There is one word that is guaranteed to make my father’s eyes light up: homemade. Put that word in front of any food you can imagine – cookies, cakes, casseroles – and he’ll start to salivate, confident that it will be among the best things he’s ever tasted.
Honestly, I think it’s less what’s actually being served to him and more the idea behind it. Someone took the time to cobble together some ingredients and make a meal or treat with their own hands, time and equipment.
There is something really magical about that – sometimes.
Truth is, we’ve all had our kitchen fails. Just a couple of weeks ago, I had some bulk breakfast sausage that needed to be used, so I decided to whip up a strata. The first bite I thought was OK, but by the second bite I realized it was awful. If I had a dog, he or she would have had quite a treat that night. Instead, my garbage can got the remains of my failed “homemade” dish.
Luckily, it was just a mid-week meal. But during the holiday season, these botched culinary efforts are the stuff of nightmares. I think that’s part of the reason why we all have some treasured recipes we make year after year. We surely don’t want to experiment with a meal that means so much. That, and the memories these treasured family dishes conjure up.
In this issue of Metro Parent, we humbly offer some of our very favorite holiday dishes. These recipes have been made, tweaked and thoroughly enjoyed for years, sometimes for generations. From Crazy-Good Corn Chowder from managing editor Kim Kovelle’s mom Nancy to the Spiced Christmas Cookies associate editor Megan Krueger made with her mom (another Nancy) and her sister growing up, we think these are the sort of recipes that deserve the reputation that “homemade” elicits: yummy soups and cookies and pies and appetizers that would earn my dad’s adoration.