This holiday season, like all holiday seasons, is a time to give and receive.
Gifts are a wonderful way to express your appreciation of another person, whether it is a relative or a friend. Some people are impressed by expensive, fancy gifts. I prefer gifts that give a real benefit, and the price or status of the gift is not important to me. A gift that shows something of the giver is often the best of all. A gift that gives pleasure, and supports joy, is a gift I cherish, both as a giver and a receiver.
Would you like to give a gift that has the following benefits:
- Gives great pleasure to the person who receives it
- Gives great pleasure to the giver
- Creates a wonderful aroma in the home
- Makes the person who receives it feel wonderful
- Improves the natural functions of the body
- Creates a wonderful feeling of contentment and satisfaction
- Warms the body and soul
For me, this most magic of gifts is real food, skillfully and lovingly prepared.
The Most Traditional of Gifts
Many decisions are being made about gifts at this time of year. In modern times, we often think of commercial products like electronics, jewelry, designer clothing, and a host of other products when we are deciding what to give. Yet in older times, one of the most popular and appreciated gifts was that of food. Not just any food, but special foods that would not only be appreciated for their wonderful taste, but would nourish the body and soul of the receiver. These special foods were not factory candies and cakes, but some of the most nourishing and delicious real foods available.
Not only was the giving of special foods a tradition, but the cooking of those foods by a skilled cook was a much-anticipated blessing of the holiday season, and great efforts were made to have this happen. This was true for almost everybody. For the poor, the holiday season might be one of the few times they actually had grassfed meat or pastured pork to eat, or another special meat such as goose, or duck, or a capon. Grassfed or pastured meat, or wild fish, were the featured highlight of holiday meals. The traditional European holiday feast dishes covered such wonderful dishes as roast prime rib of beef, pork loin roasted with the skin on, rack of lamb, saddle of lamb, roast stuffed goose, roast stuffed turkey, roast duck, and many others.
What made these gifts unique is that they actually nourished the bodies of the lucky people who ate them, improving their natural functions and creating a wonderful feeling of well-being and contentment.
Traditionally, these foods were real food, not factory food, and were exactly the kind of traditional food our bodies welcome and thrive on.
It is true that many holiday foods were special desserts. But these were different than modern desserts. They always contained large amounts of saturated animal fat such as butter, lard, and egg yolks. They were only served at the end of a meal, when the eater’s body was well-nourished with traditional fats and other nutrients that protected the body from the effects of the sugar in the desserts.
GMOs, pesticides, and artificial chemicals had no place in these wonderful, traditional foods.
While you may not find much real food in the supermarket, local farmers and ranchers, and farmers’ markets often have wonderful real food available, including grassfed and pastured meat, and organic or the equivalent vegetables and fruits. There are some wonderful Internet sources of great grassfed and pastured meat. Three of my favorites are U.S. Wellness Meats, Homestead Natural Foods, and NorthStar Bison.
Give the Blessings of Your Cooking
Even the best quality real food needs a skilled cook. A skilled cook can turn the best natural ingredients into a feast that will provide great eating pleasure and nutrients to all who are lucky enough to share in the meal. If you can cook, the time and effort you put into making a holiday feast is a wonderful gift to all who eat it, and to yourself.
If you do not think of yourself as a skilled cook, I have some good news.
Cooking wonderful real food is easy, and simple. There is an old saying, “God gives us good meat, the devil sends us cooks.” The meaning of this saying is that high-quality food should not have its great natural taste overwhelmed by fancy and complicated cooking. The wonderful natural flavors and tastes of the food will do most of the magic for you. All you have to do is bring them out. The recipes I use create wonderful food, yet most of them are very simple and easy to use. Tender Grassfed Meat and Tender Grassfed Barbecue are full of simple recipes for grassfed and pastured meat that result in wonderful food, cooked in an easy and natural way.
I spend a big part of the holiday season planning and cooking the holiday feasts, as a gift to my loved ones. It is also a gift to me, as I also get to share in the feast!
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