Monday, December 12, 2011

Christmas Food

Around our house, I have a standing order for Pralines and my Peanut Brittle every Christmas. Our middle son will even bring over a bag of peanuts and request that I make the whole bag up into brittle just for him. I gave him a batch just this past weekend for his birthday.

Along with her story in A Biltmore Christmas, Rhonda Gibson includes recipes with each chapter. What do a pastry baker and a beekeeper have in common? Not much, especially when the baker is allergic to bees. Then Peggy gets involved with Joshua, the son of Mark the beekeeper. This young boy and his reading problem bring Mark and Peggy together, but the threat of death from a bee sting keeps her from opening her heart and life to love. What will it take for these two to find the lasting happiness and love that the two of them desire? This is the basis for Rhonda Gibson’s story, A Honey of a Christmas in the Christmas novella collection. An easy read with a few twists and turns makes this story a great one to read curled up in a chair with a cup of coffee, hot tea, or hot chocolate. Add one of the recipes Rhonda includes, and you have a very nice treat for Christmas.

Read below where Rhonda found the recipes and why they were included.
     The recipes I used in this book are from a collection of different books I used from the early 1800's, that I found listed on the web. Most of them came from this website: That's why some of them are hard to read/follow. I didn't try them all out, some I did but some I didn't try, such as Peggy's Sweet Sandwiches because I'm not sure how much "their weight in pounded sugar, butter, and flour" is. Since this recipe is from an 1861 cookbook, there is no way of finding out. But, the recipe sounded so good, I had to include it in the book. For readers, my understanding is that you can slice up angle food cake and use it in place of the actual bread in the Sweet Sandwich recipe.
     Why did I include the recipes? Well, that was easy, Peggy loved cooking and I figured why not share some of the pastries and dishes that she created. I hope the readers enjoy her recipes as much as I do. And to be honest, I was thrilled when my editor decided to allow me to include them. I feel like they give the readers a look into the past and how women cooked back then.

What is your favorite Christmas recipe? Do you have one that is requested or that it wouldn’t seem like Christmas if you don’t have some of whatever it is?

This is Round 4, so even if you’ve commented on the others, get another chance at the drawing on this post. Be sure to leave your email address so you can be contacted.


Janet Lee Barton said...

Great interview, Rhonda! I love old cookbooks! With my granddaughter's need to stay away from corn syrup, we've been going through some of them to see how we can make the things she loves without it.

Vickie McDonough said...

I've got to get a copy of this book.

We tend to have the same food each year at Christmas. My dad used to make scalloped corn, and since he died six years ago, we've only had it a few times. It's always special when we do and reminds me of him.

Diane Ashley said...

One of my favorite recipes is Pecan Pie Muffins. A representative I work for brought us some one year and included the recipe because he said we would want to make them for ourselves. He was so right. Only five ingredients and I always get rave reviews. Thanks for a fun interview. Have a Merry Christmas!

Jo said...

I love to make sweet potato casserole for Christmas. I enjoy going through old cookbooks from a long time ago and finding different recipes in them.


Rhonda Gibson said...

Hi everyone,

I always end up making No-Bake cookies. Tomorrow I have to bake lots because at my husband's cookie exchange party that is the only cookie they will accept from me. LOL

Thanks for stopping by Janet, Vickie and Diane!

Linda said...

It's got to be my candied sweet potatoes. It's not Christmas without them.

I used to collect recipe books til my hb thought I had enough. With this book, I can have a delightful (and truly dangerous) book and a recipe book in one.

desertrose5173 at gmail dot com

Marissa said...

I make a lot of goodies for Christmas, but I especially like the peppermint bark I make. Since I make a lot of stuff, it's not really requested.


Aaron McCarver said...

Hey Rhonda,
The recipes are a great touch to your story! I love historical details like these. They always add such depth and make the story seem more real to me. Great always!

Jackie Layton said...

One of my favorites is an apple casserole recipe. It has apples, velveeta cheese, sugar, flour, and it is delicious. I've already been asked to bring it to two homes for Christmas.
Broccoli casserole is another family favorite.
I love food and recipes added to a story.
Merry Christmas.

Janice said...

We must have fruit salad for Christmas. It has green from the kiwis and red from the strawberries so it looks like Christmas. It is made very special some years when we include star fruit which when sliced looks like yellow stars. Of course, we all know how the star figures into Christmas!


Martha W. Rogers said...

Thanks everyone for stopping by. Sounds like you all have great food for Christmas. I'd like the one for your apple casserole Jackie. Diane, I love pecan pie muffins too and I'd like to try some of your peppermint bark, Marissa.

Rhonda Gibson said...

I would love all the recipes posted here! It would be fun to include them on my webpage! If you want to share, send them to and I'll be sure and give you credit for your recipes on the site. Oh and put recipe in the subject line. Thanks everyone for stopping by! It has been fun reading about your Christmas favorites!!!! Warmly, Rhonda

Martha A. said...

I love old cookbooks too!!! That recipe sure sounds interesting!
We like to make homemade raviolis on Christmas and there is a special sausage filling with spinach in it for them from my great-grandmother who was born in Italy. We also do plain cheese ones and some good sauce that has simmered on the stove all day!

I like to make some yummy cookies too, to put in the freezer. I like gingersnaps the best!

Anonymous said...

You are something else, Rhonda. You go girl. My steadfast recipe was my grandmother's and mother's. Chicken and dressing. The trick is to cut up all your celery and green onions and add about 5 eggs and make your cornbread as usual, but bake all the above ingredients in your cornbread. Then all you have to do is mash the cornbread in the chicken broth. I add butter and a can of chicken soup. Make sure it's really moist and loose and bake for several hours (if a big pan) and it is delish!! Love you, Sylvia Barnes

Martha A. said...

Chicken and dressing sounds amazing!!! I love stuffing and I have not made a one dish chicken and stuffing in forever! Thanks for reminding me!

Rhonda Gibson said...

I agree Matha A. and I'm not a dressing fan :) but I do love chicken!

Thanks everyone for stopping by. I have enjoyed seeing all your favorite foods :)

misskallie2000 said...

My Red Velvet Cake is what everyone wants at Christmas. I do a lot of baking with my daughter and we give plates of goodies to friends and family. I usually make at least 2 Red Velvet Cakes along with Mississippi Mud, Marshmellow Fudge, different cookies and pretzel candy.

misskallie2000 at yahoo dot com

Bonnie Engstrom said...

My family has several special recipes. One is for my grandmother's Swedish meatballs; another is for our special wine cake; finally, my daughter's pumpkin gooey cake. But, they are so special we won't share them with anyone. Sorry.

Anne Payne said...

My mother always made a Peach Almond Cake and I have continued the tradition since her death in 2001. It is delicious and now serves as our birthday cake for Jesus :)