We are quickly approaching what I believe is the absolute best time of the year, the holidays. What a great time to be with friends and family. Things kick off at Halloween, then it's all a total blur.
Great food is an important holiday component, especially if the recipes are handed down from generations of the past. Close your eyes for a moment and think about family traditions. This is not a rhetorical comment. I really want you to do this. There is a point to my request.
Think of your favorite gatherings. Remember the aromas floating through the air as you walked in the kitchen. Think of the smiles and the joy brought to your family and friends gathered for these special times, gathered around the table.
For me, I remember these candies my mom used to make for Christmas. They were made of dates and rice crispies. They looked like strawberries (I know, that doesn't make a lot of sense for Christmas) and the red and green colors were provided by red and green crystal sugar. We've tried to recreate them here at our home, and unfortunately they don't ever seem to measure up to what I remember as a kid.
My Mother passed away 32 years ago, so I can't confer with anyone on what I am doing wrong. Oh, well, I'll keep trying, because they remind me of her.
So this week's column is a request from you, our readers. I would LOVE to have you email me your absolute favorite holiday recipe so I can share some of them with our readers. This could be your favorite appetizer, salad, main dish or side dish.
A few suggestions leading into the holidays.
1. Please, give the grill a try with the turkey, prime rib or ham. It's really not difficult, and it frees up the kitchen for the preparation of the side dishes.
2. Pull the kids or grandkids into the cooking process. They will remember those experiences for the rest of their lives.
3. Try to use fresh, local produce, and attempt to limit processed food. How about trying different stuffing recipes from scratch for Thanksgiving?
4. Not to sound preachy, but use the holidays as an opportunity to remind your family and friends how much you appreciate them, and love them. Then make a New Years resolution to not wait till the 2013 holidays to tell those same people how much they mean to you.
Alright readers, let's get the holidays rolling. Immediately email me your recipes at email@example.com. I will personally respond to each email. You can also call me at (812) 282-2647. I look forward to hearing from my friends and readers of this column.
Dave Lobeck, of Sellersburg, Ind., is a barbecue chef and Kansas City Barbecue Society judge. He writes a column for CNHI News Service. Visit his website at www.BBQMyWay.com.