Cooking BIG!!!

Some people eat to live and others live to eat. Regardless of whichever side of that debate you reside on, it is indisputable that food is a focal point in our daily lives. It is the center of our social events, the glue that binds together countless experiences with family and friends. In times of grief, need or desperation…your people (family, friends, neighbors) bring their casseroles, platters of deviled eggs, freshly baked pies and an array of other comfort foods to try to ease your pain and suffering of whatever it is that you’re dealing with. In times of celebration we bake cookies, cakes and plan and roll out entire feasts…just to be together! Food is at the center or somehow incorporated into every aspect of our lives and when BIG life things are happening…we tend to cook: BIGGER!

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Birthdays, Funerals, Bridal Showers, Anniversaries, Baby Showers, Weddings, Holidays…the bigger the event, the bigger and more complex the menu becomes (or the bigger the caterers bill increases). Its the time when old family recipes that have been passed down through the generations get brought back to life. We spend weeks and months planning for our special occasion brunches and dinners. It brings us joy and happiness to cook with our loved ones or sometimes is the excuse to put aside feuds…to come to together and plan and share a meal. Along with the happiness of cooking BIG comes BIG expectations. The stress of planning, purchasing and organizing the meal can sometimes be overwhelming.  We can loose the happy feelings and excitement of the occasion in the midst of trying to make the perfect meal. Its unavoidable. Its expected. Sometimes feuds erupt because of it. Sometimes the meal can seem ruined or like a failure when tensions are high and perfection is not attained.

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As the holidays approach I think its especially a good time to remember the BIG picture. We go through all the stress of the planing and organizing not to make the perfect meal…but to make a wonderful experience that will be appreciated, cherished and remembered by our loved ones. The meal is the center of every holiday event across the calendar, but its the people sitting around the table that make the meal special. If your holidays and family gatherings are anything like ours, you will have (at least 1) burnt item-hopefully its not the turkey or the beef tenderloin! We can all live without the green bean casserole, but don’t let it be the tenderloin, lol! If we plan dinner at 5, its usually closer to 6. Its a given that we will forget some important key ingredient at the store and not realize it until we actually need it (and then its too late)! Someone will break a plate or bowl while setting the table…its gonna happen…just roll with it. Thats life. Nothing is perfect.

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Enjoy the people you are with, enjoy the meal (however it turns out), remember that perfection is unattainable and food is meant to be enjoyed with the company of the people we love!

Candice Herriott was recruited 12 years ago to move to Charleston for her job as a hair stylist, and a few years later she bought...

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