The holidays are upon us and it’s usually very exciting for most people, not least, yours truly! I love the Christmas season just because…I do! Look at all the colours in the shops- red, green, white and a whole lot of sparkle plus lights!! What is there not to like?
When I was growing up, Christmas was a time for family reunion, eating all kinds of ‘banned’ foods (basically, all the sugary and fatty foods we love but couldn’t have) at any time of the day and as much as we wanted. And we will get new clothes and shoes which we don to church or the many Christmas parties we got invited to, watch as much TV as we liked and sleep as late as we wanted.
It was pure over-indulgence with the permission and blessing of our parents. Oh the food, the food and all the food- it was plenty and decadent- cakes, pastries, all kinds of assorted meats and seafood, soups, stews, rice dishes in all 12 varying forms (I know of, lol!) Oh and the Christmas songs and carols that will play all day every day, everywhere, every time and all the time! It’s truly the most wonderful time of the year!!
My favourite thing to do back then was to make some of my favourite and easy treats, or snacks. My treats tend to be quick easy and sweet, maybe one of two savouries. I still love to make them today for my family and friends I visit or who come over to mine. Do you remember back in November when we observed Farmers’ Day on the 6th (because it’s an election year; Farmers’ day is usually the first Friday in December) I promised to share the 2nd part of our foods that our farmers make possible? So here you are make sure you get and adult to help you as the recipes require the use of fire and hot foods.
Crepes/pancake– this is so easy to make. I like my crepes very light; this allows me to add the other condiments. Recipe– 2 portions plain flour, half a portion full cream milk, quarter portion butter, melted (not margarine), 2 teaspoons vanilla extract, a pinch of salt. Throw all the ingredients into the blender and whizz till they are well blended; it should be runny, not thick, -unless you prefer it thick.
Scoop the mixture with a ladle and pour into a skillet-pan greased with little butter on medium heat. Fry each side for about a minute each and voila! Serve with scoops of ice cream, jam or any filling…yum!
Condensed milk toffee– this is so good; you will throw away any other sweets you have. Recipe– scoop about a full tablespoon of butter into a heavy-bottomed nonstick skillet pan on medium heat, pour in a can of condensed milk and keep stirring with an oiled wooden spoon-don’t leave it unattended even for a minute –add 2 tablespoons of lemon juice to balance out the sweetness and make it gooey-chewy, and keep stirring until it turns into a soft ball and caramel brown in colour. Transfer onto a greased surface and allow to cool for about 30mins; roll it flat and cut it up into any shape you like- I use cookie-cutters for fun shapes
Peanut brittle – I prefer to use finely crushed peanuts for this. Recipe – 1 part cane sugar to 2 parts the crushed peanuts. In a saucepan on medium heat, pour the sugar and stir till caramelized; pour in the crushed nuts and stir till it binds. Turn off the heat and pour the mixture on an oiled surface; quickly roll it out with a rolling pin and cut out with fun-shaped cutters. Your brittle is ready to be eaten (once cooled)
Ice lolly – ahhh, so refreshing, this one! Recipe– add 3parts of your favourite fruit (mine’s mango) to half part orange juice and a tablespoon of lime juice and whizz in the blender. Pour into a firm plastic cup and stick in an ice-cream style spatula; freeze it overnight. When you’re ready to have your ice-lolly, sit your cup in a bowl of water, to loosen it from the cup…and your lolly is ready to be devoured.
You should try making these simple and delicious treats, and add you own twist to them. Enjoy your Christmas…you deserve to!
>>>The writer is a passionate educator who makes learning fun for children under 18 through co-curricular programmes. Through her charity organisation, Young Educators Foundation (YEF) in Ghana, the programmes portfolios have expanded to include literacy programmes in local languages as well as public speaking programmes for the youth.
Based on her work in education and with children, Eugenia is the recipient of many nomination and awards such as a presidential award for the contribution to education over the past decade in 2018. In 2019, she was named as one of the 74 individuals in Those who Inspire Ghana, a global programme that identifies nationals whose experiences are worth sharing. Eugenia believes that children are not the ‘future’, but rather the ‘present’ and so the need to invest in their total development. She is a regular contributor on radio and television shows as well as various public fora on this and related topics.