Day 360: Altogether too much food.


A fantastic Christmas, if not a little chaotic, as Christmas should be. Morning at my sister’s with the family (including, between us, 5 boys 5 and under), noon to mid-afternoon at ma-in-law’s, then home to drop off Lou and make the trifle before heading back over to my parents’ house for dinner. Turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, carrots, peas, cranberries, green salad with candied pecans. Fudge. Butter tarts. Post-modern fruitcake from The New Yorker (meh). Mince tarts made with puff pastry and phyllo from Jamie Oliver’s Christmas special (both courtesy of A & R). Chocolate bundt cake from B. Red wine.

Although I did taste each dessert (in the name of research, you understand, and mostly picked at between 4 and 7 as we worked in the kitchen) I tried to save myself for the fruitcake trifle. As you may remember, my fruitcake did not survive re-entry, and so I crumbled a lot of it into an old trifle dish I wish had belonged to my Grandma but really my Mom bought me at a restaurant going-out-of-business sale, doused the cake chunks with a glug of sherry and topped it with two apples and two pears that had been peeled and sauteed in butter with a sprinkling of sugar and cinnamon, then a batch of custard made with Bird’s Custard Powder, and topped the lot with whipped cream.

Ladies and gentleman, we have a winner. My Mom, who grew up with aunts who made trifle, said it was the best she had ever tasted. The now-moist dark fruitcake reminded her of her aunt Noreen’s plum pudding, which was always served with custard and whipped cream. I love plum pudding, but never do seem to get around to making it; I worry no one will go for it with the same enthusiasm I have, leaving me to polish it off myself. Don’t think I won’t do it.

Mike was equally enthusiastic (although without the accompanying nostlgia) and I have officially answered the question of what to have for Christmas dinner – fruitcake on its own is too much, I’ve already eaten too much chocolate, and I want something topped with whipped cream. This satisfies all my festive needs.

Tomorrow my goal is to get dressed and leave the house only to go tobogganning (and maybe get coffee on the way) with the new sled Santa brought. That will be the sum of my efforts. And, of course, come up with dinner.

Here’s hoping your Christmas was just as happy.


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7 comments on “Day 360: Altogether too much food.

  1. thepinkpeppercorn
    December 26, 2008 at 8:34 am

    Merry Christmas Julie! The trifle looks and sounds fabulous!! You are definitely not alone in trying every dessert “in the name of research”.

  2. Lisa
    December 26, 2008 at 9:52 am

    Merry Christmas, Julie!! It sounds like you had a lovely day. Santa dropped a sled off at our house, too (and a new MacBook – lucky me!). Hubby tried to take N out for some sledding, but the wind was nasty yesterday morning. Maybe tomorrow when it’s supposed to be 3 degrees!

    Thank you for all your Christmas baking inspiration this month. I’m planning on making your Mom’s nutballs today – I think my Dad will love them (the ‘rents are incoming on Sunday). I didn’t get to do the baking I usually due on account of the 7 week old in our house, but I will be turning to your blog for next year’s baking extravaganza! This year, I relied on easy, no-bake options like Chocolate Macaroons and White Chocolate Cranberry Nut clusters.

  3. Erica B.
    December 26, 2008 at 10:07 am

    Love Christmas dinner. Yours looks identical to mine except the green part on our plates was steamed broccoli – which believe it or not is easier to get the kids to eat than peas – maybe that’s because of the cheese sauce ; )

    The trifle looks wonderful! (this from a fruitcake hater…I try every year – in the name of research of course – and still ick…) Soaked in sherry and topped with custard and whipping cream yum!

    Have fun with the new sled : )

  4. Margaret
    December 26, 2008 at 10:32 am

    Hope your Christmas was great. Today, in The Edm. Journal there was a feature on cooking with kids in the kitchen. There you were with W! Nice to see the pic!
    Made your mom’s nutballs a couple days ago. They were awesome, however, didn’t have much success with the Muskoka Maple Fudge. Inspite of following the explicit instructions, mine turned out to be the equivalent of salt water taffy. My plan is to morph this into some kind of Turtles, covered with chocolate, sometime today.
    Happy holidays! and keep warm down there in Calgary.

  5. Christina
    December 26, 2008 at 3:17 pm

    Your trifle looks awesome and your Christmas sounded wonderful! Thank you for sharing! I especially liked that you wished your trifle bowl had belonged to your Grandmother!! I can relate! I also loved that your mom was so excited about it and enjoyed it so much! As a wannabe chef that what I stive for when trying new things and when it happens it makes me feel like I’ve made the chef status HA HA!
    Speaking of which, as I mentioned in an earlier post I had made Fanny Farmers Fruitcake for my Grandma and mom and they both loved it! I also sent some to Christmas dinner (it was going to be at our house and was moved to my brothers house 3 hours before everyone was set to arrive because my oldest son and husband both got the stomach flu so I was stuck at home taking care of 3 kids and a sick husband and didn’t even get Christmas dinner … It was so sad!!). My brother’s in-laws who are fruit cake lovers said they loved it and it may have been the best fruit cake they have ever had!! So needless to say I was VERY happy with my first attempt at fruit cake and will make it again next year! Thanks for the recipe, had you not posted it I probably wouldn’t have tried it but I’m so glad I did.
    Hope you had a blast sledding!!

  6. elektra
    December 26, 2008 at 6:39 pm

    5 days. will there be a top 10 list?

  7. piccola
    December 29, 2008 at 4:04 pm

    I wish people made trifle more often, not just the fruitcake kind. Can’t beat the cake-and-custard combo!

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