10 Life Lessons from Holiday Cooking

This year ‘The Boys’, my son Daniel and I, decided to do most of the Christmas holiday cooking. It was our way of giving ‘The Girls’, my wife Laura and daughter Melanie, a much needed break to relax and enjoy the holiday. My crazy idea!!

Sweets & Treats All Done

We had no idea what we were getting ourselves in for when we started, but 11 recipes and 12+ hours of meal preparation, cooking and cleaning up our messes later, we had learned a lot from this experience. Here are some of the life lessons we took away from our holiday cooking adventure:

  1. Teamwork and communication are keys to success in any endeavor.
  2. Don’t expect perfection. Even when you follow the script, success is not guaranteed.
  3. Failure is not final. It’s okay to start over if you miss the mark the first time.
  4. Great results require skillful preparation, planning, hard work and luck. (BFO)
  5. Get help, advice and wise counsel from the “experts” when you’re stuck.
  6. Timing is everything! Spending too much time doing anything will result in burnout.
  7. Mistakes or missteps can sometimes produce some wonderful surprises.
  8. Keep life (and cooking) simple – it’s less work and stress on everyone’s part.
  9. Take time out to celebrate your accomplishments, both large and small.
  10. Don’t take other people and their contributions for granted.

In addition, here are a few bonus lessons from our cooking marathon that may be helpful for any of you guys out there who decide to take on the holiday cooking chores in the future:

  1. Recipes are guidelines. The final product rarely turns out as advertised.
  2. Don’t push the Auto Clean button when food is in the oven.
  3. A tablespoon (TBSP) does not equal a teaspoon (TSP).
  4. If you detect a strong odor of gas, check to see if the stove’s burner is lit.
  5. Table setting: The small glass is for wine, the larger one for water. (LOL)
  6. Cooking with alcohol definitely enhances the experience!
  7. Butternut squash is evil!!!

We learned first-hand this year that ‘The Girls’ clearly don’t get enough credit for all they to do make the holidays special for others. Just the cooking part alone requires an enormous amount of time and effort. Based on our cooking adventure, and after the 12+ hour bonding experience with dear old Dad, my son is already lobbying for pizza delivery next Christmas.

NOTE: The large bowl in the photo is Mama’s Homemade Egg Nog. It has now been added to the Carroll family Christmas traditions list.

Hope you enjoy a wonderful Christmas holiday with family and friends.

Best wishes for a Happy, Prosperous New Year!



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