Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Christmas Traditions

At this time of year, we all seem to pull out certain special recipes that are made each Christmas.  One of my favorites is steamed pudding.  I’ve been making the same recipe for thirty years.  My mom always made the pudding with hard sauce (dark rum) at Christmas and it’s a holiday favorite with the family.


As well as the usual raisins, currants and spices, my recipe includes grated carrots and potato (an old English recipe)  I know that sounds weird, but it truly is delicious.  It also has chopped suet in the mix – try explaining that to someone in a grocery store in Georgia.  The first time I tried to find suet in the South, the meat manager gave me a strange look and inquired did I know what suet was. ☺

See those gold and red crackers behind the pudding? – another tradition that I brought with me from Canada.  We always have them at Christmas and New Year’s Day dinner.  It is such fun to see everyone in their silly paper crowns and to listen to the jokes and laugh at each others funny little prizes.  My son-in-law liked this tradition so much, that now his family also has the crackers at Christmas dinner.  They are becoming more common in the South now and you can find them just about anywhere.  I buy mine at the after Christmas sales (the nicer ones, like Tom Smith brand, can be quite pricey).



Thursday, December 18, 2014

World Market Tea and Treats

On our last visit to Savannah we came across a Cost Plus World Market store.  Since I don’t have one close to my home, I decided to do a little shopping. 

IMG_1560I’d never tried Typhoo tea and since I like British teas (London Cuppa and PG Tips) I decided to try a box.  When I got to the check out line there was a 75% off table with Thanksgiving things.  I thought the Republic of Tea Maple Pecan and Pumpkin Ginger black teas sounded delicious and would be  nice for Christmas too, plus $3 a tin sealed the deal.


The Lila Stix cookies and Tunnock’s Tea Cakes also ended up in my cart.  The Tea Cakes look interesting in their red and silver foil wrapping, don’t you think? 

IMG_1563Of course, I should have paid more attention to the label and read that they are a biscuit base topped with marshmallow – not one of my favorites.

IMG_1564 These look like a treat that my grandkids would really enjoy.


The Typhoo tea is quite good and so are the Lila Stix cookies.  I’m looking forward to trying the other flavored teas over the holidays.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Cross-stitch Christmas Cards

I’m not the only one in the family who is behind schedule on preparations for Christmas.  Hubby is still working on his cross-stitch Christmas cards for this year.

This is a sampling of what he’s been working on.


He stitches them on aida paper, instead of traditional cloth.


Then he mounts them in Christmas cards that have the opening precut (for displaying photos).


He has been doing this for many years now.  One old friend, who has been receiving his cards from the beginning, displays them all on her mantle each Christmas.


Hope I can get the cards going to Canada mailed out soon.  ☺  How about you – do you send any hand made cards? 

Friday, December 5, 2014

Macarons in Savannah, GA


My schedule lately has included a lot of traveling back and forth to Savannah to visit my grandson in hospital.  While I’m there, I can enjoy one of my favorite tea treats.  I’ve mentioned Maison de Macarons in a previous post here.  On my last visit I discovered that the name had changed slightly and that there may be a franchise opportunity in the works.

I have fond memories of my Mom’s homemade coconut macaroons (pronounced mah-kah-ROON) that she made at Christmas, but the French macaron (mah-kah-ROHN) is a whole different ballgame.  They both contain whipped egg whites, but the similarity really ends there.  One is homey and easy to prepare, while the other takes the skill of a pastry chef.


You’ve probably noticed how trendy macarons have become lately, popping up in all the magazines.  Even my “Complete Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer Cookbook” features these pretty treats on the cover.  I was also surprised that Sam's Club is selling authentic French macarons for the holidays.  Not sure how they can preserve these delicate confections that are best refrigerated and eaten within a few days.


This was the luscious variety that I brought home on my last visit to Savannah.  I’m ashamed to say that I only shared two, but at least they are a low calorie indulgence with around 100 calories each.  If you’d like to try making your own, Bed, Bath & Beyond is selling a kit with everything you need, although I would probably want to invest in the special baking trays as well.


I was a little disappointed that the Matcha flavor was dropped at Marche de Macarons to make room for more seasonal varieties (like pumpkin), but some new favorites are beckoning. 

Between trips to Marche de Macarons and Goose Feathers CafĂ©, I can see a diet will be in my near future.  ☺

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