A Can of Cherries, a Bit of Brandy, and the Perfect Christmas Eve
For as long as I can remember, I have always loved Christmas Eve. To me, it is the most magical moment of the whole holiday season. The house is twinkling, the tree is sparkling, and there just seems to be excitement, wonder, and love in the air. I cherish the way that this night seems to bring peace and tranquility, a stillness to the world, which is not seen often throughout the year. It is just one of those nights that you truly believe you can hear the angels sing. It is Christmas Eve which holds my most dear and beloved of holiday traditions.
The traditions of this glorious night always involved my Grandma. Even as I write this, I can still picture her sitting in the rocking chair by the window in her warm, red turtle neck sweater, with a cup of tea and smile on her face, clearly loving her family and being loved by them in return. Although she has passed, I cannot help but think of her when I think of Christmas Eve. These traditions are her and to me they are Christmas. I have many traditions of this night of which I could write, such as the unwrapping of one present from my Grandma, always an ornament, or the opening of the box from our friends in Germany, but it is the Christmas Eve dessert which holds a very special place in my heart.
My Grandma was English through and through and so is our Christmas Eve dessert, Cherries Jubilee. Cherries Jubilee was first made to celebrate Queen Victoria's jubilee celebrations in the late 1800s. It is a delicious and decadent dessert that will forever be a part of my Christmas Eve. I am sure that each year, when it is lit on fire (yes, that's right) I will forever hear my Grandma going "ooo!" How could I not? That was part of the tradition after all :)
Well, I hope you enjoy my very easy recipe for Cherrie's Jubilee and that you have a blessed Christmas Eve filled with family, love, peace, joy, and a little bit of holiday magic.
Ingredients: canned bing cherry pie filling (you could make the cherries from scratch but this is what makes it so wonderful!), brandy, vanilla ice cream
1. Pour the canned cherries into a pot. Heat the cherries on the stove, stirring occasionally.
2. Transfer the cherries into a bowl.
3. In front of your guests, pour a good amount of brandy onto the cherries. (Remember, it needs to catch on fire!)
4. Using a match or lighter, set the cherries and brandy on fire.
5. "Oooo" and "Ahh" while the blue flames dance around the bowl (not necessary but very Grandmaesque)
6. Serve cherries on vanilla ice cream and enjoy!
*For a truly English treat, drink a nice cup of tea with a splash of brandy while enjoying your Cherries Jubilee!