The Lovely Sarah from www.wingedsnail99.blogspot.com has popped over today to share some tips on how, with a little planning, cooking can still help relieve stress even during the holidays. Enjoy!
Christmas is a wonderland of white which results in magic and joy but Christmas also results in extreme kitchen stress. When I am overwhelmed with stress I head to my haven, the kitchen. I have a tendency to make marshmallows (which I do not enjoy eating) when I am stressed. Marshmallows are beautiful fluffy pillows of sugar that are formed by whipping hot, dangerous simple sugar into peaceful white sugar clouds. Throughout the year, my kitchen is a haven but the holidays create so much kitchen stress that simply making marshmallows does not alleviate it. What’s a marshmallow hating, kitchen loving girl to do?
Remember the reason. Cooking the extravagant Christmas dinner, with the accompanying twelve types of cookies, is a form of loving your family. The smiles and stuffed faces of your family members is the reason for the stress surrounding Christmas.
Simplify. If your stress is due to the twelve types of cookies and eight bars that are ‘necessary’ for Christmas then simply skip the desserts that are left-over at the end of the season. Make the family favourites and skip the rest!
Preparation. Make a plan for the season. Print out all the recipes you plan on using. Buy the ingredients for the Christmas meals and desserts and label them ‘For Christmas use only’ to keep greedy fingers out of the chocolate chips. This will allow you to be well prepared with the recipes and ingredients required when its time to start cooking.
Traditions. Traditional Christmas activities are very kitchen-centric, but it is easy to create some easy on the kitchen holiday traditions. Crock-pot drinks are a simple way to keep the family content while making very little mess in the kitchen. Consider setting up a hot chocolate bar (a use for all those homemade marshmallows?) on a kitchen counter so that individuals can help themselves throughout the season?
Embrace the kitchen. After the tiring traditional Christmas eve supper and the hectic Christmas morning, embrace the solitude of the kitchen and try something new for Christmas brunch. I recommend the wintry rosettes or the Danish Ebelskivers.
Sarah E. Hoffman is a pamphleteer, blogger, academic and gastronomist. She enjoys picnics, the smell of freshly baked bread and bobo tea. When stressed she bakes until the flour runs out. Sarah is married to a very understanding non-foodie, whom she is in the process of converting. Find her @Sarah999 or www.wingedsnail99.blogspot.com
Thank you Sarah!