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Happy-Gourmand

Sugar Pie For The Holidays

He says:

After lots of shopping around for the last few months, I finally bought an electric deep fryer (the DeLonghi 4 litre model). I have had a recipe in mind and now is the time to make it!

This week I am baking a batch of memories from Quebec - donuts. As long as I can remember, my whole family has been making homemade donuts for the Holiday Season. Everyone has their own recipe that they brag about, and they are very proud to let you taste their creations.

Most recipes can be made in late November and frozen in sealed plastic containers. I like mine not previously frozen and tossed in icing sugar with the help of a good old-fashioned grocery paper bag. Some of my cousins will add cinnamon, but really they do not need it.

Sugar Pie is the other recipe that I like to do during the Holidays. Contrary to what many people think, sugar pie is not made with maple sugar, maple syrup or any other maple product. Sugar pie is simply a brown sugar base mixture, cooked in a pie shell. Again, there are lots of recipes going around, some with eggs, some with 35% cream, some with Borden milk, and even some with cornstarch. The best way I can describe this amazing breakfast, lunch or dinner treat is simple -it is kind of like a pecan pie without the pecans!

Happy Holidays to everyone, and please keep the emails coming, I really appreciate it…

She says:

I have been talking about my holiday favourites all month, so I am going to digress here if you don’t mind. I was thinking about cookies and milk for Santa and how that ritual differs at every house, but the thing that struck me this year was the fact that many kids don’t even believe in Santa anymore, so perhaps the idea of cookies is a moot point. That made me sad.

Faith is something that is sometimes hard to have, and not being skeptical in the age of “reality TV” and instant gratification is even harder. I will freely admit I am of the old school, like the adults who told children like Virginia O’Hanlon and Susan Walker and the boy from the Polar Express that indeed there is a Santa Claus, and it is important that they believe in him. You see, it is up to all of us to keep Santa alive. As the editor of the New York Sun said so long ago, “he exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist”. If we let Santa go, then those qualities are not so far behind. More than ever today, children (big and small) need to have something to believe in, and when you really believe, it is not about seeing. Sometimes that is not easy, but then the right thing is usually not easy. Christmas spirit comes from the heart, and it takes time to fill your heart up. Children need to have time just like adults to enjoy the wonders of the world, and Santa is one of those.

So this Christmas, whether you have shortbread cookies or Quebecois donuts, make sure the kids (big or small) take the time to put out something for Santa. Maybe you might want to even include a carrot for the reindeer. Let them listen outside for the sound of the sleigh bells. Read them a Christmas story. Let them know that no matter how simple or extravagant Christmas is at your house, Santa does come.

After our nightcap, then we can all sleep well, with those visions of sugarplums dancing in our heads, knowing that Santa will “continue to make glad the heart of childhood”, just as that long ago editor promised.

Merry Christmas, everyone.

Chef Martin’s Tip 42: Buying fresh herbs in the winter

Just because it’s winter does not mean that you need to avoid buying fresh herbs to cook nice meals.

You will most likely have to buy more than you need, that’s fine, but please don’t put the leftovers back in your fridge, because you probably won’t use the rest of it and it will go to waste. All winter, once I have used what I need for my recipe, I just put the rest in the freezer right away before it goes bad.

Frozen herbs are better than no herbs at all!

“No matter what happens in the kitchen, never apologize.”
(Julia Child, 1912-2004)


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About the Author

Kristin Peturson-Laprise is a customer experience specialist by trade, which means she is someone passionate about people having a good time. 

Her company, Wow Service Mentor, helps businesses enhance their customer experience through hands-on training, service programs, and special event coordination.

Kristin enjoys her own experiences too, and that is what she writes about in this column. She and her husband Martin Laprise (also known as Chef Martin, of The Chef Instead) love to share their passion for food and entertaining.  

Kristin says:

"Wikipedia lists a gourmand as a person who takes great pleasure in food. I have taken the concept of gourmandise, or enjoying something to the fullest, in all parts of my life. I love to grow and cook food, and I loved wine enough to become a Sommelier. I call a meal a success when I can convey that 'sense of place' from where the food has come . . . the French call that terroir, but I just call it the full experience. It might mean tasting the flavours of my own garden, or transporting everyone at the table to a faraway place, reminiscent of travels or dreams we have had."

 

E-mail Kristin at:  [email protected]

Check out her website here:  www.wowservicementor.com

 



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The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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