13 December 2006

could live with(out)

Today's Holidaily subject is food that makes the season for you.

For me it's egg-nog and candy canes--and maybe gingerbread, though that's really not mandatory, just pleasant.

I know plenty of people who can't stomach egg-nog, but I've been drinking it since I was a kid (alcohol-free when I was younger, of course--but I enjoy it both ways now), so I guess it grew on me. Last year, John and Rodney came up from New Jersey a few weeks before Christmas, and we made the Martha Stewart recipe for egg-nog.

I had never actually made egg-nog before, having always had it purchased from the market or the closest quick-mart. I had rather doubted I could, or that it must be very difficult. There is actually a segment in the movie The Ref where some woman is complaining to the owner of a small grocery store that they're all out of egg-nog, and the owner suggests that she go home and make some. And the woman is completely flabbergasted and cannot even imagine doing so. I think that scene led me to believe that it must be near-impossible to make one's own egg-nog from basic ingredients. But it actually didn't take very long, and it turned out quite well. Well, quite strong, anyway.

It was over 20 servings and chock full of some different kinds of alcohol. And our apartment managed to drink ALL of it in one evening. Our final judgment on this recipe and its creator was that it mainly tasted of hard liquor, and "Martha Stewart is a boozer."

Candy-canes are a basic mainstay of every Christmas I've ever had. I didn't like mint or peppermint or spearmint, etc. when I was younger, but the other flavours of candy-cane appealed to me very much. I remember being particularly fond of raspberry candy-canes for a really long time. These days I buy a box of the Hershey chocolate-mint candy-canes right after Thanksgiving. And, since I don't eat one every day, those will last me until Christmas. They're awesome. I sometimes dunk them in my coffee and have chocolaty-minty coffee.

Aside from those things, no particular food is expected at my house for the season. We never have a specific dinner that we must have at Christmas--unlike Thanksgiving, which is always turkey at my house. Usually it's cured ham, but even that was never a rule; and I think this year Mum is cooking lasagna with Italian sausage. I'm very much looking forward to it.

Holiday food I would be happier without? Fruitcake. It's horrifying. I don't know anyone who likes the stuff, so I really don't understand why it's such a mainstay at the grocer's this time of year.

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