On Christmas Eve, Santa comes to the house and passes out presents WHILE WE ARE AWAKE!!! When we were kids, we couldn't wait for Santa to show up, but then it got to be even more fun as a grown up and being able to watch the kids and their reactions when Santa knocks on the door, and then gives them the one present that they really, really, really want more than anything. It's the BEST - just look at that face!
Another one of our Christmas traditions is making date nut candies. There are two recipes that you almost cannot have Christmas without: Date Nut Balls and Date Nut Loaf. Both of them are old family recipes. I was looking for them this year and ran across my grandmother's old 'recipe book'.
It's falling apart, but isn't that amazing?! It's chock full o' yumminess, and if you're not hungry, then you can even find a recipe for blue hydrangeas. (When left alone, our soil only grows pink hydrangeas.)
Are you ready for Date-Nut-Apalooza? Is there anything better than dates, pecans (pronounced puh-kahns, not pee-cans), and sugar? I think not! Can you handle it?! Buckle up, here we go...
Date Nut Balls
OMG! These are my favorite - of all time!
(Hint: Oleo is margarine, or you can use butter)
And, the second act...
DATE NUT LOAF
OMG! This is my favorite... of all time! (notice a pattern?)
Here's the secret handshake (a.k.a. a modernized translation) for success with this recipe:
Boil 3 cups of sugar, 3 tablespoons Karo Syrup, and 1 1/2 cups whole milk until it reaches the soft ball stage. Stir in 8-ounce package of chopped dates. Continue to boil and do not stir again until it reaches the firm ball stage. Remove from heat and fold in 1 cup shredded coconut, 1 cup pecan pieces, and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Pour onto waxed paper, form roll/loaf, and allow to cool before slicing.
I would LOVE to show you a picture of this one, but I got distracted and burned the sugar. ARGH! You have to keep the heat relatively low and really pay attention to the temp because it will burn in a second. So, this is what it shouldn't look like - bummer!
Anyway - better luck to you! Now that you have the recipes, you can officially have Christmas this year.
Linkin' up and Eatin' up over at Edie's place: Life in Grace. (Still LOVE!) And linking up here.