Monday, December 11, 2006

Sleigh Bells Ring

Every year I buy a children’s Christmas book – usually a classic or one that’s a favorite of mine. It must have beautiful illustrations. Last year I bought The Polar Express. I had never read it, and in fact didn’t read it then, nor have I seen the movie. But it was an award winner and the illustrations met my criteria. On Saturday night the movie was on TV, so I decided that I would watch it, but first I needed to read the book. This took only a few minutes and I was a bit disappointed. Then I realized it was a Caldecott winner, which meant that it was just a picture book really, but still it wasn’t what I’d expected and I couldn’t see how they made a movie about it. The ending was nice though. So I sat down to watch and was instantly entranced. This is a wonderful movie and it kept the ending – that only those who really believed could hear Santa’s sleigh bell. The magic of Christmas has always pulled at me. I believe, as *Frank Church did, that there really is a Santa Claus. Oh, not the jolly man who comes down the chimney on Christmas Eve, but the spirit of the season. That Santa is in all of us, the magic and wonder. If you haven’t seen The Polar Express, you need to.



As an extra, here’s my fudge recipe:

Three-Minute Fudge

2/3 cup evaporated milk
1 2/3 cups sugar
½ teaspoon salt (I don’t use this)
2 cups miniature marshmallows, or 16 large marshmallows, cut into fourths
1 ½ packages (6 ounces each) semisweet chocolate chips (about 1 ½ cups)
1 teaspoon vanilla
½ cup chopped nuts (I don’t add these either)

Mix milk, sugar and salt in 2-quart saucepan. Heat to boiling over low heat. Boil and stir 3 minutes or until candy thermometer registers 225 degrees. Remove from heat; add marshmallows, chocolate chips, vanilla and nuts, stirring until marshmallows and chocolate are melted. Pour into buttered square pan, 9x9x2 inches. Refrigerate until firm. Cut into about 1 ½ -inch squares.

I also use this with peanut butter chips instead of chocolate.


* Yes Virginia, There is a Santa Claus

27 comments:

Brandy said...

My kids haven't asked me the dreaded question yet, and I wish I could keep it from being asked. Like you, I believe in the magic of Santa. Whether he is a jolly older man from the North Pole, or a Saint persecuted and then freed in the Roman era. He is in all of us, just a bit, and it's a wonderous time of year because of it.

My kids adore the Polar Express movie and I have to admit it is wonderful.

Tori Lennox said...

I saw The Polar Express for the first time this past week and I absolutely loved it! Now I want the DVD. :)

Susan said...

I watched 'The Polar Express' last week too. It was a wonderful movie.

Your fudge recipe sounds delicious! I love the idea of peanut butter chips, especially since I don't like chocolate.

Jill said...

We read that book every year (or look at the pictures) but now we have the movie too. It's really special.

Melissa Marsh said...

I bought a children's Christmas book just last weekend - it's called MacDuff's Christmas by Rosemary Wells. I want to collect all the MacDuff books, too. :-)

Melissa Marsh said...

I bought a children's Christmas book just last weekend - it's called MacDuff's Christmas by Rosemary Wells. I want to collect all the MacDuff books, too. :-)

Meretta said...

We took the kids to the Polar Express when it first came out. Once I got over the different animation, I quite liked it. Definitely I loved the story.

I'm still waiting for my children to ask and I believe, too that it's the spirit of Christmas that makes Santa, not the legend of the man in the red suit.

Siobhan said...

I can see the spirit of Santa is alive in you, Bailey and in all who post comments here. It's about sharing and caring, isn't it? I can remember being devastated when I was told the truth about Santa. I wished my parents had kept the pretence going a bit longer. I haven't seen The Polar Express yet. It was on at the local IMAX in 3D and I missed it. Hopefull it'll be on TV soon. Your recipe looks delicious. I've copied and pasted it for future reference. Take care!

Daisy Dexter Dobbs said...

We saw the movie last year and thought it was a truly charming story. Your fudge recipe sounds yummy--I’m thinking half chocolate and half peanut butter. Mmmm!

I’ve been catching up on your posts, Bailey. My sincere condolences on the loss of your uncle.

Rene said...

You know how many times I've seen "Polar Express?" WAY TOO MANY. A little Tom Hanks goes a long way. I loved it the first time I saw it. But when your kids are still watching it into March, it gets a little old.

My son finally figured out that Santa doesn't bring the presents but the two girls still believe.

Brandy said...

Melissa, you like the MacDuff books? They are so cute. My Son loves Max from Max and Ruby.

Bailey, Santa has been whispering in my ear. I know a suprise.

catslady said...

I loved that movie when I saw it last year.

I met this lady at a kids Christmas party yesterday and she told me that her 5 year old was told by a classmate that there wasn't a Santa and parents bought the presents. Every parent knows it's going to come up sometime. This is what they told her: Oh, she must be another religion, like Jewish, and they do things differently!!!!! OMG I couldn't believe she said that - Is it me????? for one thing Santa has nothing to do with religion and in my opinion she was teaching her daughter that people of other religions are different and "wrong." Or am I overly sensitive??? I more or less told her I didn't think that was a good answer and that I aways said something like "as long as you believe there is a santa." Basically what you said, Bailey.

Dennie McDonald said...

fudge - ooh... I'll be over to get some...kidding kidding.... or am I?!?!

Brandy said...

That DOES look like a yummy recipe!

Marty said...

The same year that I discovered my uncle was inside the Santa suit was the same year I realized that my dad stayed up until midnight every night making a dollhouse for me. I knew who the *real* Santa was then.

Bailey Stewart said...

Fighting another sinus infection, so I've been resting/sleeping on and off today. No baking, but I do have one batch of the fudge ready Dennie.

I can't decide whether tomorrow's recipe will be turtles or Peanut Butter Blossoms. Hmmmm, what do you think?

Bailey Stewart said...

Oh, and Rene - I was that way with Beauty and the Beast when I used to take care of my nephew. It's only been in the last couple of years that I can watch it again with pleasure.

Lis said...

Hope your feeling better :o)
I'm so going to try that fudge recipe this week, just need to pick up the evaporated milk *g*
I haven't seen the polar bear express. I've seen the ads for it on tv being on but haven't actually caught any of it. Will have to see it. I like the animated Christmas movies.

Dru said...

I believe in the spirit of Christmas and during this holiday season, it's always good to see smiles on everyone's face. I find that people are generally happier during this time.

I also saw The Polar Express and enjoyed it.

Bailey, I hope you feel better.

-Dru Ann*

ruby55 said...

I guess I don't get too wrapped up in Christmas these days, though I am looking for my little tree.

By German custom, I always think more about the Christchild "Christkind" than Sankt Nickolaus. Realistically speaking Christ was born around Easter rather than in winter. But it is a spirit of giving of whatever kind that we experience at Christmas whether we look at it as God giving His son or a saint's persecution which have evolved into a jolly old man who brings gifts to "good" boys and girls. If it is propagated in this fashion, I think that every child needs to be honored with gifts whether it be good or bad. What kind of message does it send to any poor child who gets no gift at all. This is where the big inequity comes in. At some point the child will live up to its name of "not being good enough". Sorry, I know I'm waxing philosophical here. But I think it is true. Most children will live either up or down to expectations. That's why love is so important to each one of us.

I had an old Golden Book that had a great fudge recipe that you made with something like Philadelphia Cheese. It was always great as well as simple to make. For me, cooking has to be simple. I got stuck at a child's level in the cooking department. LOL. Too bad that book's gone. Sniff.

Brandy said...

I VOTE TURTLES!! I lurve turtles!
Sorry you aren't feeling well. I hope the rest today has helped.

Carol said...

Your fudge recipe does sound delicious! I love chocolate!

Bailey Stewart said...

Sorry Brandy - it'll be Peanut Butter Blossoms tomorrow, caramel turtles on Wednesday.

I'm going to crawl back into bed and watch Monday Night football.

bebo said...

Well, I for one know 1st hand that you carry the spirit of Christmas with you all year. You have a generous spirit that has come to my rescue on more than one occassion, and I could not begin to thank you for that.

I still haven't seen Polar Express, but The Santa Clause - now that I can quote all day long!

Deana said...

I haven't seen the movie but everyone seems to really like it! Thanks for the fudge recipe....that will be a nice new Christmas treat to try!

Brandy said...

Awww, darnit! Peanut Butter blossoms? Anyway.......get t feeling better soon!!!!

susie said...

I've seen the movie and really enjoyed it.