12 December 2010

Fruitcake... and other holiday comfort food :-)

I had to add that list bit to the "fruitcake" lead in, otherwise, you might think I was referring to myself - given my recent rants and tongue lashings. I could unleash more, but... won't (you're welcome ;-). I will, however, insert one more plug for good holiday behavior.... Please people - give some thought to kindness this season. Don't bump someone out of their seats at the Christmas pageant - don't act rude to other shoppers, even if you're tired, even if they are being a little pushy - don't forget to tip or give gifts to people who take care of you all year long, like hairdressers, newspaper delivery people, and mail carriers - don't forget that everyone else has also had a long year full of happiness, sadness, stress and calm, which means it wouldn't kill you to send a card, inquire about a family member, deliver some candy, extend a helping hand. Off my soapbox now.... really..... cuz we have something more important to discuss... food.

So - yeah. Fruitcake. I like it - always have. When my parents lived in Europe, all the Europeans wanted this highly coveted brand from the states (probably brought as gifts from Americans, but...) - Claxton Fruitcakes and, since I had a sometime home in the South, at the oceanfront - no less, in total fruitcake manufacturing country, I would go in to my local grocery store and load up on.... well... just a cartload of Claxton fruitcakes like a crazy person (and, since I was living in Europe for a good part of the year, too - some people would literally ask me when I would be able to make my fruitcake run, if at all, that year ;-). See, they wanted a really gooey, nut and fruit-laden version - none of that cakey, overly sweetened stuff (and we worked those cakes as hostess gifts, office gifts.... more - crazy for the Claxton Fruitcakes :-).

Anyway, this morning, hubby and I watched the likes of Nigella Lawson and other British chefs show off the proper techniques for making a fig pudding on CBS Sunday Morning, and... well watching all the sugars, dates, nuts and figs being mixed together (and then lit with alcohol - and I mean LIT - like the holly topper was in flame - all meant for another post entirely ;-) made us hungry for some delicious, dense, sweet, gooey, nutty, fruity.... well... cake. So... on my run to Whole Foods for baking supplies, stuff for dinner tonight, and school lunch treats, I grabbed a fragrant rosemary tree, Belgian chocolates, sweet clementines, Panetone, and a tray of holiday cookies to make hubby's office festive, AND..... I grabbed a fruitcake for US :-).

So, yes, I will cut and serve fruitcake in my house on Christmas, and I will continue to bake and bake and bake. Fudge and sugar cookies yesterday - chocolate chip something or another today - probably an apple pie later this week (I have the granny smiths to prove it). It's funny; I am a pretty healthy girl - spent years as a vegetarian and calorie and fat counter - still buy natural, organic and healthy, but.... when it comes to my holidays and / or my desserts, I want total comfort food. I mean, I am so weirded out when my mother in law suggests white rice and salad as sides to a holiday meal. Salad (and keep in mind - I eat salad all the time - total raw foods girl - bought myself green beans and snap peas to eat raw today - already made myself some cooked, plain spinach - will have my treat of coconut milk yogurt and Grape Nuts later... I really watch what I eat)?!?! I mean - why? I'm just gonna put gravy on it. I want my sweet potatoes, casseroles, roasted turkeys and roast beefs, potatoes with gravy, etc. AND, for dessert - I am a dark chocolate connosieur so look out, and.... I love rich, layered flavors. To me, the otherwise fat and calorie counter, I do not think fat or sugar-free belongs in a dessert (though, for health reasons - diabetes on both my mom's native american and british sides of the family, we will absolutely fix our desserts so that all can partake). So ... if you see me, at any holiday gathering this year, with a "is that a piece of green on my plate?" look on my face, don't be alarmed; it is me - I am OK - I am just in holiday food mode (all I can say as an excuse is exercise, exercise, exercise....;-).

So - happy, happy, all. Hubby at Steelers game today - planning big, cozy pasta meal later to keep the cold away - saw niece and nephew in a holiday music show last night and ALMOST went skating on the downtown plaza (those lines.... man oh man... think we'll do a weekday instead) - went to church today, remembered my dad and watched the lighting of the advent calendar (and missed a friend's email telling me about her church's holiday show - would have liked to have seen it, but... the season isn't over yet :-) - in some ways, just beginning.

Gotta go hang kids' artwork, make some cookies, and snuggle under the big comforter while we watch some holiday specials on tv over and over. Busy, busy ;-).

1 comment:

TKW said...

EEK! You like the F-word? Gives me shivers down my spine! :)