From late October to the end of the year, it's a very demanding time in the kitchen. Between holiday cookie baking (and shipping), to the celebratory meals of Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Day, there never truly is a respite for those of us who cook and bake. Busy cooks, whose responsibilities include a whole lot more than cooking, particularly feel seasonal stress and come this time of the year, welcome ways to restore balance into our lives. Returning ourselves and those we cook for to simpler meals like soup, for instance, is a good way to begin the restorative process. In fact, many of you have shared that your bodies are actually screaming for soup - chicken, beef, no meat at all, you don't care -- as long as it's hot, nutritious and chock full of vegetables. For those in need of a sweeter post-holiday stress-reducer, a homemade old-fashioned kind of pudding, such as butterscotch, has been known to deliciously do the job, as well. You'll find two recipes for butterscotch here, one that is baked, from Sur La Table's "Simple Comforts: 50 Heartwarming Recipes, the other for a less-rich version, cooked on top of the stove. Even if you find yourself enviably stress-free and feeling rather well - trust me - a bowlful of steaming soup or velvety, made-from-scratch pudding, will make you even better.
Sue Ade is a syndicated food writer with broad experience and interest in the culinary arts. She has worked and resided in the Lowcountry of South Carolina since 1985 and may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.