Christmas Flavors

Finals are graded, so yesterday I made red onion marmalade.[fn1] Stirring the apples and red onions and lemons, I though about what food evokes Christmas for me.[fn2]

Why food? Because a lot of my life today revolves around food. One year, I was up until two in the morning the day before Thanksgiving making mincemeat ice cream. (I didn’t believe my wife that we were getting up the next morning at 4 to see the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Turns out, she was right.) Every summer, we can tomatoes and jams and chutneys so that we can have those flavors during the winter. And sometimes we invite people over for dinner just to have an excuse to cook something new.

What I remember: Christmas mornings, opening presents with my sisters and brother and parents, listening to Bing Crosby (or, sometimes, John Denver), eating nuts and chocolate candy and Vons eggnog (if there was any left) and, eventually, having a big brunchy breakfast. I want to say it was cinnamon rolls, or sometimes popovers. Maybe¬†omelets. But it was definitely breakfast. I’m sure the lunches and dinners on Christmas[fn3] were equally good, but they aren’t what stand out in my memories. Rather, it’s the music, wrapping paper, family, junk food, and big breakfasts that I remember.

And I wonder, what will my kids’ memories of Christmas be?

[fn1] Delicious, btw.

[fn2] Not red onion marmalade, fwiw. This is the first (though not the last) time I’ve made it.

[fn3] Actually, I’m pretty sure that it was only one big meal Christmas afternoon, sometime around 3, that substituted for lunch and dinner, then maybe those Mormon scones—fried bread dough—before bed.

3 comments for “Christmas Flavors

  1. My best Christmas food memory will always be my wife’s caramels. The only way there would be enough to give away would be if she made more than three batches. I was very thorough in my quality control duties.

  2. My Dad came from Italy. Every year at Christmas there was a brightly wrapped box on top of the fridge. Inside was panettone.

    No one then knew what it was in our part of the world. Just once a year. Just a Christmas time treat. My memory of it is looking way up to the top of the fridge. I guess I may have been 4 or 5 at the time.

    Like manna from on high when he cut off a slice and fried it in butter and shared it with me. I do the same with my family now. They, however, look at it like the unwanted fruitcake that circulates in the family. I see Dad, now gone, 53 years ago early in the morning making my day special. Thanks Dad. Love you now more than ever.

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