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How I Plan to Stuff My Face This Christmas

December 22, 2011

I have to admit, Christmas is the one time of year that I truly live up to the stereotypical reputation of a fatty. I know I’m not the only one! Even thin people eat like stereotypical fatties at Christmas (please insert religious holiday of choice if you celebrate another).

People are constantly stuffing food in your face. When you go over to someone’s house, one of  the first things they do is pass you a platter of cookies, cake, or some other treat. At work, trays of food cover the counters and people actually come around personally offering you treats they had baked the night before. People leave candy canes on your desk. Can anyone imagine a worse time of year to go on a diet? I’m sure many of us have actually dieted at Christmastime… I know there have definitely been Diets of Christmas Past for me. Talk about masochistic. But let’s put the past behind us and move on, shall we?

One thing I truly enjoy stuffing my face with at Christmas is chocolate. Basically any combination of sugar, butter, and cream will do, but nothing beats those boxes of chocolate. I was at the grocery store the other day picking up a few items for dinner, and there was this huge wall of chocolate staring at me when I walked in the door. Naturally, I walked over to browse and found that all my favorites were well represented.

Turtles are always a great choice because I love caramel and pecans, and I love how when you bite into one you inevitably end up trailing a looooooooonnnnnnggggggg string of caramel toward you. Oh yeah. Then there’s the assortments, which are also great.

The only ones I don’t particularly care for are the ones with the fruit-flavored centers. In my opinion, chocolate and fruit (except maybe bananas) have no business being together. I’m not even much of a fan of chocolate-covered strawberries. I prefer my strawberries straight, but I know some people love them. Personally, I prefer the nut- or caramel-filled chocolates.

Best of all, though, as I was about to leave to go find the items I needed for dinner that night, I spotted a box of chocolate-covered toffee sprinkled with almond pieces. My knees nearly buckled at the sight of those. There’s nothing I love more than buttery, crispy, chocolate-covered toffee. I made a mental note to return. One of those boxes definitely has my name on it.

Then, of course, there is the Christmas dinner. We usually celebrate Christmas at my mother’s house, which is great for two reasons: 1. I don’t have to cook and 2. The food rocks. My mother is Austrian and her significant other is Ukrainian, and both of them usually cook together on big occasions.

Our family has never done the traditional turkey thing. I could never figure out why, exactly, and secretly envy those of you who chow down on turkey with stuffing and gravy. But, believe me, the more European fare is just as delicious. I love walking into my mother’s house on Christmas day and just inhaling all the aromas.

We usually end up having a few staples. Schnitzel, which is a variation of either chicken, veal, or pork cutlets. They are so delicious. They have a crispy coating and the meat inside is succulent and juicy. There is always a big platter of roast potatoes, which I truly love. I love all kinds of potatoes, but I think roasted are my favorite. I’m a big fan of crispy coatings and softness on the inside.

My mother’s significant other also makes a huge pot of pierogies, which are little dumplings with potato, onion, and cheese filling. There is always a side of sauteed onions glistening with olive oil to spoon over top of them, and a bowl of sour cream to dip them in. They are heavenly delicious.

But don’t think we don’t eat healthy with all this: there is always a big salad as well, with a simple vinaigrette dressing (the flavour of which I can never quite duplicate, no matter how hard I try), and there is always at least one kind of vegetable available, whether it’s broccoli or cauliflower or carrots or whatever. All they need is a little salt and pepper.

And then, of course, there is dessert, which varies from year to year. Sometimes it’s fruit and cream in alternating layers, sometimes it’s a fruit pie, and sometimes it’s a rich, sumptuous, chocolatey cake, with hot coffee to wash it down. Oh yes.

Forgive me if I’m getting you hungry with all this food talk, but I would sincerely like to wish all of you a very happy holiday, and I hope that all of you chow down and enjoy all the ridiculously delicious food we are all surrounded with at this time of year. Life is just too damn short to deny yourself all the tastes, textures, and just plain pleasure.

9 Comments leave one →
  1. December 22, 2011 10:16 am

    Great, now my shirt is soaked with salivation. Thanks a lot Gabriela!

    What a sensory feast you’ve shared with us today! I wish I was coming to your mom’s house for Christmas. Have a great holiday!


  2. December 22, 2011 10:21 am

    You too, Shannon, and all the rest of you fierce fatties. Sorry about the shirt!

  3. L.J. Utter permalink
    December 22, 2011 12:00 pm

    Gawd, I am so hungry for pierogies now. I do mine with just butter and cheese. I’m making paprikash this year for the family thing. It’s chicken in a tomato sauce laced heavily with onions and paprika, then you add sour cream and serve over egg noodles.

  4. December 22, 2011 12:36 pm

    My mother is Jewish and my stepfather and father are both Catholic, so I get Chanukah AND Christmas dinners. Blintzes plus Christmas turkey … it’s a bit strange, but oh holy crap, I am so unrepentant about gaining a few pounds every December. My family even has a hand-me-down recipe, passed down through the generations, for the best latkes. My bubbe has threatened me with being disowned if I ever tell anyone our recipe. XD

    This time of year is great for me because I feel at my most comfortable being fat, but also being a Jew. Even completely brain dead atheists have at least heard the name of Chanukah or however one wants to spell it – I can really embrace two important parts of my identity.

    • December 22, 2011 4:57 pm

      That is so cool. Lucky you that you get to enjoy both traditions and the different foods associated with each … enjoy!

  5. December 22, 2011 2:20 pm

    My sis-in-law make pierogies to die for. She gave me her recipe and I am going to see if I can convert it to gluten free so I can have some that won’t hurt me 😀 I’m thinking a batch of pierogies and latkes would make a lovely dinner one night this next week hehehehehe

    • December 22, 2011 4:57 pm

      Oh, you know they would … 🙂 Don’t forget the onions!

      • December 22, 2011 7:14 pm

        Oh never forget the onions. I caramelize sweet onions (can’t eat regular ones) and love them on a whole lot of stuff. Hmmmm, latkes made with caramelized onions. Have to see how that works out 😀

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