I thought long and hard about this, but I will not be making Christmas cupcakes this year. Generally I bring something to my family’s Christmas Eve dinner and really wanted to bring cupcakes, but it’s just going to be too difficult. My dessert making will take place in my mom’s kitchen and while my mom’s a good cook/baker, she’s not a cupcake maker. Meaning I would have to schlep my piping tools, cupcake scoop, liners to her place, along with the rest of our clothes for the next 4 days and presents. And while my mom’s kitchen is FAR MORE exquisite than my shabby Brooklyn rental (that I’m not willing to invest any money I can’t take with me in) kitchen, it lacks one essential appliance.
Regardless of whether it’s an elaborate three course brunch or a quick breakfast after tearing open what Santa brought, almost everyone enjoys having Christmas morning breakfast as a family. When I was really young, my brother and I used to get up at the crack of dawn, pull everything out of our stockings, then place it exactly back how it was so no one would ever know. Then we tackled the wrapped presents, inspecting and shaking to try and figure out what was inside. When my parents FINALLY woke up (it felt like hours later…) presents always came before breakfast. After we exhausted the present opening and got bored with out new toys, my mom would usually make us all Eggs Benedict or Pancakes.
There’s something about the holidays that makes me crave popcorn. Maybe it’s the ceiling high stacks of popcorn tins at every drug store (empty tins=AWESOME storage). I haven’t bought one of those tins in years, but remember my family going through at least one every holiday as a child. The caramel corn would always be the first flavor to go. The the regular, then the cheddar would usually linger around until it went stale. It wasn’t a very popular flavor in my household. I think I shared most of it with our dog.
This post should have probably been titled gifts from your bar, but I try to keep up the appearance that I’m not a total lush. But really, who doesn’t love alcohol related gifts? So far this year I’ve made Cranberry Lime Vodka and Buddha Hand Vodka (think citron vodka). After learning so easy those where, I’m tempted to infuse a bunch of other spirits, but really there’s only so much the two of us can drink (and I generally shy away from the hard stuff). Unfortunately for us, alcohol gifting isn’t the easiest thing to do. We travel a lot for the holidays. We’ve actually never spent Christmas eve or day in our apartment though this year we might get a few hours on Christmas Day night. So toting around bottles of alcohol on the train, or worse, plane, in addition to our other Christmas gifts does get a bit cumbersome. If people chose to visit Brooklyn for Christmas, I guarantee there would be many more alcoholic gifts! Hmm…maybe that’s the type of persuasion I need to start using.
Christmas and cookies are pretty much synonymous. I mean really, can you actually get through the holiday season without Christmas cookies? At least just one… My husband’s family is from Pittsburgh and even though most of the family has since scattered, Pittsburgh is where we go for Christmas to celebrate. It’s kind of like a mini family vacation, but much less stressful. See, we don’t really do anything besides eat, play games and cards and watch TV. So it doesn’t involve that normal family vacation stress where one person wants to do this, the other person wants to do that, and we debate for a day and a half as to which idea is best. Plus there aren’t really any children. His youngest cousin is 10 years old and the others are teenagers, so that probably helps as well.