By June Mathews
Six Christmas parties down, five to go. If I don’t die of over-consumption before New Year’s Day, I’ll be making the usual diet-and-exercise resolution, whether I actually keep it or not.
It seems like this holiday season has been more calorie-laden than usual, what with multiple church, work and civic groups each throwing parties, and every gathering of various and sundry groups of friends and relatives turning into a food fest
. Yes, the Christmas season has been exceptionally busy this year, which means it’s also been exceptionally fattening.
While some folks may use low-fat ingredients and artificial sweeteners in their holiday recipes, I don’t. Not at this time of year, anyway. Using the fake stuff seems somehow less festive than using real sugar, whole milk, etc., and I don’t want to be a party pooper. So if you’re one of those people who insist upon cutting fat and calories out of your holiday dishes, please don’t tell me. It’ll take the fun right out of eating whatever you bring to the party.
Now I’m not claiming to be a gourmet cook or anything, but when it comes to whipping up dishes for holiday potluck parties, I’m pretty handy. I’m just finishing stirring up a tasty grape salad for tomorrow’s book club luncheon, and I still have a fair amount of some lip-smacking black-eyed pea salsa I took to a Christmas party last evening.
That’s the problem with making big batches of holiday food. The recipes usually serve a crowd, and the leftovers tend to accumulate in the refrigerator. But you don’t dare take small batches to a party because you don’t always know how many people are coming and how hungry they’ll be. But you can’t always finish the leftovers from one party before the next party comes along, making for some interesting at-home menu combinations along the way.
For example, unless the ladies in my book club are really hungry tomorrow, Jimmie and I will be dining tomorrow evening on leftover grape salad, black-eyed pea salsa and corn chips. Not a combination I’d usually serve, but to do otherwise would be wasteful.
And the leftovers won’t end there.
In my kitchen cupboard are ingredients for the holiday potluck contributions yet to be, including several appetizers, Oriental Cole Slaw, a pound cake, chocolate oatmeal cookies and poppy seed chicken.
I’m seriously thinking about making one more grocery store run for butterscotch morsels and chow mein noodles. After all, the holidays aren’t complete without a haystack or two, and I’m not sure Mama is making any this year.
I’m also planning to make what’s becoming our traditional pot of vegetable soup and cornbread soufflé for Christmas Day. Then there’s the pork roast in the freezer, reserved as the meat course to accompany our New Year’s Day peas and greens…
Good grief! Just writing about all this food is making me feel hungry and five pounds heavier all at the same time.
I guess it goes without saying that I plan to do some good eating between now and the first of the year. And after I do, I’ll make the same old diet-and-exercise resolution and maybe even keep it for a few days.
But the way I see it, there’s no use obsessing over such things for very long. After all, once New Year’s rolls around, Valentine’s Day is only a few weeks away. Somebody’s got to eat that box of chocolates, and that somebody, I figure, might as well be me.
Email June Mathews at email@example.com.