Regardless of your beliefs, the Holiday season should be enjoyed by all! I acknowledge that it’s the one time of year when people stress like chickens without their heads, but it’s also the sweetest time of year, where people go out of their way to show appreciation for others. I embrace this time of year because it’s an opportunity to let go of the year’s challenges and celebrate your good fortune. The simple things: roof over your head, shirt on your back, good parking, friends, family, pets, whatever it is that keeps you from giving up when times are tough. Even if you’re alone, it’s an opportunity to kick off your heels and treat yourself to mediocre TV, bed rest and pampering yourself for surviving yet another year. You earned it, sister!
What I love most about Christmas culture are the rich foods and grog that bring me tremendous comfort and joy! I must confess, with the exception of my bosom, as a little person, my body hasn’t changed since third grade so I can eat whatever I want. In your face, tall people! I suppose that’s the least Karma can grant me. One of my favorite Holiday munchies are rum balls. If you were born pre-80s, then you know what I’m talkin ’bout! As a child of the 70s, I fondly remember batches of rum balls at every family Christmas shindig, along with all the old-timey fire hazards. The spread was always consistent; rum balls, tamales, ambrosia salad, buñelos, ham, 7-UP with maraschino cherries, and frijoles–the official Mexican-American Holiday buffet.
Rum balls were the “It” Holiday treat and made us kids feel like we too were having a “cocktail” as we puffed on our bubble gum cigarettes. This year I decided to bring back a retro family tradition and “cook” a huge batch of rum balls. I wrote “cook” in quotes because it is an easy no-bake recipe that a kitchen novice can whip up with sophisticated results. Rum balls make the perfect host gift or treat for your guests!
Here is the recipe I used by doing a random search on the onlines:
2 cups chopped pecans or walnuts
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
2 cups confectioner’s sugar
2/3 cup dark rum
2/3 cup light or dark corn syrup
8 oz. container diced dried citrus fruits (optional)
shredded coconut or jimmies for coating
Stir vanilla wafer crumbs, nuts, confectioner’s sugar and unsweetened cocoa. Starting with half the quantity of rum and half the corn syrup, Gradually stir in liquids, adding a little at a time.
Stir together and check the consistency. When you can roll the mixture into a 1 inch ball, don’t add any more rum or syrup. You may not need to add the full amount called for in the recipe. (This is because some cocoa brands contain more cornstarch or other fillers than others which absorb the liquids).
Add citrons (optional) and stir until well blended.
Shape into 1 inch balls.
Roll in either coconut or jimmies (I used various colored sugar crystals and nuts, in addition to coconut and jimmies.)
Makes approximately 9 dozen.