Want a Piece of Candy?

Seasons Greetings and Merry Christmas, everyone!  What?  Too early for a Christmas post?  Perhaps so, but Sean has been on Christmas vacation from preschool for almost a week already.  (Extra long Christmas break!  Yay!  Right?  … Right?)  Anyway, we’ve really been living it up, the two of us.  Sean’s been doing all the traditional Christmas stuff like:

Baking …

File Photo from 2013.  Too lazy to take baking pictures this year.

Tree-decorating …

And, of course, the time-honored rummaging-through-the-recycling-and-adorning-himself-with-an-empty-Costco-flat-of-Diet-Coke-and-wearing-it-like-a-straight-jacket …

He looked really cute, waddling around in the Coke box … like a tiny, drunken vending machine.  I couldn’t resist teasing him a bit, so I said, “Hey, Sean!  If I stick a quarter in your mouth, maybe a Diet Coke will fall out of your butt.”  That set him laughing, and Sean decided that he really liked the idea of being a vending machine.  But four-year-olds find candy far more alluring than soda pop, so he took his vending machine self in a different direction.

Sean plucked a bunch of candy canes off the Christmas tree and tucked them into his pants.  Then he waddled over to me and offered to sell me a tasty snack from his drawers.  It was kind of hideous and adorable all at the same time, and you know what?  It just kind of felt like a Teaching Moment.  So, I did the responsible mom thing.  I pulled a candy cane out of his “snack port,” and then we had a discussion.  It went something like this:

ME: Okay, Sean.  I’ll take a candy cane this time.  But in future you should know that people don’t want to eat something that’s been in or around somebody’s crotch.
SEAN: Why?
ME: Because they don’t want your giblets all over their food.  It’s gross.
SEAN: I don’t mind.
ME: And while are on the subject, you know that if a stranger ever comes up to you and offers you candy from his pants, you need to say “no.”  Right?
SEAN: Hmmmm …
ME: No “hmmmmm.”  No candy from strangers.  Ever.  And especially no pants candy!
SEAN: Well … if it was those yummy, colored candy canes that I love I would.
ME: No!  Not ANY kind of candy!  Sean, strangers luring kids with candy are creepy and dangerous, and you will NOT take candy from them!
SEAN: What I was going to say was that I would take the candy and THEN I would kick him in the crotch and run away with my candy cane!
ME: Buh … I … you … NO!!!

I have failed, everyone.  Failed.  My kid is going to end up eating Skittles in a pit.  I guess it’s time for yet another round of Stranger Danger training for Sean.  He seems to be a little bit fuzzy on a few points.  In the meantime I sure hope the mall Santa doesn’t offer Sean a candy cane.  Things could get ugly.

Time to Give Some Thanks and Regret Some Pie

Over the last two days, I’d say a fair estimation of my diet would be:

13% Items That Appear on the Food Pyramid and
87% Pie

I’m afraid I haven’t quite gotten the hang of making Thanksgiving Day dessert for a small gathering.  I grew up watching my mom make at least six different kinds of pie for our big holiday shindigs with the family, and it never occurred to me that anyone ever did any different.  At my first Christmas dinner with my husband’s family, though, I was stunned to see just one lowly, little pumpkin pie, sitting all alone and sad on the buffet table.  One pie?  One?  What was this witchery?  No, no; this would not do.

When Thanksgiving rolled around the next year, I came prepared.  I brought over an Apple Pie, a Cocoa Mousse Pie, and a 9 x 13 pan full of Sumptuous Layered Lemony Amazingness (which sounded much more exciting than “Layered Lemon Dessert” as it was called in the recipe book).  They were all very well received.  (If any diabetes ever surfaces in Peter’s family health history, it will be my fault.)  Any concern I had that my culinary gesture may have been an unwelcome one was pretty well quashed when Peter’s family members approached me one by one and asked me in hushed tones if I would bring dessert again for Christmas.  I had found my place.

This year Thanksgiving was at my house, and I got a little ambitious and made four pies for our tiny crowd.  I went with Apple (of course), Lemon Supreme, Pumpkin Chiffon, and a new one I had never made before, but was intrigued to try … Chocolate Chip Pie.  That last one was a total bummer though.  After looking over the recipe, I thought Chocolate Chip Pie was going to be like a warm chocolate chip cookie stuffed into a pie crust, but it turned out to be Pecan Pie in disguise.  I hate Pecan Pie.  But there’s something about Thanksgiving that makes one feel impervious to calories and want to celebrate everything in sight by eating it.  So, even though I had declared Chocolate Chip Pie to be totally gross and swore never to bake it again … guess what I’m eating RIGHT NOW.  Yep.  Chocolate Chip Pie … if for no other reason than that I could use a break from the other three.

I hadn’t anticipated having so many dessert leftovers still in my fridge after the big feast.  But one of Peter’s sisters and her husband ended up having to work on Thanksgiving, and his other sister had to cancel bringing her entire family, because her son was barfing with a temperature of a hundred-and-one.  Our numbers were so few that we didn’t even need to set up the extra table.  So, yeah, I made too much pie.

But this is the season of giving thanks, and I would be an ungrateful twit if I were to say, “Well, gee.  My life would be just grand if I just didn’t have so much pie!”  So, instead I’ll be a brainless twit and shovel fistfuls of pie into my face as I say, “This year I’m thankful that I managed to lose twenty-five pounds this summer!”  Yeah.  For real.  Twenty-five.  Hey, wait!  Oh, my gosh; taste how even more exquisite Lemon Supreme Pie is when you freeze it!  Twenty-four … twenty-three … twenty-two …