December–More Than Holidays

Food blogging (and magazines/newspapers/all media) runs on a cycle. It makes life easy in a way. I know that come summer, fresh produce, picnics, barbecue is on the way. The first hint of fall: tailgating, Halloween, fall food. Super Bowl recipes come faithfully every year. I realized though that something irks me and I am going to do something about it this month on this blog.

From the weeks leading up to Thanksgiving through New Year’s–food blogs fill with cookies, pies, pumpkin, holiday side dishes, appetizers. It’s all lovely and fabulous–and I could post cookie recipes until your eyes bleed. The same with all of the other recipes “of the season.” Goodness knows, I own enough cookie/cooky/holiday cookbooks to blog one a day for an ENTIRE YEAR, possibly a decade.

It rather misses the point though. You see, 330+ days of the year and at least double that number of meals, have absolutely nothing to do with the occasions in this time span. Yes, we can argue that we celebrate our love for friends, family, co-workers by creating magical gifts and meals from the kitchen around the holidays. Really though, that love is really shown in all those other meals. Those meals we don’t necessarily fuss over, those meals that keep our family nourished, the meal we drop at a friend’s home, a lunch shared at work, a lunch packed for our child show our love. I can pull it all out at Thanksgiving, at Christmas, New Year’s Eve and Day. Everyone will enjoy it. I enjoy the break from the ordinary. The children enjoy the extra baking. (some)

In the end though, that smile on my love’s face when I make an effort to make dinner from what we have on a bad day, when the 21-year-old realizes there will be “real dinner” on a night when the whole crew isn’t here for dinner and does her little happy step and smile, when my mother says “that was a real treat” because I made a hot breakfast that wasn’t oatmeal, that is the real love in my kitchen.  Those unexpected (and expected) meals and snacks made without a fuss–that’s love. Holidays are sensory overload, show, and fun but not the same as the constant love that flows from my hands into the food I make for my family and friends. I get more “credit” for holiday meals and that can make them fun. In the end though, it’s the prayer that feel better tea will work its magic and wash away illness that matters. It is the dinner that my family knows will fill their bellies before bed and prepared with thoughts of love, of what they need, what they think, what weighs heavy on them that matters. Love in every day meals, nearly every meal of the year, that’s the love song and where I feel led this month.

That means this month–this blog will be about those daily meals. The ones I use a recipe for, the ones I make from my head, the ones that serve to show the constancy of my love for all of them. (Yes, even on the days when I daydream about a chef, Seattle Sutton for a month, of never HAVING to make another meal, and the days when I say “can’t we just order?” the love is constant and is stirred in, even if it is just something pulled from the fridge or freezer.)  I choose to skip the cookies, cakes, side dishes, pies, and appetizers in blogging this month. If you need a recipe–there are tons in the archives. Enjoy them. We do. We will.

In the meantime, while planning the whirlwind of food celebration, don’t forget the love that goes into your daily meals.


  1. Elizabeth says:

    So true! Frequently we forget about the every day ordinary show of love that ordinary household stuff is made of. Food and meals are a large part of that.

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