‘Christmas is coming, the goose is getting fat!” You may cross out “goose” if you so desire and insert any name which may make sense in the familiar song, because we all know the holiday season is one where we fill our plates, which then fills our stomachs and tightens our belts.
We do this knowing too well that we will then make our annual resolution for the following year to cut back on our eating – yeah, sure.
We find ourselves going up to the table filled with sweets. We justify the visits by invoking “tradition,” knowing that in reality we could make the scrumptious goodies at any time of the year.
For me it is Aunt Inez’s pizzelles and biscotti, though the job of making them has been turned over to her daughter, my cousin Josephine. Last week, we received the package, which was wrapped so tight I thought I would have to call Homeland Security to break our way into it. It was worth the effort.
My mother-in-law would make the little pecan balls, and I would try not to wear black so I didn’t end up looking like a cookie myself, covered in powdered sugar.
We Italians always like panettone, which is similar to a Czech houska. We also had nougat candies that came from Italy and were packaged in a little box with beautiful Italian scenes. There was another sweet, don’t know if it had a name, it was almost like a fruitcake.
How many people really eat fruitcake? I feel compelled to have one small piece at Christmastime, and then I feel I’ve have fulfilled my obligation to the monks that make them. My mom would put a shot of brandy in the fruitcake tin and let it set in. Now, that was fruitcake!
I used to make bourbon balls — you can substitute rum — but found I was using too much of the liquor. I just needed enough to get everything to hold together. Portions, sadly, had to be limited.
I have printed and cut out more holiday recipes than I will ever make, but I have come to the realization that delicacies do not have to be made or consumed only at holidays, so maybe my resolution will be to make holiday goodies all year round. I can just get different colored sprinkles.
So, pour yourself an eggnog, turn on “It’s a Wonderful Life” and have that holiday goody.
Feliz Navidad! Buon Natale! Merry Christmas! Peace on Earth and goodwill to all men and women.