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.
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!