By Tanya Boyd (John’s wife, Tanya, is guest blogging today)
I don’t really remember how it got its name, but it stuck—Snack Alley. This is what we call the smorgasbord of delicious treats we make each Christmas season as a family.
I love baking. It’s one way that I show love toward others. To me, there’s no more wonderful way to express love than with a plate of good food. And, it is something that our family appreciates, particularly when it comes to the treats we make over the holidays. We even start cutting back on our food intake a few weeks before December in preparation, so we can have some freedom in how we eat at Christmastime.
So, what will you find in Snack Alley? We make fudges—White Chocolate, Maple and old-fashioned Caramel – Coconut Ice, Crispy Cracklets. Making the Coconut Marshmallow Puffs is dangerously tempting to me and Alana loves dipping our Marzipan covered cherries in chocolate. Stuart loves to pour hot toffee out on our granite countertop before sprinkling it with chocolate and toasted almonds—how satisfying to break up and package that Almond Roca. I am sure we make more Buckeyes than actually make it into tins and the Caramels are creamy and mouthwatering. Rainbow Marzipan Slices need two weeks to mature and the Hot Chocolate on a Stick is a delightful treat. Last year’s gift to friends was packets of homemade marshmallows. “You can make that?!” is what we heard over and over.
Ginger is one of the Boyd family’s favorite spices throughout the year, and we make sure that Ginger Shortbread, Gingerbread men and Ginger Snaps all make it to the Alley. Not to be forgotten, Mom Boyd’s Scottish shortbread and our beautiful pink and green cream peppermints are also a ”must.” It’s just a huge variety of treats!
I pile these delicious snacks up on boxes and tins and platters and plates and artfully arrange them in amongst the decorations—right next to the countdown-to-Christmas blackboard that Ashleigh is in charge of. Whenever we feel like a treat, it’s all right there. You can start at one end and go through the line and load up your plate. Snack alley is always open. It’s just our way of blessing people who come to our house during the Christmas season. How fun to be given a Christmas take-out box and instructed to fill it up!
However, more than anything, creating Snack Alley—with all the baking and preparation that goes into it—is about the fun and fellowship we have as a family in the process as well as keeping a tradition and making memories. We’re all about that.