A comforting Christmas at the cabin

In collaboration with Geneviève O’Gleman, nutritionist, savourer.ca

We all need a moment of respite, a magical touch, and a nice dose of comfort during the Christmas season. What if we took the opportunity to celebrate Christmas differently? By finally taking the time to rest, to slow down, far from daily worries and in good company.

A lover of the outdoors and cabin life, the nutritionist and media personality Geneviève O’Gleman still fondly remembers the Christmases of her childhood. “My parents often rented a cabin at Christmas. I have great memories of those days! It was a time when we really took it easy. Christmas at the cabin is a rustic, simple Christmas. And that's exactly how we like it.”

Maude Chauvin | © Sépaq

For the ultimate in cabin relaxation during the festive season, Geneviève O’Gleman advises us to cook on site as little as possible, by preparing dishes in advance that just need to be reheated, such as a tasty chili, a frittata, pulled pork, or spaghetti sauce.

If the cabin isn't equipped with an oven or if only a small toaster oven is at your disposal, she suggests bringing your crock pot to warm up dishes while you play outside, made possible by its low temperature cooking. You don't feel like preparing meals in advance? Raclette, Chinese fondue, and cheese fondue are excellent options!

Above all, this isn’t the time to try new recipes! “I would opt for sure bets, crowd-pleasing comfort food,” advises Geneviève.

Maude Chauvin | © Sépaq
Maude Chauvin | © Sépaq

Festive aperitif

For a more festive touch, make way for the aperitif board! “I often dine with an aperitif board at the cabin because it's effortless,” confides Geneviève. “When you get back to your home away from home after a pleasant snowshoeing or cross-country skiing excursion, all you’ve got to do is lay everything out on a board or a plate and put it on the coffee table by the fire. Everyone sits on the floor, eating and shooting the breeze. That's what a cabin dinner is to me!”

And since it's Christmas, Geneviève O’Gleman suggests taking advantage of this opportunity to focus on more refined products, such as duck rillettes, fine sausages, jelly, good local cheeses, marinades, and a fresh loaf of bread – all accompanied by a microbrewery beer or a nice bottle of wine to wash it down. “It's more comforting than chic. The chic side will be reflected in the quality of the products,” Geneviève opines. As a bonus, it's a family-friendly formula which also appeals to the kids!

Mathieu Lachapelle | © Sépaq
Mathieu Lachapelle | © Sépaq
Mathieu Lachapelle | © Sépaq
Maude Chauvin | © Sépaq

Stretching out the morning

As for mornings at the cabin, spending them cooking is simply out of the question! “I always prepare my pancake batter at home before leaving for the cabin. In the morning, all you’ve got to do is cook them up; it's quick, and you don't have to lug all the ingredients with you.”

Geneviève also makes sure to bring three essentials: a good chef's knife, a high-quality non-stick skillet, and a cutting board. “The basics are usually available in the cabins, so I’ll have everything I need for a really great time!”

The Christmas season is a perfect time to take care of ourselves, enjoy our great outdoors, and create warm new Christmas memories.

Geneviève O'Gleman

About Geneviève O’Gleman

Geneviève O’Gleman is at the helm of the Savourer show on Radio-Canada and editor of the web magazine savourer.ca. She has just launched her recipe book Fast food santé, a best seller available throughout Quebec.

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