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Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Holiday Food

Now that the holiday food and/or cocktail hangover has begun to set in, it is time to reflect back on the indulgences that got us here.

Whether you relished in an elegant affair...

whooped it up hillbilly style...

Or, like most of us, celebrated somewhere in the middle, the holidays are a time for family, cheer, bright lights and most importantly, food.

I normally like to be a bit outside of the box with my dining, but during the holidays, it is all about tradition. My favorite foods are the ones that remind me of holidays past.

Thanksgiving is all about the turkey. And I would like to take a moment to congratulate my brother Jeff on one hellava bird this year. Poultry is probably at the bottom of my meat totem pole (yes, I read what I typed), but his BBQ'd version was incredible. It was smokey, tender and fell right off the bone.

And nothing complements turkey like Grandma Murillo's stuffing. Or, as some people call it dressing. (I would love to debate stuffing vs. dressing, but I don't have time to make the simple argument that it gets stuffed in the bird, therefore making it stuffing.) My grandmothers stuffing, like all of her food, is delicious, hearty and made with love.

Throw in cranberry, Paula Deen's sweet potatoe souffle, mashed potatoes and green beans and you have yourself a meal that has brought families together for years. They may be drunken and dysfunctional, but they are family.

This brings us to the most important meal of the year. The feast Jen Eats Food celebrates as the birthday dinner of our King. Christmas dinner. Although there is not a single traditional food that families serve for Christmas, it seems that each family has a tradition all their own. Growing up, we had a second turkey dinner. My husbands family has Mexican food and we have started our own tradition of prime rib. Whether it be Kung Pao chicken or chicken noodle soup, it is the meaning of the meal that reminds us of the Christmas spirit.

By far, however, the best part of Christmas celebrations are the goodies! Sugar cookies in holiday shapes, rum cake, See's chocolates, snowball cookies, pumpkin pie, fudge and many, many more! So much sugar even the Grinch gets a cavity!

So, as you begin to take down the tinsel and the tree, say goodbye to your loved ones as they travel home and pack the Dean Martin Christmas CD away for next year, take time to reflect on the magic of the season.

And for the love, go eat those leftovers before they go bad!


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