Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Culinary Christmas Controversy

Christmas has very specific treats that we don't normally enjoy any other time of year. Some of these treats are widely enjoyed while others are nothing more than a punch line to a joke. Love 'em or hate 'em, everyone seems to have an opinion on which Christmas treat is the worst.

Here's what I think about a few of the season's most controversial victuals.

Candy Cane - Not a fan. I know, candy canes are hardly controversial, but everyone seems to love them, and I just do not. Sometimes the peppermint is simply too overpowering and gives me a headache. I love a subtle taste of peppermint candy though, as in peppermint bark or white chocolate peppermint coated popcorn. Yum.

Eggnog - Love it. Sure, it's a little thick and weird and leaves a creamy coat of "nog" in my mouth, but I definitely enjoy a small glass of eggnog during the holiday season every now and then. Extrapolating the data from the Nelson household, I'd guess that 1/3 of all children also enjoy eggnog while the remaining 2/3 can hardly stand to see the container in the fridge
Fruit Cake - Meh. I'll eat it--if there is absolutely nothing else. I would never use it as a door stop though. Never.

Divinity - Love it! I'm always surprised to hear all the vehement exclamations of disgust for this simple, yet scrumptious Christmas candy. I'm lucky if I get to sample divinity once a year because no one makes it anymore. I tried to make it last year and failed miserably. Maybe I'll try again this year.

What holiday goodies or gross-outs do you love or hate? A lovely, home made cheeseball? How about cathedral window cookies with those weird colored marshmallows? Ever tried mincemeat? Come on--I'm giving you permission to do a little Christmas venting. Think of it as my gift to you.


Samurai Mom said...

I love rose flavored Turkish delight but can't find it locally and tried 3 times to make it last year- Epic fail. Divinity good, fruit cake bad, candy cane yes in moderation, eggnog yes but I won't go out and buy it. Sugar cookies yes but I am rolling pin challenged so I avoid making them.

Keira said...

Never tried "the nog"--just can't get back the name and the egg (and I love egg but it isn't a dessert drink).

I miss my grandma's rock hard fudge--nice and crumbly--as the good Lord intended...

Afton said...

My grandmother put out the same bowl of ribbon candy every year. If you tried to take a piece it came out in one giant hunk.

Erika said...

I'm a pig so I will eat just about any kind of holiday food you give me! However, I'm with you on the candycanes. They're too strong. But I love peppermint bark--that's what I'm actually making for neighbor goodies this year. Divinity has never been my fav. That along with meringue (sp) turn me off because I can always taste a little hint of raw egg or something. I love egg nog--especially egg nog ice cream and milkshakes. I also love Wassail--I got the best recipe from my mom-in-law that is so soothing and yummy. Growing up we had a lot of traditional German candies and breads, such as Lebkuchen, stollen (pronounced shtollen), King's Cake (almond pastry cake to die for), and Smorkranser and raspberry marzipan cookies, and then some other things not so German--Devonshire cream with raspberry sauce, Yule Log, and Russian teacakes. My mom is a crazy baker when it comes to Christmas, and I love passing these traditional treats on to my kids.

PS-Speaking of peppermint bark, have you tried Dove Peppermint Bark chocolates? They are heavenly.

I-Shüan Warr said...

Ribbon candy. YUCK! I don't think they even make new stuff anymore. It's all just recycled from previous years- stuck together, tiny broken bits of the other pieces stuck to it. Does anyone actually eat that stuff? The flavors are so WEIRD too, not like the traditional fake strawberry, fake cherry, fake lemon, etc. that we've grown to love.

Erika said...

Oh, and gingerbread---I love anything gingerbread!

a said...

Okay ladies, listen up cuz here is the key to Divinity! Must make on dry days. If it is raining it will not turn out. Lack of moisture in the air is the key. There you have it. I paid 40,000 dollars in a private Christian education to bring you that fact free. Merry Christmas.

Senia said...

Christmas goodies?! Oh, don't get me started.

Well, if you insist.

I am a big fan of Egg Nog (in moderation, of course). Last year I experimented with drinking it warm. Yum!

I know you're not a coffee drinker but Starbuck's Peppermint Mochas and Egg Nog Lattes are amazing. In fact, I am headed there tomorrow, hoping the PPM counteracts the pain inflicted by my take-home final. But I digress...

Fudge, of course. Especially if it's made by Aunt Kathy.

Just about any Christmas cookies, unless it's full of chunky nuts or candied cherries.

Fruitcake... yeah, I can resist that one. I wonder how many variations Grandma will make this year?! ;-)

And I am with you on the candy canes. Very disappointing, not to mention that I inevitably stab myself with the needle-sharp tip I create. I'll stick to peanut M & Ms, thanks.

(Grandma used to always make divinity. I'm sure she'd make some if you put in a request!).

I could go on. But I'll spare you.

Marah said...

Egg nog is just awful. That fruit cake...I'll pass. Chocolate-colored wax (cheap chocolate)--no good. Everything else is great.

Here's my new fav Christmas recipe:

Debbie said...

Ok, I know I'm way behind, but I'm posting anyway :p

I love egg nog! Yum! I like mini candy canes, especially in hot chocolate. I also food process candy canes and make peppermint sugar (it's pretty because it's pink) and put that into my hot chocolate and use it on top of white chocolate creme brulee. Delicious! I love sugar cookies and rocky road fudge. I've never tried fruit cake and I never want to. I also love the reese's peanut butter cup "trees" (like the eggs that come out at easter except they are trees). The last year I was in the US cadbury also came out with ornaments that were the same delicious recipe a their eggs. I was in heaven since that might be my favorite candy of all time!