Double Take

Taking a second look at life experiences

Archive for the category “Food”

The Special Sweetness of the Once-A-Year Holiday Party

holidaycandle

Do you dread or anticipate the obligatory company holiday party?

I’m surprised by how much I look forward to attending my husband’s holiday party every year. Here’s my list of some of the reasons for why I enjoy this experience so much:

  • It’s not really a holiday party, but a festive meal served for about 4o people, family style, which encourages interaction and discussions about the food. The food is absolutely delicious! (envision sautéed garlicky spinach on top of crostini; a light caesar salad with shaved parmesan, light sacchetti  pasta, filled with ricotta cheese and white truffles in a white sauce garnished with slivered almonds; lemon-infused salmon with a lightly crumbed topping; and then tiramisu on large platters, adorned with lightly filled miniature cannolis. Are you with me yet? Do you need to read the rest??)
  • There’s something special for me in checking in with everyone to see how they’ve fared over a year’s time, since we don’t see each other socially. That might be perceived as a negative, but for me, it’s having defined boundaries for a different type of relationship.
  • Hearing about their children’s accomplishments, and sharing their pride in the details about their stage of life, gives my own memories a boost as I think about my own children and where they are in life.
  • Conversations started a year ago, seem to build upon themselves a year later. It’s not like starting all over…but instead a way to delve deeper into subjects every time you meet. Over the years, the connections get just a little more solidified, and that process is fun to experience.

So, have you attended a holiday party yet? Do you love the experience or dread it? Please share  here!

 

photo courtesy of Creative Commons. http://www.torange.us 

How To Sell Raisins To A Four-Year-Old

A Grapes to Raisin Story

A Grapes to Raisin Story

One morning in my kitchen, I discovered how effective stories are in selling products.

The product? Raisins.

The eater/buyer? My four-year-old grandson Jonah.

Let me explain with a story.

Sunday morning Sammy and Jonah declined whole-wheat banana pancakes in favor of much simpler and healthier fare…..yogurt.

So, now that I wasn’t making a fuss over pancakes, I decided to make the experience more special than just putting a bowl full of yogurt in front of them.  Instead, I created a  ‘yogurt bar’ for breakfast.  Next to each bowl of yogurt I gave them a decorated plate filled with a selection of toppings: walnuts, bananas, granola, kiwi and raisins.

Jonah, quickly said “I don’t want the raisins.”

I gently asked why, and he just shrugged his shoulder and shook his head.

I obligingly took them away.

Sammy, just shy of six, asked where raisins come from.

Well, all anyone has to do (even someone as young as Sammy) is ask for a story and I’m there.

I proceeded to explain how grapes grow, the different colors of grapes, and how they can be pressed into grape juice, fermented into wine or dried to turn into grapes.

I talked about the importance of sunshine (thanks Sun-Maid!), and that as the grapes dry into their wrinkly state, the natural sugar in them makes the fruit taste even sweeter.

I said that if they wanted to, they would be able to make raisins themselves*, just by taking a bunch of grapes and leaving it in a sunny place.

Who can resist the grapes to raisins story on this package?

Who can resist the grapes to raisins story on this package?

The more I talked about the raisins, the more I think Jonah regretted  his decision.

It was a matter of seconds after I finished the raisin story that Jonah said: “I’ll have some raisins too.”

He quickly chewed them all, foregoing adding them into the bowl.

So, did my story sell Jonah on the idea of taking back his raisins and eating them with such delight?

I’m not sure, but it makes a memorable story.

(You can see how easy it is to dry grapes that turn into raisins here , let me know how they turn out!).

photo credit: by Veronique on http://www.wikimedia.com

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