Do certain foods automatically come to mind when you think of Christmas (or your holiday of choice)? I know they do for me, based on various family traditions:
Sugar cookies, both ones I make with my family and ones we used to get from family friends, braided into candy cane shapes, with one stripe colored red and the other white.
Peanut butter balls that one of my aunts makes for her Christmas Eve open house.
Italian pastries, which we often have as a dessert option after Christmas dinner.
Peanut butter fudge, using my grandmother’s recipe, also a favorite dessert.
Needhams, a Maine staple for dessert this time of year
Giant oranges and red delicious apples I used to find at the bottom of my stocking.
I’m sure I could come up with more, but these are a good representation, and you’ll notice they’re mostly desserts.
The problem is, they can become so connected to the holidays in my mind that I forget I can have them at other times. This makes it all the more tempting to eat lots of them, feeling like I won’t have the chance again for another whole year.
In reality, though, I can have these any time I want them, or something close to them, since we have many good bakeries and candy-makers in the area. I can also enjoy these specific treats over longer times, if my family is willing to send me home with some.
To help me remember that, I try to bring containers with me when I go to eat with my family, choosing extras of my favorite things to bring home and savor over time. Some are also easily frozen, which is even better. I can pull out a little at a time as I go through the winter months.