Ah, December. What can I say? For one twelfth of the year, the world goes a little crazy. People in stores get harried and have that panicky look in their faces that signal some sort of impending meltdown. Drivers pack the roads and are more rude and more uncertain at the same time. The same silly and sappy songs play loudly everywhere you go. Everything is tinged with glitter or silver or gold, unless it is already red, white, or green.
There’s a lot to love and hate about this last and darkest month of the year. This year, for some reason, I am struggling more than usual to get into the “spirit” of the season. Usually, I am more like a kid with this holiday, giddily anticipating the tree decorating and making lots of lists of things I want to make and give away.
We did get our tree, but it stands undecorated several days later. I thought maybe I just needed to get started on stuff to get me going, so I spent most of the weekend and today prepping stuff for my usual list of Christmas goodies.
I candied chestnuts for pannetone.
My rummy fruit mix got mixed up and is getting all nice and boozy and ready for a myriad of uses.
The husband picked up some really wonderful looking buddha’s hand citrons for me to candy.
They looked like a pile of jewels after their long bath in the sugar syrup.
After I tossed them in plenty of sugar, this beautiful tray of them did manage to bring a smile to my face (and my boys’ faces, too).
This year’s batch of fruitcake is in the oven now.
Last year’s fruitcake was finished off last week, and I have to say, it was still absolutely, positively, delicious. (Here’s the recipe I used). This is the best fruitcake recipe I have tried so far and also the best keeping one. I did not even give it any brandy baths and it still lasted us almost a year. I am tempted to make another batch with my some newly candied citron to see if we would like that in our mix of fruits.
All this is great stuff, and I have a lot more planned, so I am sure the holiday blahs will just pass on by.
In the meantime, tell me, what helps you get into the holiday “spirit”?