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Traditional Foods

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.

12-25-11 05desserts.jpg

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.

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