Culture of Food

The Scramblog

Holiday Eating: How to Let Go of the Guilt and Enjoy the Food

We’ve reached that time of year when the treats are plentiful, the food is rich, and the drinks enticing. We’ve also reached the moment when many of us start to make deals with ourselves:“I’ll go all out until the New Year and then I’ll reset in a big way.” “I’ll go nuts today and then will only eat salad and exercise every day for the rest of the week.” “I’ll only eat a little bit/skip all the carbs/avoid anything with sugar, so that I can have X, Y, or Z.” I know these deals because I used to make them with myself, not just at the holidays, but all year round. My eating was in a constant state of negotiation, until I learned to let go, listen to my body’s cues, and enjoy food again. It wasn’t an overnight change, but this switch changed my life, so I wanted to share some of the baby steps that helped me to get to where I am (modified for the season we are in, so that maybe you can enjoy the holiday goodies, while staying sane in the...

Simple Thanksgiving Appetizers

I may love to experiment with dinners all year round, but there are a few special meals where I am loathe to stray from my tried and true favorites and Thanksgiving dinner is one of them. That's right, I am a traditionalist when it comes to the main event--I like my mashed potatoes creamy, my turkey roasted, and my vegetables simply prepared. But I still love to play with the appetizers and this year is no exception. This year I am sharing two simple Thanksgiving appetizers that are simple to prepare (ready in 30 minutes) and a little different from the standard options: Creamy Indian-Spiced Spinach Dip and Cranberry & Brie Puffs (plus these would be great for any holiday party this season). Watch me make them on Facebook Live!Creamy Indian-Spiced Spinach DipPrep Time: 5 minutes, Cook Time: 15 minutes, Makes 6 servings 1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil ¼ yellow onion, finely diced, about ½ cup 1 clove garlic, minced ½ tsp. sweet paprika ½ tsp. garam...

The Power of Sharing a Meal

The Power of Sharing a MealOver the past few weeks, I have been thinking a lot about what it means to share a meal with someone. I serve on the Board of Trustees for my sons’ school and we have recently been involved in a search for our next head of school (our beloved current head is retiring). This has meant a lot of dinners away from my family. It has also meant a lot of meals shared with others. As I have been sitting down to these meals away from home, both with people I know quite well and with others I barely know at all, it has been wonderful to see how the food on the table brings us together—it lightens the mood, it shifts the dynamic, and it strengthens the bonds that we are building. The food also becomes a topic of conversation and leads to discovering shared experiences and interests. It is essential to the community building that we are doing. At one of these dinners, a friend humorously recounted his childhood when he was the slowest eater in his...