When Christmas was drawing near this last year, my husband and I brainstormed over what to get or do or make for our extended family. The grandparents really did not need anything... neither did aunts and uncles; so, what to do?
The option of donating in their name to a charity or buying a farm yard animal for a family in another country were both good ideas, but we wanted to share a part of who we are for Christmas.
We decided on food. Chris and I worked over two weeks slow roasting and simmering jars and jars of sauces and condiments, all from scratch, for our parents and siblings.
I also created a companion cookbook for the culinarily less adventurous in our family as all the sauces, spices, and condiments are Asian in origin.
In the past few weeks I have talked with my sister and parents, all of whom have jumped into the cookbook and tried a few things out. They get to enjoy a part of who Chris and I are without the 10 or 15 hour drive to our house.
The other side of our family dove head first into the condiments without any recipes at all, just a few suggestions, fresh ingredients, and their enthusiasm to guide the way. (The cookbook is coming, FYI.)
The bond that is shared over a home-cooked meal is something special that cannot be manufactured or duplicated in any other way. It is one of my favourite ways to spend time with friends and family, creating new bonds and re-enforcing old ones.
What are your favourite foods to share with friends and family? Is there something you usually do (or don't do) when you have people over for dinner?