Holiday Baking with Wild Boars

Have things been left to the last minute?  Can the holidays be perfect without that special treat that your grandmother, mother, or aunt made every year?   There’s still time today and tomorrow to roll up your sleeves, cream the butter, chop the nuts, sift the flour, sling the cookie sheets into the oven and dust the perfectly browned beauties with confectioners’ sugar.  The more ambitious influencers among readers can make fondant in perfectly matched colors for the cut-out decorations.

Or does family tradition demand fruitcake or Christmas pudding instead of cookies?  The Wild Boars Boris, Horace, Morris, and Doris are here to show the way to a perfect bake—messy, sticky, gooey, chewy, and massive.  Have you met before the Wild Boars who are dirty smelly,  bad-tempered, and rude every day all day?  They figure if Paul Hollywood can be a star in the culinary firmament, there’s plenty of room for them.  Who needs steely blue eyes when you’re got tusks?First, it helps to be starving when you are deciding upon a recipe.Second, a recipe is a guide to creativity in the kitchen.  Feel free to improvise: if one cup of sugar is good, then ten are divine.  Maybe the pan can’t accommodate dozens of donuts or five hundred chocolate-covered chocolates, but you’ll never know until you try.Third, no concessions to health.  Broccoli in a dessert served up at the most wonderful time of the year is unthinkable.Fourth, make any last minute additions before stirring the batter with abandon.  Bananas are always appreciated, but squid will make your guests sit up and take notice.Fifth, plate it beautifully, so all your hard work can be admired by the diners.Sixth, it’s probably a waste of time to remind merry-makers of their manners.  Look the other way if everyone is chewing with open mouths, no one has napkins on laps, the biggest piece was not politely offered to the guest of honor, or a Labrador retriever could not have eaten the whole thing faster.Seven, repeat.Eight, leave the clean-up to someone else.Author Meg Rosoff, who says she is old and crabby, and illustrator Sophie Blackall, who pretends to be nicer than she looks, should be ashamed of themselves for creating such bad examples for children to imitate, I mean avoid, in their Meet Wild Boars (2005) and Wild Boars Cook (2008).  The least they could have done was given the real recipe for the massive pudding…


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