Every year, as the calendar turns to January, a sort of dull and let down feeling comes over me.
It’s not that I’m not optimistic about the New Year or excited about the prospects of spring. I guess I just feel sad when Christmas is over.
Last night I had to explain to my daughter—when she asked when Santa is coming back—that it will be a year before its Christmas again. Since she’s only 4, she doesn’t understand time very well, so she asked me if a year was longer than next Thursday.
I sadly had to tell my rosy-cheeked little girl: “Yes, a year is much longer than next Thursday.”
Maybe I should have cushioned the blow a little and said Christmas was a month away instead of a year.
During September, October and November, there is such a big build up to Christmas. Every month there are new decorations to put around the house, holiday baking to do and endless amounts of shopping to get done. It’s hard to feel the same about January, February and March. The days are dark, cold and gray.
And when it comes to shopping—well you can usually find me in frantic de-cluttering mode screaming around my house, “Who in their right mind invented Polly Pockets?”
As far as baking goes—well there’s no need for any more cookies or cakes in my house in January. I typically have my lovely 5-10-pound Christmas present wrapped around my mid-section like a warm blanket to remind me of the holidays. Maybe that’s what people mean when they say: “Christmas is all around you.”
It’s hard to get back into the groove of things in January. I have the habit of letting things slide over the holidays. I stay up too late, spend too much money, eat too much and I maybe have one too many Tom & Jerry’s sitting by the fireplace watching It’s a Wonderful Life.
Then January hits and it’s time to switch gears and suddenly a Hot Toddy on a Tuesday doesn’t sound like such a good idea… I know that I’ll adjust and move forward into 2012 and I know that before I know it Christmas will be here again—I guess that’s why I’m the grown up.
Here’s my favorite Christmas Day and New Year’s Day recipe. I think it’s good anytime of the year as long as you can find Panettone. Panettone is a traditional Italian Christmas cake/bread—you can find it at Trader Joe’s or specialty bakeries. Typically, you can only find Panettone bread during the holidays but if someone gave you a fruitcake for Christmas and you have no idea what to do with it, use it instead of the Panettone. It will taste just as good. Serve with a mimosa… no never mind that.
Panettone French Toast
- 1 Panettone Bread
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 ½ cup whole milk
- Powdered sugar
Directions: Depending on how the Panettone bread comes from the bakery or store—if it’s round like a cake, just cut it in half and then quarters.
Slice each quarter so it is 3/4 to an inch thick. Mix together the eggs, vanilla and milk with a fork so it is a light yellow color. Preheat a nonstick frying pan. Spray with nonstick cooking spray—lightly.
Dip one slice of the Panettone (on each side) into the egg mixture and place in the frying pan. Make sure not to completely dunk the Panettone into the egg mixture, just dip it and coat it with the egg mixture.
Using a low heat, fry each piece of Panettone to a golden brown color. Flip it over and fry the other side. Dust with powdered sugar. Serve with butter and warm maple syrup.
Check out Katie’s blog at www.dinnertime.typepad.com.