Monday, December 19, 2016
To write this post, I must take some of the most tender and intangible feelings of my heart and struggle to put them into words. I have no idea if I'll come anywhere close to the mark, but, for some reason, I feel like I must try.
You know, there is a lot of stress, spending, debt, and overall upheaval this time of year, and it's real easy to forget why we do the things we do in the first place. We give each other gifts because on that first Christmas so long ago, our Savoir literally gave his life to us. He would be born, grow up to seemingly ordinary parents, and ultimately suffer all things for our sakes. He wanted us to have salvation so badly He was willing to endure pain that is incomprehensible to the human mind. In short, we give to each other because His gift made it possible for us to be happy for all eternity, and we want to share that joy with others.
That is the true reason why we celebrate: joy, hope, and love, and those same things are the reasons that day, and the entire month, feels different, and why it has been set apart as the most heartwarming and holy time of the year.
I've tried to show you how I feel about this, but words muddy it. I love my Savoir, and I will do everything I can to make this time of year a happy one for those around me. That is how I express love to my Redeemer.
Monday, December 12, 2016
We all love Christmas, with its mountains of joy and traditions, but, let's face it, I'm sure we've all found ourselves eating things because we're expected to and not because they taste good. Now, I'm not trying to trash on our favorite seasonal desserts, but I hold to the opinion that some things can be improved, and I'd totally try these ideas out if I had the time.
A candy shaped like a shepherd's crook to remind us of our Shepherd. It's white, for the purity of our Savoir, red for His blood and green for life everlasting, I think ... (looks it up). Um, green because the candy makers said so. And I just learned that there is even more symbolism in this candy than I thought. Did you know it's hard candy to represent the Savoir is our rock? And as well as a crook, the cane is J for Jesus?
Something else interesting I looked up is the mint is supposed to taste like hyssop, an herb they had way-back-when, but, at the risk of sounding sacrilegious, the flavor doesn't make me think of holiness; it makes me think of toothpaste.
Seriously, I love everything about this candy except for the flavor, so let's mix it up, shall we?
The white stripe could be coconut flavor, the red cherry, and the green could be spearmint. The fruit flavors would stand for the love of god (see First Nephi 8), and the milder mint flavor would would be there to remind us what we like about mint without overwhelming the entire candy.
This is basically soggy bread with herbs. Not all that appetizing, in my opinion, and it has practically no nutrients, unless you add meat or nuts or something. My thought is, why not make a stuffing a little more potato-based? White potatoes are about as bland as white bread, and it would fill your stomach, hopefully with a little less bloating. Add all the same spices, make a few adjustments and ta-da! It's actually food now, not just wet crust imitating it (I don't eat all that much bread in the first place, and I'm really big on making every meal count nutritionally. Sorry if you stuffing lovers find this offensive.) Besides that, this would probably make the mashed potatoes taste better too. Why not combine them? And that reminds me...
No flavor. None at all, unless you add herbs and things, and, besides that, plain old white potatoes give me heartburn, and the gravy causes the bloating problem all over again, and really doesn't taste good enough to make up for the blandness of the rest of the dish. So here's what I'm thinking: Use red potatoes. These hold flavors much better, and gives you the potato flavor without the blandness. And these have a little less starch, so they're better for you too. Bonus!
As for the gravy, why not add a little beef broth while you're mixing it up, and possibly some salt and herbs? No more gravy nearly as bland as the potatoes!
Maybe the idea of putting sugar on yams disgusts me only because I've never tried it, but, let's be honest, we're eating pie afterwards; do we really need one more thing with sugar? You'll make yourself sick of sweet prematurely if you're not careful, so let's treat our yams a little differently. Why not take sour cream, cheese, green onions, crumpled bacon, and butter and set up a buffet line for loaded baked potatoes? If you're really in love with your sweet yams, set up the buffet line with brown sugar, powdered sugar, marshmallows, chocolate chips, banana slices, and whatever else you want, sort of like an ice cream buffet.
Even if you don't dislike the texture like I do, I'm sure you won't say no to a little variety. Pumpkin flavor can be awesome, but why limit ourselves to one way of serving it? Why not offer pumpkin chocolate chip cookies? Or pumpkin cupcakes with vanilla icing? Or maybe even make it into an ice cream (assuming you have the freezer space). A lot of people love this flavor, so why not run with it? I'm sure the pie will enjoy the company.
Let's do this in red and green! Jello is so much fun!
I wouldn't change a thing about this food, but the leftovers can get to be redundant, so let's make a list of things to do with the bird so that we enjoy it until it's gone:
*Make a sandwich by using a roll, and using cranberry sauce as a spread.
*Make a soup with other leftovers, such as olives and carrot sticks, and anything else you happen to have in your kitchen.
*Mix the turkey with mayonnaise, like you would with tuna, then add green onion, tomato and chesses (or anything else you like) and use as a sandwich spread.
*Add to a green salad with Craisins, walnuts, and olives.
*Add it to a pasta salad with diced tomatoes and olives.
* Enjoy it the same way you ate it on Thanksgiving or Christmas.
Well, that's it. I'm out of ideas. Do you have a fun twist on a traditional holiday food? Comment below and tell all about it!