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Little Christmas

 

A casual conversation with dad over the phone, reminded me how we used to celebrate Christmas as kids. A decade back and more, I never thought I would miss our little Christmas. Never realized that these blessings were limited. Probably, because, this was our routine then. Every Christmas. Until we passed school.

Carol participation, School function, card competition, Bulletin board and Christmas tree decoration and gifts formed the bulk of activities leading to Christmas and Holiday season. Wrapped in mufflers and red cardigans on a crisp and cool Christmas morning, we 3 sisters used to visit Sisters at School and Chapel to offer wishes and gifts. We were always greeted with open hearts, pound cake, and chocolates. And at home, mom played Santa to us. We used to be thrilled to find melody chocolate, orange candies, nuts and early pocket money stuffed into our socks. Aah, those were the golden days.

Time and space may have changed today. But all it takes is a string of Christmas Polka, Rudolph the Red-nosed reindeer, Jingle Bells, among other carols to teleport me to my School auditorium, dressed in white-blue uniforms and singing my favorite Mistletoe and Wine by Cliff Richard. It was such a sheer pleasure to sing at the top of our voices as a group. The words go like this.

The child is a King, the Carolers sing,
The old has passed, there’s a new beginning.
Dreams of Santa, dreams of snow,
Fingers numb, faces aglow.

Christmas time, Mistletoe and Wine
Children singing Christmas rhyme
With logs on the fire and gifts on the tree
A time to rejoice in the good that we see.

A time for living, a time for believing
A time for trusting, not deceiving,
Love and laughter and joy ever after,
Ours for the taking, just follow the master.

Christmas time, Mistletoe and Wine
Children singing Christmas rhyme
With logs on the fire and gifts on the tree
A time to rejoice in the good that we see.

For me, Christmas is a Universal Celebration. It unites families in the art of awarding each other in small big ways and especially in the form of companionship. A perfect opportunity to unwind, relax, leisure, discover our capacities, capabilities and creativities. It’s the time of giving and getting, forgiving and forgetting. I may not attach religious significance to Christmas but it’s my time to slow down, retrospect, and To Give a little love and get a little love of my own.

This season I decided to spread holiday love by making homemade chocolate truffles (filled with dry fruits) and handmade Embroidered gift boxes. Special thanks to online help on Truffle guide and Etsy’s How-Tuesday-Blog for the phenomenal inspiration. Just a perfect little way to gain some weight and spread DIY happiness!! And before it’s time for New Year resolutions, I want to thank all of you for visiting phulka time and again. 2012 has been a year of discovery, surprises and achievement – better than I ever thought. And your tremendous support has been a source of constant encouragement. Thank you once again and Wish you all the Season’s Greetings and a Healthy and Prosperous 2013.

Embroidered Gift Boxes


 

Seedless dates

 


Dry fry dates and pistachios

 

Grind date pista mix into powder

 

Melt chocolate with heavy cream

 

Add ground mix into warm Chocolate

 

Coat hardened Chocolate into Truffle using Cocoa

 

  • Preparation Time: 0 min
  • Cooking Time: 10 min
  • Cooling Time: 4 hrs
  • Recipe Level:  Easy
  • Serves 15
  • Source: Google
  • Cuisine: Confectionery
Ingredients:
  • 400 gm Chocolate Bake bars (Ghirardelli, Hershey’s, or others)
  • 120 ml heavy whipping cream
  • ½ stick unsalted cream butter
  • 1 cup of seedless dates
  • ¼ cup of pistachios
  • Cocoa powder or sprinkles (optional)
Method:
  • In a small pan, add 1 spoon of butter, dates and pistachios.
  • Dry fry until the dates swell up and pistachios turn a bit brown. Turn off heat.
  • Grind the date and pistachios mix in a food processor until a powdery mix is obtained. Keep aside.
  • In a microwavable bowl, add Chocolate bars and microwave for 30-60 s. I used Semi-sweet as I like them sweet in contrast to bitter ones.
  • In a separate pan, add remaining butter, cream, and microwaved chocolate and heat it on slow burner for 4 – 5 min.
  • Add ground date and pista mix. Stir well. Turn off heat.
  • After chocolate truffle mix cools to room temperate, refrigerate it for 4 hrs until the mix hardens.
  • Scoop out the truffle balls using a melon baller. Optionally roll warm truffles into cocoa powder or sprinkles to give a desired finish. And then refrigerate.
Package Chocolate Truffles in colored foil to gift

 

Mad Notes:
  • Low heat dry fruits before grinding.
  • Optionally, you can use resins, almonds and cashews.
  • Use 70% cocoa bars if you prefer Chocolate on bitter side.
  • Refrigerate long enough so that Chocolate hardens..
  • Roll warm chocolate balls in bag of cocoa or sprinkles to get a clean finish.
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