The holidays are filled with parties and potlucks. And they shouldn’t be something to dread for those of us who are single. I am blessed enough to come from a culture where everybody just invites everybody to parties. It’s the Filipino way. When the family comes over, that includes families you do not have blood ties to!
I know, it can be overwhelming (especially to an introvert like me), but it also means that I’ve never been invited to a party where I’m the single friend being set up with another single friend. I haven’t been invited to a dinner turned blind date because of where I’m seated.
The downside is that in every party where everybody is invited, I see people I haven’t seen in a while. And they want a life update. Specifically…do I have boyfriend? Am I dating? When am I getting married? And sometimes, someone will know someone else who is single.
So to all my single ladies out there who might not be looking forward to holiday parties because of the unexpected blind dates or questions and comments about your singleness, take heart! You are not alone.
Find joy instead in one of the main aspects of parties and potlucks.
I enjoy cooking, and I know that not everybody does. I also know that we single ladies face a challenge when it comes to cooking. I’ve faced both scenarios. Tell me if you have to.
First: If you cannot cook, or people think you don’t know how to cook, they tell you to learn so you’ll be ready when you get married, or tell you to get married so your spouse can cook for you.
Second: If you can cook, people tell you you’re ready to get married, or parade your cooking skills to other single potentials.
It’s a toss up. I’ve learned to just enjoy the process of cooking. I’ve made it a time to process my thoughts, to listen to a podcast or my favorite music, or to learn something new. It doesn’t have be stressful. It doesn’t have to be hard. It doesn’t have to contain allusions to marriage or dating.
Then I’ve learned to find the joy in cooking for others. In sharing good food with good company. My sisters and I would joke that our love language is food and diamonds 🙂 Food can speak all the love languages. It can be a gift. It can be an act of service. It leads to quality time. It can be a gateway to physical touch and words of affirmation. It spans all cultures. Everybody eats!
This holiday season, I issue my single ladies this challenge:
Master one holiday dish to share in potlucks.
With Pinterest, there are super easy recipes that anybody can pull off. I’ve had Pinterest success stories like this, so I know it can work. Pick something simple. Try searching for 2-ingredient recipes (try this) or 3-ingredient recipes (or this). Try it out. Then try it out again. Cooking is part experimenting. You learn new things about food, ingredients, your kitchen, and yourself.
But of course, I won’t leave you hanging. Below is one of my go-to potluck recipes. It’s a family recipe, so if you try it out, you’re my family!
I love this dish. It’s delicious. Full of veggies. And it’s easy. It’s a one pot dish. You really just throw the ingredients together. It’s also very easy to change the ingredient amounts to manipulate serving size.
It has shrimp, eggs, and cashews. Alert for food allergies. The cashews are optional, but the shrimp and eggs are not.
Here it is: Shrimp with Quail Eggs (that’s why they’re not optional :-))
Don’t panic. I know it looks like there’s a lot going on. But like I said, it’s a one pot dish where you can just throw all the ingredients together.
The ONE thing you have to be careful about is the shrimp. Overcooked shrimp is rubbery. You don’t want that. But everything else only needs to be heated through. I’ve even made this without the onion and the garlic. I just used garlic powder. I don’t add a lot of salt because of the sodium content in the cream of mushroom/chicken.
And I don’t have a good picture of it (I make it often, you’d think I took at least one good shot), but I’ll show you what I have:
It can stand alone, like a meaty soup. My family eats it like an entree with rice, because Filipinos eat a lot of rice. It can also be a side dish.
Let me know if you try this out, or if you have your own go-to potluck recipe.
We don’t have to dread holiday parties or potlucks. They are great reminders of God’s blessings in our lives. Food. Friends. Family. Life.
Linking up with Fellowship Friday.