Would that not be a much better name for the holidays? Merry Death by Butter Day? I don’t think I will actually die from eating my baking, but anything is possible. A week ago I had six 454 gram bricks of butter in my fridge. If you measure your butter in pounds you will get 453.592 grams in a brick, but here in Canada we rounded that up so as usual everything is bigger and better here. Don’t ask me for more examples, okay? I’m really busy.
There are three staples I make every Christmas. Fudge, short bread cookies, and butter tarts. The fudge has a much more alarming amount of sugar in it, but there’s butter in there too. Short bread is basically butter with a couple other ingredients for keeping it stuck together during baking. This year for the butter tarts I ended up with more filling than frozen tart shells, so I made a batch of butter pastry to finish. This helped me remember why I buy pre-made shells. Mine are uneven in thickness and shape, which is a polite way of saying they’re a complete mess. Except they taste good. And the pastry is lovely and rich and flakey even though the over-all end result looks like something exploded in the oven. Okay I’m done talking about that.
Butter goes in the mashed potatoes and the sweet potatoes and probably on the vegetables. W got me to make what he calls Swedish Bread this year. It’s a simple flat bread recipe made with – wait for it- butter. There is a lot of butter in my turkey stuffing. I bought a bag of dried cranberries because I like to put those in it too, and then discovered I already had lots. So I searched for a recipe to use them up and found one for cranberry cookies. Ingredients include white chocolate chips, a package of instant vanilla pudding, and a cup of BUTTER. They’re okay if you like a buttery chewy cookie but I think they might be better with nuts. And I seriously don’t understand the point of the pudding mix, but there’s a lot of recipes that baffle me so I’m not dwelling on it.
I don’t always make my moms Christmas pudding (steamed carrot pudding) every Christmas, but this year I had time so it’s ready too, except for the hot brown sugar and butter sauce you pour over it. When we were kids we preferred a bowl of sauce with a few pudding crumbs thrown in.
So my butter supply is dwindling! The reason no one gets gifts from me is because I’ve gone broke buying butter. But it’s only once a year. My dad always insisted it was better to use butter and not the cheaper substitutes if we wanted to keep the dairy farmers in business, so I’m doing my part. Ending up looking like a butter ball is just a small annoying side effect that should right itself in January.
Happy Holidays if you celebrate them! Peace, Love and buttery treats either way.
There’s been a few days go missing in my December book of days, but now that the excitement has died down and the kids are off to new adventures I’m feeling like I just might make it to the end of 2012 after all.
I don’t know why Santa didn’t pick up his mail – perhaps his sleigh was loaded down with cookies by the time he got here. It’s okay, I’ll be saving this delightful card for him for another time.
It’s a good idea to get the to/from business out of the way right off the bat, and follow that up with pictures so there’s no confusion as to who’s who. And of course compliments are always nice.
Maybe there’s no point in telling him what you want until you’re sure he’s totally on board with the fact that you’ve been Good. And a big toothy smile can’t hurt.
Hope everyone had a very Merry Christmas and a Happy Holiday, and that you got to spend time with the people you love.
cup of hot chocolate with whipped cream and cocoa powder (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Look at me! Blogging twice in the same month!
Yesterday at Save On Foods I walked down the coffee aisle – not because I needed coffee but simply because I like how it smells there. They have those big plastic bin dispensers with flavoured coffee in them. Vanilla, hazelnut, irish cream, raspberry chocolate. Heaven. And I’m just so happy to be able to smell things again! A couple of weeks ago I was grinding my Starbucks coffee beans and I could not smell anything at all. I practically stuck my face in the bag, and still nothing. It was a sad moment. But yesterday I had one of those blissful moments when I looked up across the top shelf scanning the hot chocolate powders and there was Ovaltine. OVALTINE! I can’t remember when I last saw that sold anywhere. Plain and chocolate. Be still my heart. I bought a huge jar of the chocolate one.
Mom and Dad used to drink ovaltine all the time, mostly because they were never coffee or tea drinkers, and because sometimes it’s just nice to have a mug of something hot that’s not too sweet and actually has some stuff in it that’s good for you. And it looks better than sipping plain hot milk like an extremely old person might do. Ha. As if Ovaltine isn’t the official drink of seniors. They also used to drink Postum – a powdered roasted grain beverage coffee substitute containing no caffeine – and yes, it tasted pretty disgusting – but they don’t make it anymore. Some old guy in Wal-Mart asked me one day if I knew where he could find it, and when I broke the news to him he looked quite stricken. I should have told him about my dad’s hot chocolate. He would put the kettle on to boil, drop maybe a quarter teaspoon of powdered chocolate drink mix (the kind you are supposed to mix whole heaping spoonfuls of the powder with cold milk) into a big mug and fill it up with water that had not yet come to a boil. Because there’s no point in making it too hot to drink right away. The last few times I stayed with them in the house in Pt Elgin he always invited me in the evenings to join him for his ‘hot chocolate’ with cookies good for dunking. I always did. The dunked cookies gave the vaguely chocolate flavoured tepid water a bit of flavour. Not as good as Postum, but damned close.
A jar of Ovaltine from the UK (2006), a mug of ovaltine made with hot milk and a tablespoon of the powder. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Ovaltine has the taste of malt and grain (yech); but it’s also the taste of cozy warmth and contentment. It’s a creature comfort. It conjures up a lovely memory. Besides, I drink way too much coffee and the extra milk will be good for these old bones.
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