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Christmas Cooking for Those Who Can't Cook

Posted by Christy / December 19, 2006

charliebrownchristmastree.jpgSix days before Christmas, the city's mired in pre-Apocalyptic environmental dread from the ominous lack of snow, and there's you slurping tepid ramen in a bare apartment with not so much as a Christmas tree. And let's face it, if you don't have a Christmas tree, (or if you bought this Charlie Brown marketing nightmare from Urban Outfitters), you barely qualify as a human being.

But that's okay! You may have failed as an autonomous adult in all other ways, but Midnight Poutine is here to the rescue, because if anything says "I'M A GROWN UP AND I DO WHAT I WANT, MOM," it's Christmas candy! Yes, even you can make these toffee chunks, even if the only cooking supplies you have in the house are your ramen pot and the roll of aluminum foil you use to cook your heroin. All it takes is 15 minutes and a two stop shopping trip to the hidden jewels of cheap food in the heart of the Plateau.

Plus! Behind the cut we'll also show you how you can make your whole apartment smell like Christmas with a two minute investment and a dollar's worth of produce. Because that's what love is.

Alright, grab your forgotten canvas bag so you can dodge the hippie-guilt, and take these two shopping lists. This is everything you'll need for cracker toffee and a mouth-watering air freshener.

At Frenco, that health food shop across from Champ's Sports Bar:

A cup of the smallest walnut pieces.
A little more than a cup of the little chocolate chips. Note: NOT CAROB. Bleagh!
Eight whole cloves.
Two cinnamon sticks.
Half a cup of brown sugar..


At Segal: the Portuguese market two shops up where everything smells vaguely of salted carp and elderly people who KNOW THEM SOME DISCOUNT GROCERY SHOPPING:
One $.49 thing of Lady Sarah's Petit B Biscuits.
A small bar of butter. Half a cup is all you'll need.
An orange.

First, the Cracker Toffee.

* Take all that stuff home, preheat your oven to 375 degrees, and lay out your tin foil in a 9x13 casserole dish. If you don't have a casserole dish, you should get one because soon you'll be a boring adult whose biggest thrill is the church potluck, and you might as well embrace it now while it might possibly still come off as irony. But if you're stubborn, just pull out a 20 inch piece of aluminum foil and roll up the edges to make a makeshift baking platform. Spray it down with Pam if you have it, or grease it up with the end of your stick of butter. Lay out your Petit B biscuits in a single layer in your pan.

* Grab your ramen pot and dump in your half cup of butter with your half cup of brown sugar. Melt it down over medium high heat, stirring constantly. When it's completely melted, turn your heat to high and let it boil WITHOUT STIRRING for three long, mouth-watering minutes. This will give your mixture a perfect carmel/toffee flavor. At three minutes, IMMEDIATELY dump the mixture out over your biscuits, spreading it evenly with the back of a spoon. Make sure you fill your pot with water right away, to make it easier to clean when you do the dishes sometime next month.

* Put your pan in the pre-heated oven for 5 minutes. This will let the mixture soak into the cookies. After 5 minutes, pull it out and immediately sprinkle on the chocolate chips. When they get a little melty, spread them around over all the cookies with the back of a spoon, making a thick goopy chocolate layer. Sprinkle your walnuts on top, and press them in slightly with your hand to make them stick.

Refrigerate for 2 hours. Break into pieces and make your roommates cry for mercy.

For the Air Freshener:

Now, if you're feeling ambitious, wipe out your ramen pan again, and fill it two thirds of the way with hot water. Dump in your cloves and cinnamon sticks. Peel your orange and toss the peel in as well. Set it to boil and then reduce to simmer for a half an hour. Your house will smell amazing and everyone will forget you haven't cleaned the bathroom this year, which, when you get down to it, is what adulthood is all about. Merry Christmas.



Omar / December 19, 2006 at 04:57 pm
I got to admit, I kind of like the charlie brown tree...I might buy that...I like charlie brown...

Christy / December 19, 2006 at 07:53 pm
No, Omar! Nooooooo! You must resist! They MARKET it for it's patheticness. It's EEEEEEVIL.

Go to Value Village and pick up someone else's used one, then hack off a few branches and staple tiny stuffed animals to the branches. There. Patheticness for real. Without the desecration of a cherished childhood memory.
Matthew / December 20, 2006 at 07:07 pm
Value Village sells used real Christmas trees? That would be amusing, messy, dead, and disturbing.
Christy / December 21, 2006 at 08:44 am
Mostly it's just the patheticness that's real.

Evelyne / December 26, 2006 at 12:59 pm
I had that candy last week while Christy semi-monologued on the importance of a bona fide Christmas tree. I still nod.
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