I feel like almost every post I’ve written lately talks about how much I love fall but man is it true! I love the cooler weather, I love the crunchy leaves and I love the cozy foods and smells that come only when the temperature drops. The thing that I love most about fall is the beginning of the holiday seasons that roll in right as the leaves turn golden and last until the snow covers the ground. I love the family traditions that Jim and I both have continuing and I love the ones we made together with the family we made.
Growing up, many of the wonderful holiday traditions and activities centered around food. We always planned big meals and spent the whole day together, making the food and smelling the food smells. It was a big deal in my house to have a whole day to do this as most of my family worked jobs that did not start at 9 and end at 5 or give you holidays off. It meant so much more if someone got a holiday off because it just didn’t happen all the time. I have continued the tradition wholeheartedly with my own family and we have the amazing fortune of having the holidays off. But being a bit of a food nut, I have kicked off my food traditions a little earlier than my family did.
I could always count on the turkey at Thanksgiving and the ham at Christmas with lots of homemade treats and candy aplenty. Our family now counts on the holidays to start in September with pumpkin and bat shaped sugar cookies at Halloween, Rice Krispies shaped into a wide variety of seasonal treats, candy dishes that always have a sweet treat or two, a home exploding with cheery and spooky Halloween fun and at least two showings of that great Halloween classic “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown”. It continues into Thanksgiving with fresh baked pies,, a turkey with the fixings, baked sweets and a few leaf shaped cookies and peaks at Christmas when it baked and sweet everything around here!
So how did so much of what we love about the holidays center around food? It’s not because we are obsessed with food (or is it?), but if you step back and think about it, all of the best stuff in life starts around food. Every single person I know as an awesome family memory and it is usually when everyone gathered to eat. Why is this? I think it’s because food is a necessity to every single human that walks or draws breath. It is something that no matter who you are, what you do, what you say and what you believe you eventually stop to eat. And since it’s a universal human need, it is no surprise that eating became a wonderful way for us to gather and share our food and ourselves. It gives us a wonderful excuse to stop it all and just take in our people for a bit of time and eat some tasty stuff!
As this holiday season rolls on, I hope each of you is able to take some time to savor a meal or tradition with some people that mean something to you. Life is busy, I get that. My whole mission in starting this website is to encourage people to try and carve out a little more space for the beauty and wonder that is a good meal and the best way I can think to accomplish this is to start a tradition of your own, food or otherwise.
I absolutely do not remember all of the places I went as a child, every single toy I was given or bought or every activity and event I went to and participated in. But I remember the food. I remember the few times a year when it would all slow down and it was just us, a kitchen, warmth, laughter and a table heaping with things to nibble and share. And if my son has these memories when he is older and looks at a table, or sees Charlie Brown or smells pie and smiles and thinks of our table, then I know I did good.