By Scott Ward

Food and the holidays are permanently bonded in our hearts, minds, and taste buds. What human being does not have some fond memory of something served up by their grandparents only during the November-December time frame?

Who among us does not have some craving for the delicacies that only roll around at this most festive season? Food is one more reason it is The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year, but why is it that some of this stuff is only seen in the final weeks of the year?

Let’s examine some of that calendar-challenged cuisine!

1. EGGNOG – The biggest selling holiday-related food item of all. A thick, gooey glass of caloric goodness, eggnog is treasured in the USA and Canada but mostly reviled around the rest of the world. It’s so firmly embedded in American history, there was once a riot thrown in its honor.

2. CHRISTMAS COOKIES – Well duh. We’ll go ahead and throw in Christmas candy or anything edible that’s shaped like Santa into this category.

3. PUMPKIN PIE – There is no law on the books that makes the consumption of pumpkin pie illegal during any other time frame. Most bakers will never have any trouble finding the necessary ingredients (canned pumpkin, at least) to assemble a pumpkin pie any time they want. Yet, you will rarely see pumpkin pie rear it’s burnt orange head anywhere outside of the holiday season. Let’s never forget that Brenda Lee tied pumpkin pie and Christmas caroling together for all time.

4. CRANBERRY SAUCE – Another readily available food item which mysteriously disappears for about 10 months out of the year. It’s more widely associated with Thanksgiving, but enough families do a repeat of the turkey and dressing meal for Christmas that it is considered a Yuletide food item too. Canned or fresh?

5. CANDIED SWEET POTATOES – Sweet potato fries are growing in popularity as a year round menu item. Even so, their sugar-coated siblings are still widely regarded as being for the holidays only. Probably just as well–have you seen the calorie count on those things?

Christmas dishes are as much a part of tradition as Christmas trees and excessive lighting. We overindulge for a few weeks and then start talking about losing all of the weight we’ve gained right around January 1. 2017 might be a great year to surprise everyone and serve up some pumpkin pie and cranberry sauce for the 4th of July!


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