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Greetings faithful readers. 

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Christmas evokes traditions, memories, gifts, and much more. It’s the time of year when foods play a major role in our celebrations. Instead of more information to close out this holiday season, I refer you to a few previous Christmas posts from my blog.

While these food or food-related posts are important snippets of information, let’s not forget the most important aspects of this Holy Holiday.

For those who have forgotten or never knew, Christmas is the observance of the birth of Jesus Christ. In his brief ministry of about three years, Jesus declared many truths about himself. In John 6:48, he refers to himself as the “bread of life.” Indeed, he is. While residents of this world, the foods we eat feed our earthly bodies. Jesus alone is the bread of life for eternity. He proclaimed, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to [God] except through me” (John 14:6).

Enjoy the holiday and all it has come to represent but don’t forget that Jesus is the real reason for this season. God bless.

Merry Christmas and a happy, healthy New Year.

 

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I never understood the meaning of sugar plums. I associated the term with the sugar-plum fairy in Tchaikovshy’s The Nutcracker or the noted verse “visions of sugar plums danced in their heads” from Clement C. Moore’s A Visit from St. Nicholas. Sugar plums are much more.

The term initially applied to small candies, usually round, made from dried fruits and nuts. The trend began in the 1600s. In earlier years, the word “plum” referred to any dried fruit. Maybe it’s time to return to the nostalgia of earlier years and move away from sugary treats. Along with the mystical memories of fairies and dancing, they deserve a place of prominence for a healthy, less sweet treat.

Although sugar plums of yesteryear weren’t necessarily made from plums, some recent versions do use dried plums (prunes). Traditional recipes combine almonds, dried plums, figs, apricots, powdered sugar, seasonings of toasted anise, fennel, and caraway seeds and ground cardamom. Ingredients often are moistened with honey, formed into balls, and rolled in sugar.

A simple version combines eggs and sugar with almonds, coconut, dates, plus almond and vanilla extracts. The mixture is rolled into balls and baked like cookies. Other varieties combine dried dates, apricots, cherries, raisins, white chocolate chips, and chopped nuts moistened with fruit juice and rolled in turbinado sugar (regular sugar will do). More modern types of sugar plums may use red gelatin with sweetened condensed milk. Other recipes add cocoa or for a different flavor try varied types of nuts.

Most of these recipes are simple and take little time to prepare. Serve these tasty rounds piled high on a decorative plate and listen to the oohs and ahs. For a last-minute treat that will delight the family and provide a more nourishing fare, try one of these recipes on Christmas Eve.

To all my readers, a Merry Christmas.

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