When I was a kid, my mom baked for the holidays. Mouth-watering cookies, candy, pies, and my all-time favorite, peanut butter roll, poured out of her oven in batches. Unfortunately, most of it, I couldn’t eat. We were poor and couldn’t afford to give lavish gifts, but my mom gave out her candy and cookies as presents to friends and relatives, then sold the rest to raise money for our gifts. She did put some away for when our family got together, but I had to share that. During the intense baking sessions, we kids had to be satisfied with licking the beaters which only whetted our appetite for more. Think of a child who brings home a bag of candy on Halloween only to be told, “You can have one piece.”
When I got older, my mom added another gustatory delight to our traditional celebrations: the Christmas slush. Mom alone knew the exact recipe, Some Mogan David Maddog 20/20 wine, fruit juice, and other secret ingredients. It was an icy blast, vitamin C with a kick. When my family gathered for Christmas, it took mere minutes before one of us would yell, “Where’s the Christmas slush?”
(I usually grabbed a piece of peanut butter roll first before it was all gone.)
Seven years ago, the weekend before Thanksgiving, my mom died. My three sisters carry on her legacy as best as they can. One of bakes mouth-watering cookies, and another has taken over the candy-baking roll. (No one in the family as yet has learned to bake peanut-butter roll even with recipes to follow.) My middle sister makes the Christmas slush, and even though it is scrumptious, whenever I drink it, I know there will always be something missing.