Listening to every heart
The Early Christmas Gift
I have an exquisite little gift,
and I gift it here to you,
for I thought they were a dream
but they're a dream come true.
From an old, old Christmas story
of delightful dancing sugar plums,
now here, get ready for it,
and unwrap it as it comes.
From the very far Old East
as a traveler's ancient feast,
for you need some pitted dates
or this story won't be so great.
From yon groves take almonds
shell and roast them just so,
and from the bees take honey
as your father told you so.
Grate and dry some orange delight
and take your spices ground
from summer harvest take apricot
dried to perfection, sweet, round.
Once it's all together, stir and mix
then take within your hands all full
forming little balls of sweet delight
then roll in powered sugar all.
Cool in the coolest of places
each tender little sweetmeat piece
and in your Christmas graces
may sugar plums gift you, please.
28 November 1999
[Take ¼ c. honey, blend with 2 tsp. grated orange peel, 1 ½ t. ground cinnamon, ½ t. ground allspice, ½ t. grated nutmeg. Set aside. Place in large mixing bowl two cups shelled, almonds that have been roasted in 400 F. oven 10 minutes, cooled, chopped fine. Chop fine one cup each dried pitted dates and dried apricots. Mix in honey w/spices, mix. Take a teaspoon to help form small balls, roll in one cup of confectioner's sugar, set on tray. Sugar Plums may be stored in layers on wax paper and in air tight container in refrigerator, and will keep up to one month, if not devoured by friends and relatives.]
Look, then, into thine heart, and write ~~~ Henry Wadsworth Longfellow