Holiday TreatsDecember 24, 2009
This is not a cooking blog. I know that is kind of hard to tell lately, what with all the Dark Days posts. But anyone who knows me well knows I’m not much of a cook, but I do eat, and I do have a sweet tooth. At this time of year I have a handful of holiday treats that I like to make – and if you do it three years in a row it becomes a tradition.
Every year I make fudge – mostly because the kids and my husband like it. I make coconut swirls – which taste like mounds bars. [I don’t think they are actually a family secret recipe – but I’m not ready to share it.] And I make 2-minute cookies – which are an oatmeal “cookie” (milk, butter, sugar, oatmeal, cocoa and then coconut, nuts, or raisins – I like the nuts and/or raisins – but the kids don’t – so this year it is coconut). Often we dip pretzels in chocolate too. None of these requires any kind of oven time.
I make up plates for various and sundry people around town, take some with us when visiting, and eat too many ourselves.
When I went to the store last week to stock up on treat supplies I made an effort to look for organic ingredients and got a lesson in what is available and what isn’t.
First, I failed in the butter category. I had intended to make butter from our local, natural (not quite organic, but hormone-free) milk – but we weren’t able to get cream this week. So, I had to resort to the butter in the fridge – which is what we can get in town – your typical run-of-the-mill unsalted butter.
I need lots of chocolate for all of these treats. I was able to get organic chocolate semi-sweet chips [Kroger’s store brand – Private Selections Organics]. I also got organic sugar and organic powdered sugar (also Kroger’s Private Selections Organics]. In my cupboard I have some organic cocoa powder. The other items I needed were oatmeal, sweetened condensed milk, and powdered milk. At the large grocery store I was at (Kroger – which has an impressive “natural food” section and increasing number of organic products intermixed with the nonorganic) I could not find any organic versions of these items. Bob’s Red Mill apparently makes organic rolled oats, but it wasn’t readily available to me.
So, I guess I did 1/2 way ok on the organic factor. None of the ingredients are particularly local though.
As for taste – I can’t say as I can tell a difference. But since much of the ingredients are organic I know my family, my friends, and I are ingesting minimal pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizer chemicals.
Anyway – it’s Christmas Eve. For everyone who celebrates Christmas – I wish you a very merry one. For everyone else – I hope you have a lovely, peaceful day.