Gifts From The Kitchen

Great food is synonymous with the holidays. Whether creating a celebratory feast, a cocktail party to ring in the season, or edible gifts for family and friends - the kitchen is an active place this time of year. If cooking is your love, it can also be the perfect place to escape from a little of the pressure and craziness that generally accompanies the season. An afternoon spent amidst wisps of fragrant steam escaping from pots on the stove and enticing aromas wafting from the oven is just the thing to put you in the holiday spirit - and just the thing to remind you that true holiday spirit comes from the joy of giving of one's self.

It's hard to say which is more gratifying - the sense of accomplishment that comes from surveying the bountiful buffet you created, or reveling in the look of utter contentment on the faces of loved ones after the buffet has been consumed. The delight in the eyes of a child as they spy a plate of festively decorated holiday cookies is a joy to behold. And the pleasure derived from gifting someone with a cheerfully wrapped homemade edible treat is deeply satisfying - it somehow epitomizes the spirit of the season.

Whether trying new recipes or making dishes handed down from generation to generation, there's nothing like sharing time in the kitchen to forge new bonds or strengthen old ones. The memories of the shared experience will last long after the material trappings of the holidays are gone and forgotten. In the whirlwind of the season, a little time spent together in the kitchen can be a precious gift in itself, and creating food for those you love is a universally recognized gift.

May your holiday season be filled with family, friends, good times, great food, and joy.

Featured Recipes by Riki Senn: