You Don’t Need a Holiday for Your Favorite Foods
On the Sunday before Thanksgiving, I was doing a practice Zoom call with my aunt (my dad’s sister), and she asked, “What are you having for Thanksgiving?”
And after I got off the call with her, I had an email from my dad asking the same thing.
I was amused by the synchronicity but also by the question because I honestly hadn’t thought about what I was having for Thanksgiving. My aunt suggested, “Just think of your favorite foods that you don’t have very often and go with that.”
It was good advice, but it got me thinking. Why wait for holidays for your favorite foods? Why not have them when you really want them?
It reminded me a little of the song “Christmas Every Day.” There’s also a children’s book with the same title, both based around the idea that wouldn’t it be nice if we could have the joy and cheer of Christmas every day?
Of course, that’s not practical, and it may not be practical to have your favorite foods every day, either. If your favorite meal takes hours and hours to prepare and/or costs a lot of money, you can’t do that all the time.
But you also don’t have to wait for a holiday for it.
Problems with Waiting for the Holidays
Our society has this strange notion that you need a special reason to have foods you like. I understand the desire to make certain days special, but this approach can also backfire.
If you know that this is the one time in the year you can get that food you love, you’re much more likely to overeat it. Then the day won’t feel quite as special because you’ll have an upset stomach and might be quite sleepy.
This also puts a lot of pressure on the foods to live up to their expectations. What if the person who makes it tries a new recipe and you don’t like it that much? Or what if they decide not to make it at all? What if there’s a kitchen disaster when you try to make your favorite food, and it gets burned or otherwise ruined? Suddenly your day isn’t so great anymore.
Favorite Foods (Almost) Every Day
Instead, it may help to remember that for the most part, you can have your favorite foods anytime. Some items might be harder to get if they’re not in season – for example, most people aren’t buying cranberries in the spring – but with so much available, odds are you can find something you like.
You could also think about foods you enjoy that don’t take a lot of preparation and keep ingredients on-hand for those. I’ve been thinking about pancakes recently, and those are easy to make. For that matter, mashed potatoes aren’t that difficult, either, and I’ve been known to make those in the summer.
Perhaps you can make a large batch of a favorite food and then freeze it in smaller portions, so when you want it, you can simply thaw it out. I do this a lot with things like soup and chili, but also with cookies, brownies, and even cake. (It might sound strange to freeze cake, but it works surprisingly well.)
You could also plan to have the foods that take a little longer to prepare at other times. It might be for a special occasion like a birthday or anniversary, or just a day that you decide to make special.
Whatever it is, if you make a point of having your favorite foods more often, you’ll be less tempted to overindulge during the holiday itself – and then you can spend the time enjoying the day instead of napping on the couch. (Although to be clear, I’m not opposed to naps on the couch.)
Many Foods to Enjoy
In case you’re curious, I didn’t have turkey on Thanksgiving, but I did make cranberry sauce, as well as roasted root vegetables, pumpkin chocolate chip muffins, and cranberry sugar cookies. Some of the muffins and cookies are in the freezer to save as gifts, but I also plan to continue enjoying them over the next week or so.
We’re surrounded by many delicious foods – it seems like a shame not to enjoy them on a regular basis. Having them on holidays is nice, but you may find that you enjoy spreading your favorite foods out over the rest of the year.