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Christmas morning comes a-calling

(With apologies to Clement Clarke Moore . . .)

A Visit from St. Nicholas

'Twas the morning of Christmas, and all through our house,

Every creature was nibbling, there was nothing left for a mouse.

The stockings were yanked from the chimney, now bare,

'Cause I'm telling y'all, there were some good treats in there!

The children were all wrestling to be the first fed,

With visions of "cookies for breakfast!" they said.

And Momma sipping coffee, with some Kahlua splashed in Pap's,

They both had pipe dreams of later taking much-needed naps.

When out on the porch there arose such a clatter,

It was the family en masse, their hearts all pitter-patter . . .

For the spread we all knew would be gone in a dash,

As they tore open the plastic wrap and kick-started our bash.

There were biscuits and muffins and pies made from fresh dough,

With glistening candies - low in calories? Heck no!

When what to my salivating tongue did appear,

But a platter of sausage balls made by my mother dear.

With a comforting warm center and a spicy little kick,

I knew in a moment I'd better grab a few quick!

More rapid than eagles the family all came,

As they jockeyed for position and refused to be tame.

"What's that?" pointed Sis, trying to divert my attention,

But little did she know there were more in the kitchen.

So I raided that stash and strolled down the hall,

To the living room, where the kids were sure having a ball . . .

Opening the abundance of presents we all did buy,

Resulting in credit card bills that will be shockingly high.

So back to the Kahlua, this storyteller flew,

For a cup full of Christmas joy to help forget about bills due.

And then, in an instant, I heard someone hoof,

Quickly back to the table, where appearing in a poof . . .

Was a pitcher full of eggnog, so creamy we found,

That we picked it up quickly and passed it around.

With a drizzle of Cognac and some cinnamon to boot,

It cured the Christmas crazies, made our morning a hoot.

So we munched a bit more, launched a big snack attack,

Enjoying crackers and cheese and anything else we could pack.

Alas, our eyes were much bigger than our bellies - very!

But stuffed and happy, there was no shortage of merry.

So back to the living room we decided to go,

Circling the fireplace and dreaming of snow.

There was music and gifts and many laughs shared,

As we reveled in showing how much we all cared.

But that didn't last long, when tempted were we,

To dig into more brownies and fudge - tasty!

And chocolates and nuts and fruit tarts galore,

I couldn't stop saying, "Maybe just one bite more."

But diets are for the new year - You hear me? All right!

So Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good bite!

* * *

Speaking of good bites, we were at a Christmas party with friends Sunday night where one of the guests put a very classy spin on the ol' cheese ball.

Instead of rolling them in minced herbs, cracker crumbs or crushed nuts, Samantha Smith of Kanawha City covered hers with ingredients to make them look like fruit.

The cheese ball was a blend of cream cheese, bleu cheese, chives and Worcestershire sauce. Then she formed one into the shape of an apple, which she coated in red smoked paprika, and the other she made look like a pear with a coating of Parmesan cheese tinted with yellow food coloring.

The stems were cinnamon sticks with bay leaves attached.

The results were so creative and stunning that no one wanted to be the first to cut into them. That didn't last long, though, because the taste was a big hit as well.

So stealing this idea!

Steven Keith writes a weekly food column for the Daily Mail. He can be reached at 304-348-1721 or by email at dailymailfoodguy@aol.com. You can also follow him on Facebook and Pinterest as "DailyMail FoodGuy," on Twitter as "DMFoodGuy" or read his blog at http://blogs.dailymail.com/foodguy.


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