As we enter the holiday season this year, it’s after having gone through some of the most difficult months in recent memory. A worldwide pandemic and divisive election cycle have led to mental and physical fatigue and a myriad of concerns about our families, our communities, our country and ourselves.
Even if you are foregoing travel to see relatives this year, the holidays can still lift our spirits and provide opportunities for laughter and happiness that are sorely needed right now. We may just need to get more creative this year such as using video calling to visit with relatives or giving gifts that are more practical in nature to help those who may have been without work for a period of time or lost their jobs altogether.
In the midst of the division we see all around us, we can all agree that food brings us together — whether in a physical sense as we gather with family or through the use of a favorite family recipe handed down through the generations, perhaps one that is written on an index card in the handwriting of a loved one no longer with you. Many of our most cherished holiday memories are tied to food — the taste of a grandmother’s from-scratch banana pudding, watching your father carve the turkey or listening to Christmas carols with your mom while making cookies.
The kitchen is the center of the home, especially during the holidays. Tennessee’s electric cooperatives are proud to power your holiday cooking, but we also recognize that all that extra cooking can add to your energy bill.
Here are a few suggestions to save energy in the kitchen this season: Peek through the window in your oven to check on the progress of foods that are baking instead of opening the door. Bake multiple dishes at once, using the right size pot or pan on the right size burner. Use the microwave or toaster oven for heating smaller servings. Run the dishwasher only when you have a full load. Keep your refrigerator temperature set between 35 and 38 degrees.
Perhaps you want to experiment with some new recipes this year, starting your own family food traditions. Everyone at Tennessee’s electric cooperatives wishes you a happy, healthy and safe holiday season, one filled with tasty treats that form treasured memories for you and your family in the years to come.