Winter Solstice 2009: December 21, 12:47 PM Eastern time
Do you even notice the solstice? Does this time of year make you sleepy and sad, or full of energy and good cheer? Where will you be on the longest night of the year?
For some, this time of year brings decreased energy and sadness, while others pull their collars up and soldier on. Some don't notice it one way or the other, and some rail against the darkness with bright festive parties, extra twinkle lights and gaily wrapped packages.
So far this year I seem to be a combination of the soldier and the giddy party girl. Still, it's important for me not to lose sight of the request to slow down, rest, deepen, and listen carefully to the teachings of silence, stillness. I plan on spending solstice at home, alone, with a warm toddy and, as a nod to the party girl, a few strings of twinkle lights that never fail to lift my spirits.
Then, on the following day, it's back to work in the holiday kitchen. This year I'm feeling somewhat overwhelmed and my response is to get a little goofy. So I've decided to pull out an old favorite side dish from the 60's that involves fresh cranberries, miniature marshmallows and a can of crushed pineapple.
serves 6 to 8
2 cups raw cranberries, ground in a food processor or chopped very finely 1 cup white sugar 1 pint heavy whipping cream 6 cups miniature marshmallows 1 can crushed pineapple, drained
Combine the ground cranberries and sugar in a bowl. In another bowl, whip the cream and stir in the miniature marshmallows. Let both mixtures sit in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours and then fold the cranberry mixture into the whipped cream. Then gently fold in the crushed pineapple and spoon the mixture into your serving dish. Cover with plastic wrap and let set for several hours (or overnight) in the refrigerator.
My mom used to grind the cranberries in an old hand-cranked meat grinder (this was before Cuisinart!)