I am a bit of a Grinch. The season usually does not appeal to me and I’ve spent numerous holiday seasons grumbling about Christmas music, television commercials, red everywhere and family gatherings. My friend Nicole, who is a slave to the season, has tried to convert me while we were living in Taiwan and came pretty close in 2005. Since then I spent one Christmas in warm and sunny Hoedspruit and another in hot and polluted Bangkok, so I did not see any reason to celebrate.

This year, however, is different. I am spending Christmas in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Outside it is all wintry and freezing cold. There is the promise of a little snow. We drink warm drinks and dress up snuggly. All the colors of Christmas seem right. Alexander loves Christmas, so I am trying to get into the spirit. A little reluctantly, but it’s coming on. To help me get into the spirit, Alexander suggested we attempt a variety of Christmas baking and cooking. Smart Alexander.

Friday evening we had dinner at his sister’s and they decided we were going to make peppermint bark. Something I’ve never heard of before but it sounded good. I started off assisting in the process, unwrapping candy canes, but got distracted by X’s fourteen month old niece, so the first of our Christmas-cooking was done by Alexander and his sister. This recipe belongs to the two of them.

To make peppermint bark you need to pick up:

1 pound white chocolate for baking (get good quality white chocolate!)

12 candy canes

The process:

Crush the candy canes into small pieces, about a 1/4 inch. Cut the chocolate into chunks and melt in a double boiler. Turn off the heat and stir in most of the candy cane bits, reserving some for decorating. Pour the chocolate mix onto a baking sheet lined with wax paper. Sprinkle the rest of the candy cane on top and refrigerate for about 40-50 minutes until set. When it’s all set, crack it into pieces and serve. Heaven!

We enjoyed several pieces each and had a hard time restraining ourselves not to eat all of it in one go. And I am already getting more excited about Christmas, thinking of other things to make. Yes, my Grinch-heart is slowly warming to Christmas. If only someone could get the stores to stop playing Winter Wonderland.