Friday, December 20, 2013

Tasting the Holidays {Breathe}

My grandmother would have been so proud...and perhaps a little shocked...last night.  I am sure she would have given us instruction on how to it better and clicked her tongue at us, pretending to be mad, when we sampled pieces of the dough.  But I think more than anything, she would have smiled, knowing a tradition begun so far back in our family history is being created all over again in 2013. son and I spent some time in the kitchen yesterday making "the taste-of-Christmas".  We all have one, don't we?  That cookie or dish or treat that when we put it in our mouths, images of holidays past rush in and flood our hearts.  It is the taste of recipes passed down - eaten and enjoyed in childhood, then learned and made with love in adulthood.  Savored around the table by all. 

For us, the taste-of-Christmas is perogies.  We don't make them any other time of the year except for the Ukrainian Christmas Eve dinner.  They take preparation and are time consuming to make (because I do not have my grandmother's gift for making those stuffed dumplings.  Even in her 80's and 90's, when her eyesight was declining, the woman could make hundreds of them.  She didn't need to see well...her hands knew very well what to do.)  I could buy them at the store, but the making process is part of what makes them taste so good!!  The ones we make are by no means perfect - they are lumpy and some of them fall apart when we cook them - but the conversation we have as we make them just makes the imperfections perfect.

What is your taste of the holiday season?  Do you find yourself feeling like maybe you don't have time or it is too much of a hassle to make it this year?  I'd encourage you to stop and remember the taste, then do the very thing you have no time for...make it.  Make it because it will taste good in your mouth.  Make it because it will taste good in your heart!  Make it because the people you will share it with (your kids or friends or coworkers) need to taste your flavor of the holidays too (and need to hear the stories behind it!)!!  Make it because it is a time to celebrate!

May we all savor the taste of this holiday season - in the foods, in the people and in the conversations that are waiting to happen.  May we take the time (that none of us have!) to add flavor and celebration to our gatherings!  Happy Holidays!!!

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