One would think that with all the responsibility on Santa’s shoulders, he would have no reason to be jolly. But he is, according to all accounts, and the reason must be that he consumes so many cookies on Christmas Eve as he visits generous families. Besides being happy, Santa is also not skinny. In fact, if my husband had a white beard, he could play Santa without the need to any stuffing in his costume.
This season, we will be getting cookies, candies and cakes from many sources. Office parties, neighborhood Christmas parties, fruit cakes and of course your child’s own Christmas treats.
The question is how can we get Santa’s jolly mood without looking like him?
My mother, to protect herself from the nagging of few hungry children, had a wonderful trick. She always used to feed us before we went to someone’s home for dinner. It’s not a bad trick. Try filling up with a healthy snack before going to a Christmas party. This way, you can be selective with your calories. You can avoid attacking the piles of food in order to curb your hunger, and most likely you will make it into January without having to go on a crash diet.
This year my daughter baked tons of cookies, mind you she is not a fan of sweets but she loves baking. I think my neighbors and friends will be the beneficiary of these cookies so it will not add to the waistline of my husband. I will be making poached pears because I love them, they are light desserts and they remind me of Christmas in Italy.
- 4 Bosc pears, peel and set aside. Discard the skin
- 4 cups dry red wine
- 1½ cups sugar
- 1 orange
- ½ cup dried cranberries
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh ginger
- 1/ 2 coarsely chopped unsalted pistachios, optional
- Peel the orange and place the skin in a medium stainless steel saucepan. Eat the orange or safe for another use.
- Add the rest of the ingredients, except the pears, to the saucepan. Bring to a boil.
- Reduce the heat. Place the pears in the pan and simmer for 10 minutes. Gently turn the pears to make sure the wine cover all sides and the pears colored evenly. Continue to cook for another 10 minutes.
- Gently remove the pears from the pan and place on a plate to cool. Continue to simmer the wine sauce until it reduces to half its volume and it has the feeling of sticky syrup.
- Cut the pears lengthwise and place them cut side down on shallow serving platter, I prefer white platter in order to show off the color of the pears,.
- Discard the orange skin and then pour the wine sauce over and around the pears. Chill for a couple of hours before serving. Sprinkle with the pistachio and serve.