Saturday, December 10, 2011

"Mint" to be loved.

Holidays are full of things that you love. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE, LOVE, (maybe one more LOVE) all things mint. I bathe in it. Wash my hair in it. Scent my sheets with it. And above all else love to eat it.  I'm a bit of a mint snob, spearmint will not do. I LOVE the bad boy peppermint. At our house we make "Idle Isle" chocolates. For the lay public these are maple flavored centers dipped in chocolote (preferable dark, I'm a snob there as well) and rolled in chopped toasted almonds. Not so at my house, we flavor the centers.... you guessed it! With mint and then we dip in chocolate but we roll it in crushed up candy canes. Yes, I admit it's an addiction.

There are many things to wait for at Christmas time but I wait for the stocking of the shelves at my local grocery store. I used to hover to grab the first box of cherry chocolates. I only allowed myself one and I had to make it last the whole season. (The box, not the individual chocolates) But then my taste buds matured and they started marketing chocolate covered blueberries. Really? So I gave up the whole fruit centered thing and just searched out mint, and more mint. Again, I try to limit myself to one box or bag of something each year. What do you wait for every year? How many do you limit yourself too?

My all time favorite is Hershey's mint truffle kisses. They come in the dark green bag and they are stinking hard to find. Supposedly, my husband has hid one here at my home but I'm starting to think he just wants a thorough housecleaning because once I find a dustbunny I have to adopt it out of my house with the vacuum.
My son-in-law, Chad introduced me to these bad boys this year.
They are a very good second. So grab yourself a bag of mint M&M's and compare them to Hershey's mint truffle kisses and let me know what you think. This is not a paid advertisment of any kind but if either Hershey's or if the MARS distribution company would like to send me a case of either, that would be fine!!!
And if I can get them for free I may have more than one bag this season. Anyone know a good gym?

Saturday, December 3, 2011


This time of year my family tries to create certain experiances that we have had in the past. I don't think anyone ever really determined that they were our family traditions, more like our family expectations. Over the Thanksgiving holidays we had our children from Alaska with us, but the children in Missouri couldn't make it. So in honoring our Alaska visitee's we had Chocolate Pecan Pie. This is family favorite that my daugher Kat always makes, she was here, we had her pie. Amber, who was absent, is perfecting a cranberry jello salad. We couldn't serve it this year because she was missing. Instead we served "cranberry chutney". It's very simple but I will warn you, it makes alot. Chop 1 bag cranberries, 3 apples (peeled and cored), 3 oranges (peeled and separated). Stir together. Add 1 large can of crushed pineapple (drained). Stir. Stir in 2 and 1/2 Cups of sugar. Let sit overnight in the refrigerator. Serve with hot turkey as a relish. Yum, very tasty.

So at our home on thanksgiving day we have a "tradition" that formed without anyone knowing it was a tradition. After the meal was done and the dishes were cleaned up the family adjourned to the family room where I was asked, "Where is the thanksgiving DVD?" "What DVD?" Evidently in years past I have purchased a current DVD and made it available for viewing after dinner. This is so my entire family can succumb to the post-turkey tryptophan induced coma that they consider the best nap of the year. So does it really matter what DVD I put in? I didn't get the memo and I didn't meet the expectation of my children, there is always next year. Instead we tried to view an old VHS (yes, I still have some) on a newer HD model television, in case you haven't experianced this's blurry.

One tradition I did follow through on though, is without fail every year for as long as I can remember. I forget to wrap some gift and get it under the tree. Christmas morning I am always doing inventory in my head when I realize someone is missing something and have to make a mad dash into the nether regions of my walk-in closet. Since my children from Alaska will not be back for Christmas, we had Christmas 2 days after Thanksgiving and I forgot the chocolate oranges. My bad. This way they got to select which kinds they wanted.

I also can't think of "traditions" without thinking of "The fiddler on the roof". In the little town of Anatevka traditions determine how you sleep, how you eat, how you work and how you wear your clothes. Tevye is asked about the fiddlers on the roof. "And how do we keep our balance?" "That I can tell you in one word... Tradition." So that's the best reason of all to have traditions. To keep your balance. How do you keep your balance during the holiday season?