Season means return of Christmas food

By Grant McGee: Local Columnist

There seems to be free food everywhere at Christmas time.

Why just the other day at my “day job” tins of flavored popcorn and fudge magically appeared in the break room begging to be eaten. I’m sure there are more goodies on the way.

When I think of Christmas foods I think of eggnog, Swiss fondue and Quiche Lorraine.

The eggnog thing goes back to when I was a kid. I’m thinking of the non-alcoholic kind. When I grew up and someone handed me one of those punchbowl glasses full of egg nog laced with Southern Comfort I thought, “What a waste of perfectly good eggnog.”

My doctor would have a fit over my holiday eggnog consumption. When I have eggnog I pour a big glass of it, probably an easy 500 to 600 calories. It’s like liquid ice cream.

Swiss fondue is a chafing dish full of hot melted cheese. You take cubes of crusty bread, spear them with a fondue fork then dip into the hot cheese. I think the term “hot melted cheese” will serve to describe how good this stuff is.

In addition to making fondue every Christmas my mom made Quiche Lorraine, basically an egg and cheese pie with bits of bacon in it. Some people use ham or spinach.

I don’t care about that old phrase from a couple of decades ago: “Real men don’t eat quiche.” Go ahead, don’t have any. That just leaves more for me. Besides, it has hot melted cheese in it too.

There are cookies and candies to be made. The Lady of the House has been busy in this department. I’ve been watching her and have learned that it really is true that some candy recipes are temperamental. Her caramel messed up just a tad then the whole batch fell into a glob of useless high-calorie goo. I hear you have to be careful when making fudge too.

Folks will be planning on the main course for Christmas dinner. Will it be turkey (again)? Prime rib is getting a lot of attention these days. There’s ham, too.

When I was a kid my grandma would cook up a good ol’ Virginia ham and stir up some “redeye gravy;” a very thin gravy using the drippings, brown sugar and some coffee. She’d make a bunch of biscuits then urge us to “sop up” the gravy with the biscuits.

Driving away from my grandmother’s house my mother turned to me and said, “We won’t be using the words ‘sop up’ at our dinner table.”

There’ll be office dinners, there’ll be office party food. Just remember, don’t get raving drunk at the office party.

Some Christmas goodies come in decorative tins, an added benefit. If you’re in an office be sure to say, “I’ve got dibs on the popcorn tin in the break room.” Of course you may be embarrassed if the person who brought it says, “Why, I’m taking that home when it’s empty.”

I’d bet this thing of Christmas food everywhere goes back to our ancient roots: If we had food we shared to fatten each other up for the long winter.

So if you hear about me having heart problems you can say to your friends, “Well, he did like his hot melted cheese.”

Grant McGee hosts the weekday morning show on KTQM-FM in Clovis. Contact him at: