December 29, 2013
From My Family to Yours
In our house it was my father who was beyond passionate about food and cooking. He was a world traveler and self taught chef whose focus was primarily on French inspired dishes. We had a small black & white television in the kitchen and only two programs were ever allowed to be shown on it: the news and Julia Child. Julia practically lived with our family through that miniature screen.
My mom and brother were not crazy about cooking however Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years were the three times a year when cooking become something the whole family embraced. Holidays always meant a house full of guests, decadent food, and a wide variety of spirits. For some the Christmas season means family and presents but my strongest memory lies with our meals.
Cooking wasn't just about the food. It signified a group effort among the whole family with hours in the same room basking in the ritual of preparation we had shared together since as long as I can remember. This also means that my idea of Christmas has a very specific group of smells that were the result of these savory and sweet recipes. We had a house full of decorations but it didn't become Christmas until every room was permeated with the smell of roasting meats, sauteed vegetables in butter and garlic, Grandma's Plumber's bread baking, dark chocolate for the cream puffs simmering on the stove, and the unbelievably aromatic percolator punch that was sipped on by the adults all night long.
I may not be able to introduce my parents to you in flesh and blood but their food and drink is the next best thing. I give you two of my most prized possessions and fondest memories, the coveted bread (best used for toast) and the punch recipe.