Monday, December 24, 2012

Christmas Eve

A couple of years ago at a conference, I was on a panel with other authors who had written mysteries that took place over the holidays. We chatted a little bit about what we actually do at Christmas as opposed to what our characters did in our books. To my complete amazement, four out of five of us celebrate Christmas on Christmas Eve. I had no idea it was so common. We had all grown up with that custom and almost all of us had German or Scandinavian parents or grandparents.

So as you read this, I will have a goose in the oven. My mom and I will be standing side by side at the kitchen island making potato dumplings. My Jack Russell will be underfoot, in the hope some tasty morsel will drop to the floor so she can hoover it. A Yule log will be in the refrigerator for dessert.

There will be small gifts next to each place setting at the table to be opened before dinner. And as you know, sometimes the very best things come in small packages. But sometimes they're just funny gags or practical little gadgets.

By now, everyone has planned and shopped for their Christmas menus. But it occurred to me that sometimes we need a quick gift. Our own Helena Georgette thoughtfully sent me a wonderful collection of Christmas recipes. I spotted See's fudge right away. If memory serves, Julie Hyzy raves about See's chocolates. So I thought I'd share it with you -- just in case you need a quick gift or you forgot cookies for Santa.  

These would be great for kids to make. The recipe is very easy. Just keep an eye on the heat when they're cooking the sugar and evaporated milk because it can boil over rather quickly.

See's Fudge

2 cups mini-marshmallows or 10 large marshmallows, cut up
9 ounces semi-sweet, bittersweet or white chocolate chips (I used Callebaut)
1 stick butter (1/2 cup)
2 cups granulated sugar
7 ounces evaporated milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups walnuts or pecans (optional)

1. Put marshmallows, chocolate chips abd butter in a large bowl.
2. In a heavy pot, combine sugar and milk. Bring to a boil and cook 6 minutes, stirring constantly.
3. Pour milk and sugar mixture over the marshmallow mixture and let stand 1 minute.
4. Stir with a wooden spoon until melted. Add nuts and vanilla and stir until smooth.
5. Pour into lightly greased 8 or 9-inch square pan. When pouring into pan, do not smooth, but shake. Smoothing will result in a dry, crusty surface.
6. Let fudge rest overnight or for at least several hours until firm to the touch.

Krista's note -- Tastes heavenly after a couple of hours even though it's not firm. Good finger-licking fudge for slumber parties!

Helena Georgette's note -- Additional items to add:

M&Ms during holidays
Pretzel pieces
Peanuts
Cashews
Toasted Coconut
Bits of Vanilla Wafers
Roll into small balls and then roll into chopped nuts for fudge truffles!
Add more mini-marshmallows after mixing for Rocky Road Fudge.

Can double. Cook 8 minutes.

Thank you Helena Georgette! It's absolutely delicious.

Merry Christmas, everyone!

What's your Christmas Eve tradition? Do you attend services? Are you a last minute shopper? Or do you cozy up by the fire with eggnog and Christmas cookies?
 


16 comments:

  1. Merry Christmas Eve everyone! We go to lessons and carols on Christmas Eve, and this year we'll munch on my hub's family favorites--shrimp cocktail and kielbasa:) xo Lucy

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    1. What an interesting combination, Lucy! I like both!

      ~ Krista

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  2. Your holiday plans sound lovely (although I admit I immediately started fantasizing about a short story called "My Goose is Cooked").

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    1. Great minds, Sheila . . . That could be the reason one of my books is called The Diva Cooks a Goose! : ) LOL!

      ~ Krista

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  3. Yum. I made Can't Fail Fudge, which sounds pretty similar. We usually celebrate with friends on Christmas Eve but are doing it on Friday this year, instead, and I won't have my sons home until 9 tomorrow morning. So eggnog and a good book sounds like the plan for tonight. Luckily I have a stack of good books, some by authors on this very blog, waiting for me. Merry Christmas!

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    1. Aww. 9AM tomorrow will be a big moment at your house! Love that little rush when everyone arrives. Enjoy your peaceful evening with eggnog and a book, as well as the fun tomorrow!

      ~ Krista

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  4. Merry Christmas Eve, Krista! Nice to see you've decorated your tree with one of the best gifts in the house--a furry friend to love. Marc and I will be (attempting) to execute the seven fishes Italian tradition tonight. Wish us luck...last count we had 5-1/2. :)

    May your feast be merry
    and your new year be bright!
    ~ Cleo

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  5. That sounds like such fun, Cleo. Merry Christmas to you and Marc!

    ~ Krista

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  6. Krista, have a wonderful dinner. I've never made a goose, but I've made See's fudge. Love this stuff. Pure bliss! Our Christmas extends from tonight through tomorrow. A lot of meals, hugs, some presents, an afternoon movie, and ends with a roast beef dinner tomorrow night.

    Carols singing.
    Merry, merry.

    Daryl / Avery

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    1. Wow, that's quite an agenda. Have a merry, merry time!

      ~ Krista

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  7. Goose? Yes! They are hard to come by in south Florida and rather pricey, but I found a source in ND (!) that delivers a pre-cooked goose for less than a fresh, uncooked one from Whole Foods. It just needs a short finishing off in the oven. They took care of the get-rid-of-fat stage.
    And for the non-goose eaters (more for the rest of us) there will be a chicken (they also don't like turkey. I don't know how I raised these kids.)
    I may have to give in and try that fudge.
    A very merry Christmas and a bright, peaceful New Year.

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    1. Libby, it wouldn't be Christmas without goose. They're very pricey here this year too, alas. I'll have to check on-line prices next year.

      The fudge is delicious. Give in to the temptation!

      ~ Krista

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  8. Thanks for posting! This is such an easy recipe. It was perfect for the candy making class I taught last month. The girls who made it had never made fudge or candy before & the range top was not working as well as mine at home, but the fudge turned out perfect! Ive done the taste test, it is as good as See's!
    A goose, I've never cooked one. I watched the older Dickens' A Christmas Carol yesterday & wondered what it taste like. How is it different from chicken?
    Merry Christmas!
    Helena Georgette

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    1. Thanks again for the recipes, Helena Georgette! That fudge recipe is ideal for young cooks.

      Goose is all dark meat. Much more like duck than chicken. It has loads of fat, but it's unsaturated fat, so it's used for cooking in Europe. Potatoes cooked in goose fat are fabulous.

      ~ Krista

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  9. P.S. Cooking with your mom sounds lovely! I miss cooking with my girls! Dinner sounds good & festive. My papillon, Monarch will be just as your Jack Russell! A Yule Log...I'll try that next year instead of my husbands favorite Cherry Berries on a Cloud! ;)

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    1. I love cooking with my mom. It's like the party has already begun.

      Papillons are so cute. Love those ears!

      Cherry Berries on a Cloud? Sounds like another recipe I'd like to try!

      Merry Christmas, Helena Georgette!

      ~ Krista

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