Like most families, we have a number of traditions, especially with regard to Christmas.
One of the traditions (started, I believe, by my no-longer-overwhelmed mother) is that everybody in the house signs up to cook or prepare part of the meal.
While our Christmas dinner follows a fairly traditional menu of turkey with stuffing, various potato and vegetable dishes, and salad, the dessert items are particularly specific: plum pudding (flaming, of course) with, at the eater’s option, wine sauce and/or “hard sauce,” also known as snowmen.
This year, Perrie and I were enlisted to make the hard sauce, definitely the most creative of the cooking chores. The sauce itself is quite easy: essentially a stiff icing made of butter and icing sugar (we didn’t include the optional rum this year). But the challenge comes in crafting a bigger and better scene than ever before with the edible material.
It started back in the day when we were too young to help with this, as mum made little figurative snowmenâ€”two Â¾” balls with cloves for eyes and half a candied cherry as a hatâ€”and laid them around a serving plate.
At some point, somebody decided it would be more interesting to set the snowmen upright and pose them in some kind of scene. Since then, the family has been engaged in an unspoken creative war to outdo the previous year’s hard sauce.
This year, Perrie and I recreated the traditional nativity scene, complete with wise men, camel, angels, and hobo shepherd. Click the thumbnails to view the pictures.