Wednesday, December 10, 2008


A family Christmas tradition was the cracking of the nuts: three pounds of hazelnuts, walnuts, Brazil nuts and pecans. Pop. Crunch. Plop.
Chop 2 lbs. of pitted dates
Drain 8 ounces of cherries and chop
Lightly dust all with flour

Mix together 5 eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla
Add 1 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt

Combine with nut mixture using your hands to thoroughly mix. Bake in a lightly greased angel food pan or loaf pans at 325 degrees for 1 hour. Cooled, I cut it with an electric knife.

Rich and dense, I want to hide it and eat it all by myself. Instead, I slice off slivers for presents, and I am judicious about who gets them. If you haven't been blessed with it lately, don't feel bad, I haven't made it lately, and chances are slim I will. Remembering is calorie-free.

Maybe I should make Rusted Nuts, Southern for roasted. Pecans trees are plentiful in Mississippi. One Christmas we drove through the countryside and picked up a bag full of windfalls by the road. Private drives are covered with crushed pecans.

Sprinkle shelled pecans with garlic powder, Worchestershire, melted butter and salt. Stir until all are coated. Spread on a cookie sheet. Bake at 325 for 35 minutes or until crispy. While baking stir every ten minutes.

Corrie will get rice pudding. We could make gingerbread with chopped, fresh ginger; it makes the house smell alive, and is sumptuous with whipped cream. I could make Boston baked beans spiced with cloves for dinner, or we could do like the English and have them on toast for breakfast, on a baked potato at noon, and on pizza for evening. I'd have no friends.

Boston baked beans need steamed brown bread. They are a couple. The bread is made with cornmeal, rye flour, whole wheat flour, buttermilk, dark molasses, salt and baking soda. I lined my springform pan with foil, poured in the mix, turned to place it in the steaming pot on the stove, and the spring let go exploding the dough like a shotgun blast. The mess was horrific, and we were having guests for dinner. While I cleaned and started over, my husband ran to town for more molasses. Springform pans should be sold with duct tape.

May you have fun with your Christmas recipes. You are welcome to share them in comments.

2008 Red Convertible Travel Series

No comments: