Ever had your aunt’s “homemade” pudding that tasted like it had so many complicated chemicals and ingredients a magician could not even pronounce them? Or your uncle’s eggnog, with real eggs?
Maybe this year you and your family can host a fun, small, socially distanced holiday party (with actual homemade food). When it comes to baking or cooking, the things that come from your blood, sweat and tears matter the most, (don’t put those into the recipe, though). When you host, people will ask, “Hey, what mix did you use?” or “Why does this taste better than usual?” The answer can be your special secret because it will all be homemade.
I do not host many holiday parties because taking into account food allergies and not knowing if there’s enough for everyone would be too much work. But coming from a person who has gone to these family events, homemade food always tastes better. We can tell when the pudding comes from a mix, or when the pudding is mixed too fluffy, or when the weird scent isn’t too strong.
When hosting an event, you want your guests to appreciate the work you put into the food you make. You want the food to taste as good as possible, so it would be best to use a recipe with the best reviews or, better yet, a recipe passed down in your family for generations. Personally, when it comes to giving my guests the best, I want to know what goes into it instead of following the instructions on the back of a box. When I read the ingredients, I want to see and believe they are actual words. When I take my time to make things from scratch, it shows the effort and the appreciation I have for my guests. And when they compliment my food, I want to feel absolute joy knowing that I made it by hand.
Most people say that not everyone can afford to buy homemade ingredients, and that is understandable. But even using a boxed mix and adding a little twist — such as adding more sugar or adding sour cream — can show the effort you put into making good food. Even with boxed food, knowing what’s in it and being able to add things without ruining it also makes a big difference.
Adding or baking homemade food will always guarantee the guest will come back next year. But even if the whole feast is for yourself, or isn’t a special event, always give homemade a try, no matter how many tries it takes.
This year, try making the food — or at least the punch — from scratch. You and your guests will enjoy everything much more.