Friday, November 25, 2011

figuring out the holidays

I'm having a rough time right now wrapping my head (and heart) around festive holiday food. I know much of it comes from the emphasis all around us on sugar, sugar, sugar as we move into December. It's everywhere. And it's enticing to say the least. It's bright and beautiful. It's nostalgic. It's all kinds of wonderful. It's just not really...well, food.

I used to love to bake, to make candies, and put together fun little gift packages for family and friends. Even when I stopped doing that, I still thought about it every year. Now, somehow, it has a really sinister feel.

I felt a bit of that as I prepared dishes for our Thanksgiving Day dinner this year. Though I, personally, keep my diet pretty clean, this was not a Paleo or primal meal, nor was it gluten-free. The fact that I was not eating the questionable foods nor cooking with gluten, myself, did not make me feel much better about it. When we cook for people because we love them, we want to serve them foods they love and look forward to eating. I ordered a locally grown, organic turkey. Made sure we had the favored Turtle Island not-turkey for the vegetarians. We focus a lot on food safety, poultry guidelines, expiration dates, how long foods sit out before and after serving. We try to keep the hot foods hot and the cold foods cold as long as possible. We certainly don't want to make anyone sick. So why, then, I must ask myself, am I serving my family crap?

I personally, without coercion and with full knowledge, baked and mashed 12 pounds of potatoes adding a cup of butter, 2 of sour cream, and half a pound of cream cheese. This I "thinned" with another half cup of whipping cream. Jeez!  I also made a favorite of some family members, creamed onions, pearl onions with heavy cream, butter, and sweet rice flour. Sure they loved them. No, I didn't even taste them. But there's a problem here, a big problem. If I won't eat these foods, how in the world can I serve them with a smile to those I love?

I'm still working on this one. It's quite the quandary, and I'd love to know how others handle it.

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