Christmas. What a drag. Not for everybody… but for a lot of folks.
Christmas is for kids and adults with kids. The rest of us get stuck chasing memories. Great wholesome dreamy memories of toys under a tree and Elvis christmas albums. Would that Mean Green Machine be under the tree? The 2-XL 8 track tape player that was somehow a robot? My favorite christmas ever I woke up and there was teepee in my living room. Not a real one and today I reckon it would be looked on as inappropriate. This was an inflatable teepee with probably every native American stereotype adorning it. I thought it was a dream come true. That christmas I was a Lipan Apache boy and it felt great.
Now a lot of us are alone. Our parents gone or far away. Christmas has been lonely for years for me. It can make me really sad. Being a Texan in a foreign land doesn’t help much. What is a christmas cracker anyway and do I really have to wear that crown? I don’t come from any sort of blue blood lineage. I did come from a family of southerners that loved christmas though. My memories of christmas are also always rooted in food. My stepdad Bill always smoked his turkey. It was a truly manly endeavor. The carving of the turkey was a piece of food theatre that always kept me spellbound. The whir of his special electric carving knife and the perfect tender slices it created.
The grandest spectacle was the work of my grandma Lulu. She would start baking two weeks before Christmas and the piles of fudge and cookies and pies and every sweet you could imagine just grew and grew into a display unlike any other. The neighbors would come round for some and there was always plenty to go around. She could’ve baked for the army. It made her proud. Perhaps it reminded her of her childhood. These were family recipes handed down like treasures.
I guess most folks would expect me to give y’all a BBQ recipe. I reckon if you have a smoker you have already figured out how to smoke your turkey. If you don’t, get one. There is no finer turkey than a smoked turkey. I have smoked 2 a week since they came into stores in the UK in late November, leftover turkey is a real gift. Instead I am gonna share a memory of my Lulu’s baking. This treat is called Divinity. It always was a favorite of my Moms and all the folks that came round to gaze at the mountain of homemade treats. It’s about as southern as it gets and it ain’t too hard to make. I hope it brings you a bit of happiness.