Don't You Love Cooking For The Holidays?
I get it, We've been isolated from our friends and family especially during the holidays because of this damn Covid Pandemic and Delta Variant!
However, this year we felt comfortable enough with some minor hesistency to have a family gathering like the way it should be. Grandma can see her children and grandchildren, siblings can finally get together to agree or disagree with the topic of the night, our children serving in the Armed forces and relatives travelling from a far to be close to family for a celebration feast or an extended weekend feast
Sounds great, everyone finally getting together. BUT, if your hosting the get together whether you volunteer out of the goodness of your heart or its your turn from the last meeting 2 years ago, your spirit is high and you can't wait to do the shopping, fighting crowds at the supermarket pushing your cart, fighting for a parking space and watching out for the other guy. Let's face it, during the holidays, everyone has thousands of things on their mind. We are not focused 100% on the road especially in the holiday cramped shopping center.
This year is special, you noticed that alot of items are not available, probably sitting in a warehouse with not enough truckers to deliver. Ok, what's a good substitute?
Lugging all the bags of groceries home, thinking is the turkey defrosted? You put on your apron but you gotta have some wine or beer to ease the tension, anxiety and nervousness.
You double check if the house to make sure its spotless, beds made, vaccuum, dusted,
The relatives that flew in come in early and they just want to have a long overdue conversation, you politely smile and nod your head, their kids are running into you screaming away, You start getting the appetizers ready in the oven, the dip is chilling, its key that nothing burns in the oven. You get the turkey in the oven. You tried a different way of roasting the turkey, cutting the backbone out and splitting it in half for uniformed cooking. Looks delicious, smothered the turkey with mayo to seal in the juices, then added salt pepper, thyme, sazon and paprika with the under side with scallion, ginger and fresh garlic.
Nieces and brothers arrive and volunteer to help set the table, enough ice, check, red enough red cups, check, wine chilled, beer ready, soda chilled, hard seltzer ready?
Everyone comes in, everything is in the oven, time to socialize, have to shower and dress nicely, where's my beer? Ok, my mind is running like a Stock market ticker tape, just smile and nod. Really worried that everything goes well. Turkey is cooking in 1/2 the time with this new way, yeah!.
Checked dining table, setup is perfect, enough sitting? double check, ok
Will everything be ready, fingers crossed! I looked outside, sun is setting, thank god I put the turkey in when I did.
Turkey test, meat is ready, so moist, so flavorful, need to drain the giblet for the delicious gravy.
Told everyone "DINNER IS SERVED" Everyone rushes to the table and we say grace and jumped right in.
Conversations, drinking, eating and more drinking eating and conversations. About 20 minutes and everyone is stuffed! Everyone leaves the table to relax in the living room, talking, watching TV specials and chilling.
Thank God for dishwashers, but some pots and pans need to be washed by hand, clearing the table, leftovers in zip lock bags and frozen or for carry out later.
No, the coffee and dessert! Whew!!!!!
BUT through it ALL, it was a pleasure to see everyone no matter how much effort in preparing a fantastic meal.
I finally got a few minutes to rest, a little achy but when all is said and done, I slept like a baby!!!!!! and a little snoring!!!! LOL
Chef Woo Can
I've always pride myself to make a home cook meal from scratch. American food
was a treat on the weekend way back when. On Long Island the treat on Saturday
was driving to Wetson's drive thru.
Today, fast food is now the norm during the week for lunch and dinner.
Yes, I'm a boomer and in the beginning my daughter appreciated my Asian dishes
for dinner. She didn't know any better, now she grew up and more picky. Yes, I
take responsibility for introducing McDonald fries to my little toddler and she
loved it. Yes, Taco Bell and Rita's ice cream, plus pizza both fresh and frozen,
corn dogs, hot dogs and I can go on and on. Not thinking how that might effect
her future appetite, school lunches didnt help much with nuggets, fried food and
God knows what else that is so unhealthy. The less I know I guess the better.
Then going out eating a soft pretzel or Cinnabon, fried chicken at the res stops,
Panda Express just wasn't the right direction to eat better. No matter where you
looked, we're being bombarded with food advertisement on billboard, running
across our TV/s is just a bad thing.
So am I really surprised that she wants a sub, plus since living in the burbs,
access to good food is limited.
So, what is a dad to do? Apparently not much. Trying to make smaller portions
tastier like a little more sugar flavor, always a good option but is it really healthy?
For me no way but for her everything in moderation is ok. She enjoys boney items
w dark meat, more flavor, mix it up a bit, one night Italian, then Chinese, then
Mexican but to me its a vicious cycle.
Then she makes her way to the kitchen and her famous annoying words are
blurted out "Dad Not Chinese again"! or One night I decided to make her favorite. I
prepped all items and started cooking. I was damn proud but when I presented it
to her, she said "Dad, I used to like it but no longer".
I was flabbergasted. So what is a Dad to do? That is the question that will haunt
me the rest of my life! Moving forward, I cook a small portion for myself and if
she likes it I give her a small portion.
My daughter who is going through terrible 13 will drive me to an early grave!
I'll always remember her famous words to be "Daddy, this is what you signed up for?"
By Chef Woo Can
P.S: Comment if you can relate?