As I write this, around the world, the first Hanukkah candle has been or is about to be lit, and latkes and sufganiyot are frying. Preparations for Christmas gatherings are delighting or overwhelming billions of people. Feasts for the solstice, for Kwanzaa, and even Festivus are in the planning. Last week, we asked Red Roomers to blog about that one ingredient—food-related or not—that they use to show their loved ones that this season is special.
A few blog posts stood out:
- For many, donations to favorite charities are an inextricable part of the holidays. For Hanukkah, member Madeline Sharples's family has taken the idea of gelt from a few dollars given to the kids to a meaningful donation to a special nonprofit you'll want to know more about. Read "My Favorite Holiday Ingredient."
- Author Blair Kilpatrick describes the complexity of mixing cherished ingredients with "love, memory, family—and ambivalence" (and shares a mouthwatering recipe for a traditional Slovenian treat) in "Potica, Bread of Memory."
- A fifteen-year-old fake Christmas tree from Sears may not seem like the stuff from which precious holiday memories are made. Read author 'Nathan Burgoine's funny and moving "Ornamental" to see how a seeminly unprepossessing object can grow into an essential way to trace the years.
These bloggers will receive books by Red Room authors:
- Drawing on the latest honey buzz and interviews with medical doctors, beekeepers, and researchers, Cal Orey's The Healing Power of Honey tells how to incorporate thirty different varieties of honey into your diet to help help lower the risk of heart disease, cancer , diabetes-even help reduce body fat and unwanted weight!-and increase longevity.
- Prepared using fast cooking techniques and nutritious ingredients, the recipes in Ying Chang Compestine's Ying's Best One-Dish Meals allow readers to pull together satisfying meals in a snap.
- While the fungi scientist Cardy Raper studies aren't the edible kind, her memoir Love, Sex and Mushrooms: Adventures of a Woman in Science, describing not only the triumphs and dead ends of that research but also the difficulties of one woman’s efforts to carry on alone as an independent scientist, sounds like a delicious read!
Read all the secret holiday ingredient blogs here. I hope you'll find a delectable favorite and leave a comment for the blogger telling what you liked about the post. All of Red Room's past blog topics are here. Happy holidays, and thanks as always for blogging!
–Huntington W. Sharp, Senior Editor, Red Room