Holiday Planning & Prepping

Holiday planning and prepping with Aunt Carmen

The holidays are here, and FOOD is the focal point of family gatherings.  I just LOVE the holidays, everything is surrounded by connecting with family, friends near and far and of course, FOOD, FOOD, FOOD!!!!!  FOOD is the center of attention during the holidays, especially Thanksgiving, so whomever you invite over to your house for the holidays, suggest to your family and friends to whip up a dish and let everyone share your specialty dish.  Have a prize for the best tasting and/or looking food dish.  Oh, it makes you rise to the occasion.  I love it! But the key to having the best holiday is with some holiday planning!

This blog is going to give you an insight into holiday meal planning and preparation that was put together from a West Indian culture (my family background) with a little twist on staple foods from other cultures, even though we adapted to the traditional way for the holidays, most families make most of the same foods during the holidays in the United States.

The first foods that will appear on this blog are holiday foods (but of course), as the holidays are upon us, we can begin to prepare foods that can be frozen ahead of time but not altered in taste or texture. I will give you techniques, recipes, and videos to share on making meats, sides, desserts etc. as there are many favorites during this time of the year.  They will be in no order and if you reach out to me early, I might just try one of YOUR favorite dishes.  Most families make the basic foods during the holidays such as, Turkey, Ham, Macaroni and Cheese, Rice, Gravy, Green Bean Casserole, Collard Greens, etc., please do not let me forget Homemade Bread, your family will love the aroma in the house!

When we were younger, on the day my mother was not working a holiday, (which was rare) she would have all her children wake up to the smell of homemade bread.  The smell of bread baking in the oven was enough to make you pop out of bed and race down the stairs and dive right into the bread.  I would cut the thickest slice and complain that it was the knife fault. My mother would be upset that I cut the bread before it was time to eat it. So much fun! I would spread butter on this hot bread right out of the oven, it would melt as you were spreading it on the bread and add a slice of cheese. Oh, how I miss those days!!!!!!  Try my homemade bread in the recipe below and have your family wake up to this AMAZING smell that will linger in your house for hours and cause confusion among your family members.

Some people love to eat leftovers, but I don’t like to eat too many days of the same food.  But you will see recipes for making the best of your holiday leftovers. Besides the cleaning, you probably will plop down in the bed exhausted from trying to be a perfectionist to ensure that everything turns out just right.  Don’t sweat it, the time will fly, and you will be rushing around the house if you slack off, stay focused.  I am so excited thinking about all the different foods, people, music, dancing and don’t forget the games that are played during the holidays.  My family loves to sit around the living room couch (and floor) playing games like Family Feud, Wheel of Fortune, Charades and Pictionary while snacking on crudites, eating pies, cake, or a whole plate of food.  The only problem with the whole plate is, someone always spills, drops or tilt over the plate with the excitement of an answer to one of the games.  So much fun!

One time my family and I was playing cards (spades) and we were telling stories and getting so excited and one of my sister’s kept saying “be careful with your wine, this carpet is new and very light in color”, guess what SHE knocked over her wine and all of us got so sick from using different cleaning chemicals to get this wine stain out of her light-colored carpet.  All we needed to do was wet a clean rag and blot, but noooooo, we could not stop laughing as we googled and only needed to blot the area.  It was hilarious.  Fun times with family!!!!!

If you have a favorite food you would like to see me prepare, send me an email and I will make sure that you get a response.  Check in weekly to see what Aunt Carmen has set for the holiday meal planning process and let me know what you think!!!!

Aunt Carmen

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