The Magic of the Holidays: Rediscover the pleasure of family cooking!
The holiday season is in full swing. Lights adorn house windows, and fir trees make their appearance. While the holiday season is synonymous with magic, it also means a lot of preparation. How about making them with your family this year?
Discover or rediscover the pleasure of family holiday cooking with these suggestions from the La Belle Excuse team. Because for us, the holiday season is all about family!
A great time to pass on family recipes
It's often said that our mothers' recipes are the best. Now is the perfect time to share them! Whether it's a recipe invented by your mother, father, or great-grandmother and passed down for decades, the holiday season is the great time to pass on this knowledge to younger generations.
For example, our recipe for Fassolakia (country vegetable stew) has been passed down through many generations in our family. Originating from Aristo's yiayia (grandmother), it is still cooked by his daughters, several generations later.
Wait until the whole family is present to cook together. You'll be able to share your knowledge, and the preparation will be all the more enjoyable. Especially with hot chocolate or a Christmas cocktail!
Discovering international cuisine
Suggest an exploration of Christmas recipes from other cultures. Each year, the family can choose a different cuisine to explore, broadening everyone's culinary horizons. And even if it's a fiasco, the memories of laughter will be memorable!
Holiday classics in Greece
Since turkey is essentially a Western tradition, Greeks tend to indulge in pork and lamb dishes. Several dishes line the middle of the table, where everyone can help themselves.
Recipes vary from region to region, but the desserts are all the same. Honey and walnut treats such as Mélomakarona garnish virtually every table at Christmas.
Eating and cooking with the family
In Greece, it's traditionally the women of the family who cook the Christmas feast, but more and more men are getting involved in meal preparation. In our family, everyone pitches in!
Aristo cooks his specialties, including a slab of spanakopita, parmesan fondues, leg of lamb and onion soup au gratin; Alexis brings his famous "Chicken wings in a jar"; Vicky concocts her artichoke dip; Michèle delights us with her stuffed mussels, and Anne-Marie serves her Mélomakarona... In short, everyone brings a dish for which they are renowned.
Whether we're all cooking or chatting, the important thing is to have a good time together.
Friendly cooking competition
Emphasize on the word "friendly" here! Why not organize a best Christmas cookie contest? There could be several categories for everyone to enjoy: the most original, the most gourmet, the healthiest, etc.
Homemade gourmet gifts
Instead of giving objects or a purchased delicacy, prepare gourmet gifts with your family for guests or for a gift exchange. Jars of prepared cookies, brownies, or homemade spices, these personalized gifts are perfect for sharing the love of cooking. And the kids will love preparing them with you!
Cooking with kids (and grandkids)
The love of cooking is associated with fond memories of our childhood. By sharing your culinary skills, you pass on a little of yourself to your children and grandchildren. It's a bonding experience... and one that helps fill the ever-empty stomachs of the little ones!
Culinary decoration stations
To lighten the load for the head cook (if you're reading this article, chances are it's you! ;), make only the basic recipes (for Christmas cookies or cupcakes, for example) and prepare a decorating buffet.
Everyone will be able to choose their preferences to create the perfect dessert. Great fun ahead!
Whether you've got a big family with aunts, uncles, and cousins, or just your small family of 2, 3, or 4 for Christmas, cooking brings people together and unites them. Cooking a meal for and with loved ones is much more than a culinary act. It's a celebration of love, traditions, and flavors.
This year, don't be overwhelmed with preparation. Cook with your loved ones to lighten your load and, above all, spend some quality time with them. These are memories to cherish for a lifetime!
For more articles on our culinary love, click here: Blog - La Belle Excuse