So much for ‘visions of sugarplums’ – here are seven recipes for holiday treats that will ‘dance in their heads’
The subject of sugar plums comes up often this time of year. Well, relatively often, anyway.
We don’t talk about them at all the rest of the year, so it’s curious that sugar plums (sometimes referred to as sugarplums, alloneword) figure prominently in two of the mainstays in the Christmas holiday canon. There’s the dancing fairy “queen of the sweets” in Tchaikowsky’s “Nutcracker” ballet (above), and we have the children’s fanciful thoughts in Clement Moore’s iconic poem, “A Visit From St. Nicholas” (which you probably know better as “The Night Before Christmas”). You remember the passage: “[T]he children were nestled all snug in their beds, while visions of sugar plums danced in their heads.”
Long winter’s nap? But the likelihood of you actually making or eating a sugarplum this holiday season is about as likely as your Ma to wear a kerchief (or your dad to wear a cap) for going to bed for a “long winter’s nap.”
Did you know…? Sugar plums are, in fact, not made of plums at all! They contain no plum-like substance, either. The sugar plum, also sometimes called a dragée or comfit, is a small candy made of layers upon layers of sugar, hardened around a central seed or kernel — kind of like an M&M, or perhaps, more closely, like a jawbreaker, but with an almond, or a caraway or cardamom seed in the middle. More