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The season to indulge

Roxanna Thompson
Northern News Services

Fort Simpson (Dec 23/05) - There's something about the Christmas season that calls for over indulgence in food.

It's the time of year when special recipes are made and huge feasts cover tables. Many people have at least one favourite dish that makes their mouth water.

NNSL Photo/graphic

Pat Switzer holds up some of her sweet potatoes that she brought to the Pentecostal church's Christmas dinner. - Roxanna Thompson/NNSL photo

When making the Christmas meal there is always the timeless debate of turkey versus ham.

Turkey and stuffing is the only way to go according to nine-year-old Matthew Sanspariel. Stuffing is also Margo Wrigley's favourite.

"All the other stuff you can have all the time, but stuffing is only once in awhile," Wrigley said.

Kaley Hillaby, 11, is on the other side of the debate. Her family cooks both meats, but she likes ham and mashed potatoes. Her brother has different tastes.

"Sweet potatoes, those are awesome," said Kirk Hillaby.

He was in luck at the Pentecostal church's Christmas dinner where Pat Switzer had brought a batch of sweet potatoes, one of her favourite Christmas dishes.

Switzer throws herself into preparing food for Christmas. Before the season is over Switzer will use around 20 pounds of butter.

Baking accounts for most of the consumption.

Her recipe for shortbread cookies requires a pound and she's already on her third batch.

"I love to cook," Switzer said with a smile.

Some Christmas foods become favourites because they bring back childhood memories.

Rice pilau is what Deborah Stipdonk looks forward to when her extended family gets together.

"That was always our special food growing up and I still like it," said Stipdonk.

Her father was raised in India and that's how she got a taste for the Indian celebratory dish. Made from rice cooked with cardamom seed, pickling spices and cinnamon, it is great for using up leftovers, Stipdonk said, because you can add turkey meat and broth.

Poppyseed kuchen brings back memories for Sharon Herring.

"It was one of my favourites as a child," said Herring

She explains the desert is a cross between a coffee cake and a cinnamon roll and it hails from Germany where her father was raised.

Unfortunately she hasn't had poppyseed kuchen for years, but she's developed a new favourite - pumpkin pie.

"I mean I love the turkey and I love the ham, but I love pumpkin pie," she said. "I can eat pumpkin pie all the time."