The holidays are a busy time of year, full of fun and good cheer. And while Santa's got plenty of elves to help him out, outside of the North Pole we have to put our own little helpers to work to make the magic happen.
There's nothing that busy little bees enjoy more than helping out in the kitchen, so make sure to put all of that energy to good use. Bees are industrious sorts, after all, which is one reason they occupy such an important place in history and folklore. Across many cultures, the bee is a sign of creativity, hard work and wealth. In ancient Egypt, the bee was a symbol of royalty and its symbol often preceded a reigning pharaoh's title.
So, Queen Bee, with the holidays a 'coming, it's time to get the kitchen buzzing. And the work is half the fun! Cookies, cakes and pies. Stuffing, roasts and cranberry sauce. Holiday cooking and baking keep the hive humming from Thanksgiving to New Year's Day.
If you've got little helpers around, give them small tasks that will make them feel proud and useful. Even if they're too young to measure out the flour and sugar, you can let them dump the measuring cups into the bowl. Cookie decorating is always a great way to get kids involved, too. Just mix up some frostings in festive colors, hand out small paintbrushes and let them get to work.
For an easy icing, combine:
- One box confectioner's sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 stick softened butter
- 3-4 tsp. heavy cream
- Pinch of salt
- Thin with cream as necessary, then divide in small bowls and add food colorings
And even if you don't have little ones at home, cooking supplies and kitchen implements make great holiday gifts. Think about seasonal cookie cutters, kid-friendly cookbooks and cute ceramic measuring cups and spoons that families can use year after year.
'Tis the season, so tie on an apron and hit the kitchen. Do you have any favorite holiday cooking traditions in your home?