Christmas in the Kitchen

ChristmasintheKitchen054_thumbI don’t know about you but there is something warm and magical about Christmas time in my kitchen. Just the thought of my childhood years with my mother working busily around the kitchen as she cooked and baked the week before, brings a warm smile to my face this many years later. Food brings us all together in life and what and how we choose to cook in our kitchen is what memories are made of.

I’m sure with all the ethnic backgrounds of everyone in the world, different kinds of foods are whipped up in each of our kitchens. The one thing that is the same though is the fun and laughter that goes on as we do prepare those desserts and meals. My mother was not one to let us help her cook back then but I was always there watching and helping her clean some of the utensils by licking them clean. I can still taste the cookie, brownie and cake batter as I type. I don’t think I have ever ran into anyone that doesn’t like the batter of those desserts that I mentioned. I especially remember how good the Toll House cookie batter tasted. I would sneak a quick finger dip into the bowl when she turned to do something else. I still think she knew buy she never let on.

My mother wasn’t one to cook the main meals of Christmas day ahead. This process started very early in the morning Christmas day. The turkey (the bird as we called it) went in the oven around 5 in the morning. The smell alone as we woke up early to open presents was heavenly. Thoughts of tearing off the skin and eating it before dinner danced around in my head as I lay there waiting to get the nod that we could open our presents. Of course I got yelled at for doing that with a warning from her that my arteries were going to clog up. That was a given in my mind but it still never stopped me from eating it anyways back then or I hate to say, now. My bride fills that warning role for my mother these adult days. Waiting to eat was a high priority also so that we could put aside the wish bone to dry. She would want us to take turns each year among siblings but that never stopped us from grabbing it early so that we got the chance to do it again. I also remember my Aunt Jenny would always eat the rear end of the turkey. That was OK for all of us kids because we thought that it was disgusting. She would try to convince us that it was the sweetest part of the turkey but that never came close to convincing any of us.

As adults today, many of us look for ideas to entertain and excite us during the year and holidays. I’m here to tell you that there is no better fun and excitement than cooking with your family in your kitchen. The act is free and you get to eat the results. I still smile to this day thinking back to all of the times that I have cooked with my daughter Gina in our kitchen and now with my two grandson’s. I’m always amazed at how quickly they all caught on to where they would be making up most of the recipes themselves. The thought of the flour and other things flying around the air and counters to clean up after was outweighed with the laughter that sweetened the room. Memories are made and kids turn into adults quicker than the time it takes for the food to cook in the oven. Looking back at how small my mothers kitchen and counter space were doesn’t make the memories any worse than the memories in my much larger kitchen now. It really doesn’t take a whole lot to make us happy as long as we are together. Don’t you think?

So, as we head into the last week before Christmas, what are you going to create in your kitchen with your family? Will it be mostly desserts or will you branch out to much larger recipes to really test your skills? Either way, cherish those moments and make them more fun and exciting this year, for you and your kids. I’m already thinking about some of the things that I am going to cook next week and I will share some of those and the foods made in the past in next weeks blog. I can already hear the laughter and smell the delicious odors already!

Did you cook with you mom in her kitchen growing up? Would love to hear some of those stories if you would love to grace us with them.

Bon Appetit!

Tim Holick

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