Much of the criticism Christmas gets as a holiday comes from the shopping and spending. You don’t hear much about the food, because really, what’s to complain about? The Holiday practically has its own cuisine. Countries all over the world have their own variation. In Eastern Europe you have twelve meatless dishes like Kutia or perogies to represent the 12 apostles. If you’re in the phillipines you might have this spit-roasted pig called Lechon, which I am determined to have again at least once before I die.
You might think that Christmas dinner is just another aspect of the stress of Christmas. Granted, most bestselling cookbooks out there don’t make it easy. Do they honestly think that anyone could tell the difference, blind taste test, between virgin olive oil and extra virgin olive oil? Still, the more you cook the more you learn to substitute and do without all the frou-frou ingredients. It’s satisfying trying to cook something new, and even more satisfying to have people over to enjoy it. If the dish doesn’t work out, then it becomes an amusing story to bring up when your guests have to cook *you* something. It’s win-win!