Thursday, December 4, 2008

Chestnuts roasting on and open fire....lalala

Chestnuts roasting on an open fire... i'm feeling nostalgic for days gone by. My favorite time of year is Christmas. I can remember when i was a kid, and we had a silver tinfoil tree, remember those? We decorated it. we had it on a turntable, it would turn around, and my dad put one of those rotating lights behind it and it would change colors. i felt like we were the richest family on the street. Here's what it looked like!

I remember we'd go to bed Christmas eve, and i'd shut my eyes so tight, because i didnt want Santa to even THINK i was awake. I took this Christmas stuff seriously. I dont remember a lot of my childhood (why i black it out is beyond me, because i had the best childhood). One year, when i was 8, i decided i wanted to see if Santa left the gifts early. i snuck out of my room, tiptoed into the living room, and there was my mom, sitting on the floor, wrapping presents! i remember being devastated. My mom told me right then and there, if you want to receive, you have to believe. So, to this day, i believe in Santa. if you dont like it, tough. Lump of coal for you!

When i was in my early 20's my mom became too ill to shop for gifts. So, she gave me her credit card,and sent me to get my own gifts. She would have me wrap them and put them under the tree, with strict instructions that i would have to act surprised when i opened them! So, thats what i did. in 1984, she passed away that September, but i went shopping and bought some shoes, pants and a dart board and wrapped it up,and it was under the tree on Christmas morning. Boy, i was so surprised! i have carried on that tradition to this day, and we all act surprised at one gift we know is under the tree. Mom would be so proud.

Most Christmas mornings we would wake up, and there would be a brand new bike under the tree. all of the kids in the neighborhood, would gather outside and we'd all parade up and down the street on our bikes. Whatever happened to those days?

We dont have a lot of money this Christmas, even with the help of layaway, but i manage to put fun into the day. i also buy a ton of little things that just stretch the gift opening a little further. I buy tons of stuff from the 99 cent store, and wrap it separately. Jenny knows its crap, but she takes great delight in opening each gift. i am sure she gets excited partly because it makes me so happy. its the one time of the year i feel especially close to my mom and dad.

i also make my world famous fudge every Christmas. This is the one thing i can actually cook, and people ASK me to make it for them! And nothing ever gets burned, kitchens or otherwise. This is copied directly from the recipe i've saved and stored from computer to computer . its very lonely as its the only recipe i have. My mom used to make it with more sugar, but i use less and less each year.
  • 1 (7 ounce) jar marshmallow creme
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 2/3 cup condensed milk
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups milk chocolate chips [one full 12 oz bag]
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips [half a 12 oz bag]
  • 1/2 cup chopped nuts -- usually walnuts.
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
In heavy saucepan over low heat, melt chips with sweetened condensed milk and salt. Remove from heat; stir in nuts and vanilla. Spread evenly into wax paper lined 8 or 9 inch square pan. Chill or freeze 2 hours or until firm. Turn fudge onto cutting board; peel off paper and cut into squares. I find it tastes better if its frozen, because it gets gooey if left out too long.

This is a fun as well as a sad time of year for me. I was especially close to my parents, and even though its been 24 years since my mom passed and 17 for my dad, i still try to include them in the holiday festivities. I'm sure my parents are up in heaven telling me to move on with my life, but i dont want to leave that part of me, ever. They are the ones that made me what i am today. LOL, maybe you should blame them!

Thats it. Try the fudge and let me know if you liked it.


Katie Mae said...

Awww! I think I need to start more traditions!

And I'll be eating Deb's Famous Fudge But Not like Fudge Packer's Fudge, Only The Good Kinda Fudge on Friday!

Debbie said...

I love traditions.

I will have to try the fudge. Sounds good. I make a good one too, it;s Racael Ray's 5 min fudge. Now you know we aren't suppose to eat fudge...LOL.

Thanks for the sweet comment on my blog. Yes you, me and Katie are a team!! We CAN and WILL do this!! I love ya!

God Bless~

jojo said...

I found my way over here from MamaBear's place. I enjoyed your brought back some memories for me too. My dad used to put up one of those same silver trees---with only blue ornaments. It had the rotating light too. I was so fascinated with the whole thing---when I got older I wanted the light in my bedroom for when I played my record player!!
Anxious to try the fudge as it is something I only allow myself once at Christmas time. Always looking for new recipes ;)

Well it's nice to 'meet' you and I will be back so watch out....