A post-Merry Christmas rant from Debra….
Tis the Season for Self-Imposed Gift Giving
Do you remember the bunny costume you received from your crazy aunt when you were nine?
Now that you are an adult, do you still cringe when presented with gifts from certain relatives?
What will it be this year?
I predict a themed gift like a cat sweater.
(You own a cat therefore you should love all cat related items.)
Perhaps it will be a political commentator/yeller’s latest book-rant against everything.
(You read a lot therefore you must love everything in print, no matter if the book in question goes against your known political beliefs.
I listen to NPR, not “talk radio.”)
Perhaps it will be last year’s gift that you gave to said relative just to reciprocate.
(Yes, I received regifted gifts back from said relative.)
And, that, dear reader, brings me to my point…let’s ban self-imposed gift giving.
Let’s not give gifts just to give.
Let’s work on enjoying each other’s company.
Let’s make homemade gifts from the kitchen or other homemade gifts that are useful.
I am not nine and I need no more bunny suits. (Thank you, Aunt Clara.)
Thank you for listening (again if you are an avid reader you know I go on some sort of rant like this every year.)
This year’s rant was sponsored by Food ‘n Flix.
The holidays are over and it is time to think about putting up the Christmas decorations, composting the tree, and putting the Santa dishes away until next year. Although you now have had time to catch your breath between parties and relatives, after Christmas is the perfect time to re-watch A Christmas Story, this month’s featured film for Food ‘n Flix (selected and hosted by Heather at girlichef.)
What a classic! The Hubs can quote almost the entire film from memory. I have such fond memories watching this film at my mom’s house about ten years ago. Of course we had seen the film umpteen times before then (and since), but I think the memory of this viewing is etched in my brain. The eldest nephew was only four and was the only “baby” in the family at that time. Mom was still living in Oklahoma and her house was always so warm and inviting and cozy, especially at Christmas. The Sis and her family were there as well as The Hubs and I. We had just snuggled in with hot drinks (probably cocoa) into the den to watch A Christmas Story.
At this point in The Nephew’s development, he has extremely sensitive to sound, especially loud noises. He also did not like cinematic drama. Anytime Mother Parker would screech, The Nephew would run around the corner to hide. Anytime the dramatic music would swell with an impending bullying episode, he would run and hide. When Scary Santa appeared, he ran and hid. But, when Ralph opened up his long-sought after present on Christmas morning, eyes shining and bright, The Nephew stood his ground, mesmerized by the childhood experience. You know that I am not the sentimental sort (especially from the rant above), but I remember watching his own cherubic face with tears in my eyes. (He did run and hide when Ralphie “shot” his eye out.)
I was so excited when Heather posted that this would be our December Food ‘n Flix film. As soon as she announced it, I began pondering what to make.
I was initially stuck on Chicken Chow Mein inspired from the Christmas dinner disaster. Then I became obsessed with the “little piggy meatloaf” scene.
But, then as I was making the family holiday favorites this season, I had an epiphany….FUDGE!
Yes, I was inspired by “the word…the big one…the queen mother of dirty words….the F dash dash dash word.”
Our Family’s Christmas Fudge
4 1/2 c. sugar
1 T. cornstarch
1/2 t. salt
1 can (13 oz.) evaporated milk
1/2 c. butter
1 pkg. (10 oz.) mini marshmallows
1 jar (7 oz.)of marshmallow cream
1 pkg. (12 oz.) semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 milk chocolate candy bar (7 oz.), broken up
2 t. vanilla
2 c. chopped nuts (pecans or walnuts)
Combine sugar, cornstarch and salt in heavy 5-quart kettle. Stir in evaporated milk and butter. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until mixture comes to a rolling boil. Boil 8 minutes, stirring frequently. (Make sure it comes to a good rolling boil first, then time it for 8 minutes or it will not set right.)
Remove from heat.
Stir in marshmallows, marshmallow cream, semi-sweet chocolate chips, milk chocolate bar and vanilla. Stir vigorously until smooth. (You will need to put some muscle into it.) Stir in nuts.
Pour into buttered 10 X 15 inch pan. Cool and cut into 1 1/2 inch squares. Makes about 8 dozen pieces.
I posted this recipe four years ago at Christmas. It is a family favorite and always makes one appearance during the holidays. (It is so rich that we don’t dare make it twice in one season.)
This recipe is a classic that The Hubs’ family has made for years. Over the years of making it at our house, we have changed the recipe just slightly to make it a bit creamier. We further modified the recipe a bit this year and swapped the vanilla out for 4 T. of amaretto and added sliced almonds for the nuts.
We have found that this freezes well too for some Christmas-bites later in the year.