Tuesday, December 01, 2009

GeneaBloggers 2009 Holiday Cookbook

Thanks to Thomas MacEntee who made this posting to the GeneaBloggers' group on Facebook:

"GeneaBloggers is issuing a "call for recipes" for its upcoming Holiday 2009 edition of the GeneaBloggers cookbook. Now is the time to gather those favorite holiday recipes along with any photos and stories that help illustrate how important the recipe was to your family. Besides creating posts over at your own genealogy or family history related blog, you must use our Submit A Recipe form to make sure yours are included in the Holiday 2009 GeneaBloggers cookbook. The deadline is 11:00 pm on Friday, December 4, 2009. As an added incentive, each recipe submitted will become an entry in our Holiday 2009 Recipe Contest! One winner will be drawn at random on Monday, December 7, 2009 for a Williams-Sonoma gift card - retail value $25 US. See the contest rules for complete details. A PDF version of the cookbook will appear here at GeneaBloggers the week of December 7th - in color and fully printable or you can email it to friends and family. So if you've got recipes for Christmas cookies, Hanukkah potato latkes, your favorite Kwanzaa dish or even for what you serve at Festivus, dig them out, post about them and then submit them in the Holiday 2009 Recipe Contest."

With food playing such an important part of traditional family holiday gatherings, it will be interesting to see what my fellow bloggers choose to share.

I'm submitting a recipe for almond brittle that my daughter Tammy made for my dad who developed an allergy to peanuts, but still longed for some of that old-fashioned brittle "crunchiness".


  • 1 cup almonds
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 tea baking soda

  • Tammy used tin foil, spread on cookie sheets with lips on them, to help contain the almond brittle.
  • In a large pot, use a double boiler and gather the sugar, corn syrup and water, bringing to a "hard ball" stage 250-265 degrees F. This means you can drop a bit of the mixture into cold water, and it forms a ball. The ball will be hard but you can still change it's shape by squashing it.
  • Add whole almonds, instead of peanuts.
  • Remove from the burner when the mixture starts to turn from clear to a light brown.
  • Add soda.
  • Don't worry when the concoction foams up a little.
  • Pour out onto your foil covered cookie sheet.
  • The brittle will harden as it cools, and can then be cracked into smaller pieces.

Making almond rather than peanut brittle is as easy as switching out the peanuts for the almonds. My eldest daughter Tammy is the one who thought of it, and whipped some up in the kitchen at Dad's home on Overlake Drive.

It was simply marvelous when Tammy brought the brittle in to Dad where he usually sat watching TV in the family room. The very idea of it brought tears to his eyes. As you can see from the photo on the right, Dad at nearly 89 years of age had lost a lot of weight, and it was nearly impossible to get him to eat anything. But Dad just LOVED that almond brittle Tammy made him.

Time during the last few years of Dad's life were painful and heartbreaking. Its challenging for a man to lose his hunting dog due to old age and his wife to Lewey Body Dementia, within nine months of each other, no less. When Tammy came up to visit, she chipped right in and helped with figuring out ways to keep Dad entertained, despite his confinement to his electric wheelchair due to the weakening of his body after years of being an active husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, physician and bird hunter.

I cannot thank Tammy enough for thinking of the Almond Brittle. Even now, two years after Dad's death, I am brought to tears by Tammy's thoughtful gift and the joy it brought to Dad's heart. (Blogging and sobbing are a bit challenging, but I'll try my best to keep the tears off of the keyboard!)

Tammy is ever the creative cook in our family. If you look Ol' Myrt's Facebook page, you'll see the apron I am making her (complete with matching oven mitts) for her Christmas present.

For Further Reading
Happy family tree climbing!
Myrt :)
Your friend in genealogy.

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