Friday, December 17, 2010

A Guest Post - Christmas Goodies

Time for a guest column!
My home growing up bore a strong resemblance to the June Cleaver house in that Daddy worked and the home was Mama’s domain.  She did all the housework, including especially the cooking (and we boys weren’t taught how to cook).  Now food was important in my house growing up – we planned car trips around favored restaurants on the road.  Dinner was always at 6, and we almost always had some type of a dessert.
Now Mama was a good but basic and straightforward cook.  The things she cooked were always tasty and well-prepared, but definitely not “gourmet.”  Our food was not very flashy.  But at Christmas time, the desserts did get a bit fancier, with a number of recipes my Mama accumulated over the years, ranging from divinity to teacakes.
Fastforward to my early years as a lawyer.  The first firm I worked at had a food feast for weeks leading up to Christmas.  Every day one or two of our group would bring in a treat, lawyers and staff alike.  And being competitive lawyer types, we didn’t buy stuff – we made it.  So I started learning how to make some of the really good treats my Mama made – pralines, divinity, etc. etc.
These days it has become my tradition to go candy and treat crazy during Christmas.  Beginning before Thanksgiving I start making candy, cookies and snacks until we almost can’t eat it all.  (Bear in mind that Kerry makes about 20 batches of her fudge for family, friends, and clients during this same time frame).  I use some of Mama’s recipes, some from my Grandma, and some from my mother-in-law.  I get new recipes from the internet and from the newspaper.  The first time I met my son-in-law’s parents, his father and I spent the evening comparing recipes.
So far this year I’ve made six batches of spicy Chex mix, two batches of peppermint chocolate chip meringue cookies, one batch of toffee, two batches of peanut brittle, one batch of divinity, two batches of Wyatt’s Cafeteria’s egg custard, and two batches of soft tea cakes.
Here’s what’s left to go (at a minimum):  more Chex mix, pralines, lots more meringue cookies (Kerry’s favorite), more toffee, more peanut brittle, white chocolate covered pretzels, more egg custard, at least two batches of sugar cookies (Kerry mixes the dough, I bake the cookies, and the kids decorate them), and I’m sure I’ll make more tea cakes.
Hungry yet?
If you read Kerry’s blog (and you obviously must!), you know our family moves at a ridiculous pace.  Now you know how we get the energy.  One of the things I enjoy about making all of this (besides eating it) is that every member of the family has their own favorites, and they seem to change over the years and even over the season as we gorge on one or another of my confection concoctions.
Merry Christmas from Ricky!  I love you, Kerry!


jennifer said...

I love it!!! now make sure that you make a stop at my house!

Sherry said...

I wish you could sent the egg custard through the mail. And you need to try Daddy's oatmeal cookies, too, don't you? I wish I could see you all this holiday. I want to try to get us all together this spring or summer instead, though. Love to all of you. Sherry

sfc said...

And y'all can do that because you're the tall, skinney side of the family, instead of the short, squaty one! Not fair!!!!!