We asked a dozen food world luminaries to help us count down the next 12 days with culinary nostalgia, and they gave us their favorite stories of supermarket eggnog, standing rib roasts, discounted candy, and lots of cheer. Enjoy, and happy holidays!
Kentuckian Kat Kinsman, managing editor of CNN’s food blog Eatocracy, isn’t a fan of Christmas. Although she harbors fond memories of her grandmother’s cookies,”a harbinger of the holidays,” Kinsman suffers from seasonal affective disorder. Gloomy winter weather makes it hard for her to enjoy this time of year. But new traditions—coupled with good friends and a supportive family—have brightened the season.
Because I married into a family that has very specific Christmas traditions, I felt like I needed to carve out my place in that. For the last few years, I make whiskey sours for everyone. Fortunately, it’s a family that appreciates a good cocktail!
My mother-in-law is 90 years old, and her little sister is 88. I saw that it was a drink they really liked, so I thought I’d make the best possible version of that.
Everything is hand-squeezed. (I have a thing about store-bought sour mix; I can’t stand it!) If I’m feeling really super fancy, I’ll top them with prosecco. They do not suck.
I also have a total obsession with clementines during this time of year. I call them “Clem-sours” because I’Il squeeze just a ton of clementines into them. They’re only good this time of year, and I eat them by the crate.
I have seasonal affective disorder, and I swear I self-medicate with clementines.
[But] I don’t really like Christmas. [Because] I have seasonal affective disorder, December is my least favorite month by far. It’s cold. It’s dark. There’s an expectation of this certain kind of joy that I don’t share, and it’s hard for me to engage with that.
I felt a little cruddy saying that I was opting out [of family Christmas] this year.
I end up writing about this a lot because I think a lot of people end up feeling like freaks. I just try to make it known to the people I love that I love them. People who love you should want you to be happy.
I actually have to work that day, but after that I’m going over to a friend’s house. He’s the maître d’ at Daniel. He’s just one of my favorite people. I knew that he would do it right.
He is hosting a bunch of us and he got Michael Wurster, the chef at The London. He’s making a traditional Christmas goose. I’m super excited.
I am on Champagne duty. And along with that, I will of course bring whiskey sours.