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. . . ARTICLES

Winter, 2000 - 2001

'Tis the Season to start your Holly
own
traditions!
by Lorraine Mercedes Picot R.N.C.P.

Does the thought of the approaching holidays leave you feeling more blue than jolly? At a time of year when even the most well-closeted chocoholics come out of hiding, an allergy to the sweet confection can torment or exasperate the most dedicated among us. Some of you may have a child whose allergies include sugar and chocolate. Visions of sugar-plums quickly morph into nightmares of you as Scrooge or the "food police".

How do you pass up the treats during the pre-holiday office feeding frenzy? Gracefully decline a gift of chocolates from a well-wishing boss or colleague? In short, how do you survive the holiday season with your nerves, your relationships, and most importantly, your health intact? If honesty doesn't feel like your best policy, recycling chocolate gifts has worked for me in the past (you've got to act quickly on this one!). As a last resort, spend your holiday at a resort (where meals are not included!). I've tried that one too but family members who stay behind can make you feel guiltier than a whole box of Laura Secord!

My bet is you'll feel a lot jollier if you spend a little time concocting a few home-made tasty treats to share with family, friends, and colleagues (copy the recipe and include with your samples).

Once you have settled the question of treats, pick out a few favourite recipes and plan your holiday menu. Here's your chance to start unique holiday traditions with your personal stamp on your choice of dishes. You may want to remember your ethnic origins, you may want to go completely eclectic or to honour Mother Nature. Allow for special "Feast Foods"; the occasion calls for them!

Bringing up a daughter in a vegetarian home meant that I had to find a creative and tasty alternative to the traditional Christmas turkey. Our traditional meal goes like this: a savoury Nut Roast (baked in a Bundt pan) surrounded with oven roasted vegetables; mushroom gravy; cranberry sauce; scalloped or sweet potatoes; and a fresh green salad. Dessert is a Polenta and Raisin Flan garnished with a spiral of fresh apple slices. We prepare sweet treats made from dried fruit and nuts and healthy sweeteners. These dishes are easily wheat-free, dairy-free, and sugar-free! Best of all, they can be assembled or prepared ahead of time, leaving you stress-free.

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