Tis the Season
by Laurie Richardone
This is the season of generosity, gratitude, and grace. It is a wonderful time of the year to bring out our best selves. Along with those virtues, I would like to invite you to look at the holidays through another lens.
The lens of scent, taste, and fond memories. Whether we are spending the holidays with friends, family, or by ourselves with our beloved pet, there is always something delightful to bring to the table with a little slice of joy.
I realize not everyone embraces this time of year. It can bring up unfavorable past experiences and emotions. However, If we dig a little deeper we can find moments where we have experienced a happy time.
I can remember frosty winters in Brooklyn at my grandmother’s house, surrounded by other worldly snowflakes that stuck to our eyelashes and tongues. These magical flakes created four foot drifts of snow. It felt like time stood still, just to make the perfect igloo to have snowball fights with my cousins.
Hours later, we were summoned into the scented house by my grandmother, for a hot steaming bowl of minestrone soup, freshly baked bread, and homemade muffins with nuts & dates. I make a gluten-free version of those scrumptious muffins to this day. I am delighted to share the recipe with you. Perhaps some of my happy memories in my grandmother’s kitchen will overflow into yours.
Close your eyes, take a few deep breaths and think about the colors, smells, and tastes that made you happy as a kid. What are some of your favorite holiday foods? We all have them, however modest. I encourage you to include some of them at your holiday table this season.
Some of the best ways to entertain can be simple.
Whether we live alone or have a full house, we can sprinkle a little love on the table. I have a beautiful ritual even if I’m cooking for myself.
I start by setting the table with a linen napkin rolled up with a freshly cut sprig of rosemary tied around it. I light some candles. The ambiance is completed with tunes of Nat King Cole piped in. To me an evening of happy dining and soulful conversation can take the place of just about any other form of entertainment. Even if you are talking to your four legged friends.
Tips for Entertaining with Ease.
• You don’t have to be perfect when you’re cooking, keep it simple.
• Prep a day or two ahead, and label items to keep things organized.
• Make some of your favorites dishes that you are comfortable preparing.
Receive a complimentary Holiday Appetizer ebook @LaurieRichardone.com