Happy Wintertime! We are almost to the New Year with Kwanzaa upon us, Christmas and Chanukah are behind us and family either still around or long gone. Either way I am sure you have new stories and memories to savor. It is a special time of year that seems to emphasize everything in your life for better or for worse. People get ecstatic and people get depressed, families come together and are, sometimes, pulled apart. Holidays can take their toll or leave us wanting more.
I don't celebrate the holidays very much, as I am not religious, but I do enjoy cooking, so I use the holidays as an excuse to become the culinary genius that I think I am. Cooking also reminds me of growing up with my sister and mother, cooking amazing feasts for Thanksgiving and Christmas, and eating myself silly. So there is certainly nostalgia behind my desire to cook. Because I am vegan and I rarely use my oven, I had decided that it could be a storage facility. I should back up… I have three little furry creatures running around my home. Two cats and one dog. Well, while vacationing on Maui a friend was watching the furries. She came home to find all of the treats and cat goodies, once on the fridge, on the ground with the little dog's head stuck in the salmon treat bag. The puppy was desperately trying to walk backwards to get the bag off of her head. Upon my return I needed to figure out another place to put the essential animal crap. Eureka! The oven sounded like a great idea.
Well, I make candied yams during the holidays, and they need to be baked. I never pre-heat the oven except for this one time, on Christmas day 2012. Needless to say I need to get another container of catnip, more salmon treats and other goodies for the animals because I almost set the house on fire. In my panic I didn't realize I was inhaling the smoke of burning plastic, which I do not recommend. And a day and a half later I am finally feeling better. Currently I am looking for another place to hide furry treats.
I did manage to make my yams (I let the oven clean itself) and have a nice holiday dinner. However, I believe I won't be using the oven for anything except baking twice a year. I learned more than just to not use my oven to store randomness. Being forgetful in this situation was actually a good thing. I was completely relaxed on the holiday. Not over-thinking, not trying to get things done in a hurry, rushing kind of way. I spend a lot of time on the go, so me taking the time to pre-heat was totally a sign that I am allowing things to take their time. Once I cleared the house of smoke I relaxed and watched a movie. Life is full of excitement, some we want, some we don't. I say roll with it… accept what is and move toward what you want.
Did your holiday test your calm? Did you find yourself discombobulated or trying to be more on your game? Do you use the holiday time to relax and let go?