Friday, December 21, 2007

Christmas Card Guilt and Ghosts

The Christmas cards have been rolling trickling in. We make a Christmas card tree on the wall every year so that we can actually look at them every day and enjoy them.

I opened one from Hubbies colleague yesterday, and I am in a dilemma. Sadly, our friend's mother passed away this autumn. Inside their Christmas card, they had printed a recipe In Memorium of her. Apparently it was one of her favorite holiday recipes. I think it was a wonderful way to commemorate her.

Except, when I went to throw the recipe away, I was suddenly wracked with guilt. Is it bad karma to throw the recipe away before I actually use it? Is it somehow disrespectful? I have tried to throw the damned thing away several times, and I just cannot bring myself to do it.

So, as a compromise, I am posting it here. This way, her recipe lives on, it is accessible to me to make in the future if the mood so hits me, and I was not responsible for killing her spirit or her recipe. More importantly, I will not have the ghost of some lady hovering over me every time I need an appetizer recipe saying See! I told you you shouldn't have thrown out that dip recipe...

Here is the recipe as it was written. I wouldn't necessarily have made it this way, but here is how it was sent to me.

Spicy Beef Dip
Serves: 10

1 lb ground beef
1/2 c. onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 c. tomato sauce
1/4 c. ketchup
1 tsp sugar
3/4 tsp oregano
drop of Tabasco sauce
red pepper flakes
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/3 c. Parmesan cheese, grated

Brown beef, onion and garlic in skillet. Stir in tomato sauce, ketchup, sugar and oregano. Add Tabasco and red pepper flakes to taste. Cover and simmer gently for 10 minutes. Spoon off excess fat. Remove from heat and add cream cheese and Parmesan. Heat and stir until cheeses are melted and well blended. Keep warm in chafing dish (or fondue pot).


Blue Momma said...

I always feel guilty throwing away Christmas cards, even without memorial recipes. But who the hell can keep 50 Christmas cards every year?

And now that most of them have super cute kids on them? Even harder.

Patois said...

Well, that's sure one way to honor someone's memory.

feefifoto said...

Wow -- that looks yummy.

Sandy Carlson said...

That's an interesting recipe and an interesting way to memorialize someone. Putting it in a Christmas card is also kind of interesting. You handled it well by offering it up to the universe via the blogosphere! Merry Christmas.

Anonymous said...

I used to have that same guilty feeling. Perhaps this can provide some modicum of comfort: 1) It is a bit of a closure gesture on their part, therefore, the goodwill meant to be gained is complete once it has been sent; 2) Mission accomplished because you read it and were touched by the sentiment; 3) You have a free pass from God to throw that recipe out guilt-free because "as for the dead they are conscious of nothing at all" (Ecclesiastes 9:5) - so there will be no haunting you for throwing out something that, while sweet, is of no use to you. In fact, the late mama will never know! Besides, how Christ-like would THAT be to torment you because you aren't fond of beef dip? Just my two scents.

aithne said...

This is one of the reasons I stopped sending Christmas Cards.

But you handled it gracefully.

I have to admit I have never seen a recipe like this before.

Nearly Headless Nic said...


I think I'm going to have to make it JUST to see what it might taste like. Want me to share it with you once I've tried it? LOL