I’m always torn at the end of the holidays. I love the holidays. I love the sparkle, the theoretically good cheer, the food. The chaos of it gets old after a while, though; we went to four holiday celebrations between last Wednesday and yesterday and we are tired. We’re starting to look for a return to normalcy. But I hate the idea of taking the pretty tree down, and the lights strung around the house. I suppose, though, that what makes them special is that they’re only up for a little while and we have to enjoy them while we can. Unless, of course, we want to become one of those crazy people who leaves up a dead tree until March, and really, that’s not what I’m going for.
I’m not a huge fan of New Year’s, despite my love for end-of-the-year holidays. New Year’s Eve celebrations always seemed to me to just be license for people to drink like fish, and while that has a time and a place, it’s not enough for me to care. Perhaps this has something to do with the fact that I’m an early sleeper. I tend to doze off on the couch well before the ball drops. It’s kind of pathetic. I also am not keen on feeling like I need to have plans for the evening when I really don’t feel like going out. This year this feeling of hiding on my couch is compounded by the fact that they’re predicting snow–up to 5 inches–in these parts that night. Chinese food and a movie sound pretty good to me!
But if you’re going out or throwing a party and need a little munchie, I do have a suggestion. I made these almonds right before Christmas and gave away a couple of jars with gifts; they are delicious and easy and rather addictive.
4 c almonds
1 egg white
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 c white sugar
1/2 c brown sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon, well-rounded
Start by beating the egg white until it’s very frothy, about 3 or 4 minutes. You don’t want to beat it until it has peaks, but you do want to really work it. Beat in vanilla. Add nuts and stir until everyone is coated. Toss sugars, salt, and cinnamon together and pour over nuts, tossing to coat. Spread on a well-seasoned cookie sheet that has been lightly greased and bake for an hour in a 350 degree oven, stirring every 15 or twenty minutes. They’ll become crunchy as they cool. Good luck staying away from the bowl!