It's the Hap-Happiest Season of All

Welcome to the season of over-indulgence. Yesterday was the cookie exchange; this afternoon is another book signing at a cupcake store. Yikes. Lucky for me I discovered this Huffington Post article on foods you can eat to counteract overeating. I suspect the original title of "Chasers for the Three Boxes of Peppermint Jo-Jo's You Just Snarfed" was nixed as too accusatory...

Since a lot of our eating happens out-and-about in December, if you don't want to carry vials of the recommended orange juice or vinegar, then enjoy a glass of antioxidant-rich wine or follow the meal with some free-radical-minimizing fruit.

Speaking of sweet indulgences, the UrbanFarmJunkie is happy to report that our Market's own Autumn Martin of Hot Cakes won the Seattle Weekly Versus Challenge for Best Caramel Sauce! I knew there was a reason I would dip a spoon into that jar whenever I passed the fridge. In the off-season of the Bellevue Farmers Market, you can still enjoy Hot Cakes wares at the Ballard and U District markets.

If, however, you're one of the few people without a sweet tooth, the kind of person who sails through this season feeling increasingly smug, here's a line you can throw out at holiday parties: "Professor Jeya Henry of the Functional Foods Centre at Oxford Brooks University claims that 'the type of carbohydrates you consume is much more important than the type of fat you consume' when it comes to negative impact on your glycemic index." Then go back to eating off the cheese tray while your cohorts nibble their refined-flour cookies and cakes and peer gloomily into their diabetic futures. You may not make many friends, but the satisfaction will be immense.

Finally, as both a foodie and clutter-hater, I think food makes the best gifts. Not only thoughtful, tasty, and in good taste, but it leaves no trace behind! (Except for the "moment on the lips, lifetime on the hips" business.) No one will be riddled with guilt for throwing your present in the closet or Goodwill bag. No one will curse your name as they dig it out of the closet to hang on the wall before you come over. You will never experience the mortification of receiving it back from a forgetful re-gifter the following year. I myself have two cranberry loaves ready to go in the freezer, and I want to give some of these Martha Stewart food gift ideas a go. The drink mixes look fun! If you have a food gift idea to share, I'd love to hear it.