Traditional toffee completes the holiday meal


When December first rolls around, the craze of getting presents and spreading cheer fills the air, along with the smells of vanilla and cinnamon complementing the rain drops hitting the windows as I sit by the fire. Christmas is a time for family and giving. The annual Morris Family Christmas Eve takes place every Dec. 25. The potluck of food always brings my body into a food coma.

Before attending the Morris Christmas Eve, my mom and I work together to prepare our share of food. Traditionally, we make bowls of toffee for our closest family and friends, also for the Christmas Eve meal.

As my I chop up the walnuts into fine pieces and stab the sharp knife into the over sized milk chocolate bar to get large, somewhat square pieces, my mom melts the butter and sugar until a thick fluid is formed. At this time I can smell the sugary candy mixing together as the pine nuts are added to the mix. Quickly and strongly my mom stirs the ingredients together until they turn a golden brown. I secretly sneak a piece of chocolate, and the taste of delight, warm squares and feeling of the thick bar melting on my tongue cause me to smile of joy.

We transport the mixture from the hot pan onto a cooking sheet. As it hardens, I sprinkle the hard candy with the yummy chocolate and it quickly spreads over the candy like the sweet smell of the warm vanilla sugar candle spreads  throughout my house.

The various shapes of the candy are wrapped in a bowl and finished with a festive ribbon.

Now the fun part.

I always looked forward to delivering the toffee to my dearest friends and family. Their large, contagious smiles make me overwhelmed with joy as they happily accept their bowl, anxious to dive right into their treat.

The day has finally come. On my 30-minute drive to my grandma’s, the large bowl of toffee sits on my lap, as I resist from taking a piece.

The first step into my grandma and grandpa’s house make my body swirl with content as I instantly feel the love coming from my family I rarely see, and the familiar smells reminding me of my favorite holiday.

As exciting family events continue, like Secret Santa, the bodies of the eleven relatives contain thrill and curiosity wondering what was wrapped inside the bag attached with their name and who it was from. Laughter spreads throughout the family room, as Uncle Brad said one of his hilarious jokes.

We gather around the dinner table, closing off the night with a delicious dinner. Stuffing our mouths full of honey ham, mashed potatoes, green beans and homemade toffee, everyone is happy.