Friday, December 23, 2016

A ‘White’ Candy Christmas

By Linda Lovely

My husband has stopped eating chocolate, which he absolutely loves. His decision has nothing to do with calories (he’s thin) or some Lent-type sacrifice. His doctor suggested chocolate could be one of the triggers for his acid reflux, and some experimentation proved chocolate was indeed a culprit.
2015  Choc-0-Holic Selection. Most of the "white"
candies also had chocolate inside or swirled through.
This is one of the reasons we’re closing in on Christmas and I have yet to make candy, a family holiday tradition. I was in grade school when we first added chocolate-covered cherries to our repertoire. Marsha, who rented our apartment, joined in the fun and shared her recipe. Since then my candy selection has always starred chocolate-covered cherries. Other staples include toffee (chocolate/nut top layer), chocolate Oreo almond balls, fudge, chocolate-covered orange creams, chocolate-covered rum balls…See a trend here?

Sure, I made a few non-chocolate items for taste and visual variety. But they weren’t stars. So it’s a week before Christmas, and I have yet to make any candy. Unfortunately homemade candy has long been my go-to gift for friends and family—colorful Christmas tins filled with a selection of goodies. Each year a number of friends kindly return their tins in anticipation of refills. Will I disappoint them?

Having procrastinated so long, I don’t think I can deliver ahead of Santa. A lack of recipe inspiration hasn’t been my only stumbling block. I’ve also run up against a number of time sucks—some fun, some not so much. Will my friends care—or even notice—if they don’t get gifts? How do you stop a tradition and make sure people realize it has nothing to do with them—that you love them just as much as last year?

As I write this blog a few days before Christmas I have yet to plan a course of action. I may try for a “white” Christmas and attempt to find enough knock-out non-chocolate candy recipes (or doctored chocolate ones) to put together interesting selections in those waiting, empty Christmas tins. Or I could make chocolate goodies and send them all out of our house. But that somehow seems unfair (my husband and I would both inhale those chocolate smells). Then there's the cookie option--a lot less work.

One thing is certain.  I’m going to begin collecting recipes now for 2017. Since it’s the season for sharing, how about sharing some of your non-chocolate candy creations—or your best holiday cookie recipes? Other than chocolate everything goes!

Happy Holidays!  


Judith Ashley said...

Linda, I promise I will get my peanut brittle recipe...I told Diana McColllum I would share it but here it is a couple weeks or so later and nothing. I've even written it on my kitchen marker board so I see it every time I'm there.

It is a challenge to modify or change or even give up traditions. I was remembering Christmas from my childhood just last night. Always lots of family, my mom made cookies because my Aunt Ruth made the candy...rocky road (my dad's favorite), fudge, divinity, rum balls (of course with chocolate). I may have her divinity recipe somewhere.

Since I eliminated obvious sugar and all flour from my diet, I feel better but this time of year I do miss some of those sweets!

Linda Lovely said...

Thanks, Judith. Traditions are fun and making candy rekindles lots of fond memories. But change can be good. I don't need all the calories, and, I have to admit I sample a lot even if I'm giving a good share of the treats away!