Friday, December 24, 2010

Heavenly Hash: The Sweet Epiphanies of Holiday Feasts

                              Photo courtesy NASA   The Starburst Galaxy

Dear Friends,

            Happy holidays to you all! Here is my Huffington Post by way of a seasonal card. It’s already been picked up by sites as far-flung as USA Today, Dave Letterman's page, S. Korea, India, UK, Thailand,  and Ireland. Bon appétit! And may your New Year be magical and heavenly.
All best, Brenda

BIO The Huffington Post
Brenda Peterson | Posted December 24, 2010 | Religion

My mother always taught us that no one should be alone at Christmas and that we must expect miracles and mysteries. She offered these miracles from her Southern kitchen. The petite Madeleines of her Christmas celebrations were her peanut-butter fruitcake, cherry and pineapple fudges. And who could resist the temptation of Mother's meringue-light Divinity, studded with black walnuts?

In the fervent circles of my childhood, food was love ...

(Read more on The Huffington Post) And here are some photos and recipes from the Internet.

Then there is the sugared inspiration of Heavenly Hash. This holiday concoction is an melange of Cool Whip, cherry pie filling, crushed pineapple, marshmallows, and nuts. In a crystal or glass bowl it looks rather like a suspicious mishmash. But if made right -- especially with buttery French-style marshmallows -- this medley of fruits and nuts sings on the tongue.
 Another favorite was Russian tea, a concoction of citrus Tang, and Lipton's black tea. This spicy brew was always served on our Christmas Eve with Mother's homemade sausage cookies. Battered balls of sharp cheese, sausage, Jiffy Biscuit Mix and milk -- these salty cookies cut the glut of too much sugar.
As one of my Jewish friends, who sampled my mother's Divinity, says, "Isn't food one of the primary reasons to be here on earth? Maybe that's what Eve and the apple were all about -- nothing to do with good and evil, or knowledge, but food, glorious food."

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