"Traditions are the guideposts driven deep in our subconscious minds..." (--Unknown)
In our house, at Christmas time, we bake.
This year, we made gingersnaps, and Cappuccino Love Bites. Some years, it's chocolate shortbread logs and cranberry-orange biscotti, or chocolate truffles...
...but for us, we always have the annual making of the toffee.*
Joe gets into the act, and I put him to work spreading the chocolate over the hot toffee right out of the oven. He's quite good at this. I tell him he's very "trainable."
He's also a really good slicer. I can never make them uniform, so if it were up to me alone, I would just bag up the broken bits, but he does an awesome job, so he's hired. His greatest skill is probably his taste-testing expertise, and I rely heavily on his skills in these matters.
Last night, we boxed up cookies for the neighbors. We like to let them know we're thinking of them. Now, for years, I did this alone, when it was just me. I was a single parent for 20-some years, and I guess it was important to me to create memories for my son Eric of things we did together.
I suppose it's silly, but we hold to our traditions. It's just one more of the things that gets us working together and creating and building memories.
*The toffee recipe:
2 sticks (1 cup) butter ( has to be real butter) 1 cup brown sugar 1 stack of saltine crackers 1 bag of chocolate chips (we use Ghirardelli or any kind--Nestle etc) chopped pecans
*Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F. *Line a jelly roll pan with foil, and spray with Pam. Lay the saltine crackers in a single layer in the pan to cover it up. *In a large pot, combine butter and brown sugar. Heat 'til the butter melts, and then the mix starts to boil, and let boil for 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Pour this mix over all the saltine crackers in the pan. *Bake at 350 for 15 minutes.
*Remove from oven, and place the toffee on a cooling rack. Immediately, pour the bag of chocolates over the toffee. Let it sit for a minute or so until it softens; then spread the chocolate with a spatula to cover. Immediately, pour the chopped nuts over the chocolate and let the whole thing cool for several hours. Then, simply cut or break into pieces and enjoy. Freezes for 3 months in an air-tight container, but ours never last that long!