presents on an empty stomach. And it's Christmas, so it better be special. That means no bowls of cold cereal or skimpy slices of toast.
Now I love cooking during the holidays. But I know not everyone does. And for those people who prefer not to cook during the holidays — I have catfish. Whenever I think about holiday foods (and not cooking) I always think, catfish! I am sure you do too. Right?
It's funny that when I look back on life, from the cupcakes I'd bring into school for birthdays to the ice cream my family ate on that summer vacation to the time where my parents and my brother ate lobster while wearing giant plastic bibs, I often seen things in terms of food. Like Christmas.
This December we have invited a handful of The Kitchn's friends and fellow bloggers to share their own holiday memories and recipes with us. These guest posters will bring you holiday food from around the world and from their own cultures, and hopefully this will open up some new-to-you blog reads as well! Starting today and running until the New Year we're so pleased to invite some of our friends, new and old, to join us. Welcome!
Thanksgiving is a great time for those of us who love to cook. That is, until one of your guests announces he's a vegetarian or vegan. Suddenly the best laid plans have a wrench thrown into them. Should you buy a separate and expensive faux-turkey soy food shaped thingy just for them or just feed them extra starchy side dishes and hope they don't ask if there's turkey stock in the stuffing?
The solution doesn't have to involve highly processed soy products or short changing your vegetarian/vegan guests. I should know, I'm a cookbook author who married a vegetarian.