The best thing about Christmas is all the great food that everyone produces at this time of the year. I have great respect for those who choose to cook for their family and friends for special occasions, like the festive Christmas holiday season. This year, I decided to take on the task of reproducing as many holiday foods as I can remember, and here’s my list.

Firstly, shopping for all those dried fruits, figs, currants, raisins, dates, citron rinds, cherries and candied fruit takes some time. Lots of butter and sugar, eggs and some rum will do the trick when it comes to making the world’s best Christmas fruitcake. Remember to soak all the fruits in rum overnight. The next day – if your body wills it – take several pounds of butter and cream, mix them with lots of sugar until fluffy, then add a dozen of eggs. The fruits should be powdered with flour.

Remember to use an extra strong wooden spoon to mix everything together. Bring some family around to make magical wishes while stirring, as this takes great physical strength. Add rum to your body if needed. Finally, put everything in the oven at a low temperature until the scent of hot rum drives you up the wall. Oh, I forgot, make this in November, as you have to let it age in the refrigerator for about a month. Don’t save the rum, however, put it to good use in other recipes.

Four weeks later, take out the turkey, the moose steaks, the hams, the caribou, the beaver, the ptarmigan, the geese, the bear and the meat pies and start cooking at four in the morning. Then grab some unknowing young woman and teach her how to make the fabled boudin, as this takes about six to seven hours of preparation and cooking. Tell her that it’s worth it as the 50-pound bag of gelled molasses mix and lard magically becomes extremely edible. Remember, any woman who makes good boudin is worth marrying in the New Year.

As always, the best part of the food stuff are all the sweets! The pies of many different flavours are all of them my favourite. Not to mention the cupcakes, yuletide logs, chocolates, jelly rolls and cookies. My favourites are the rum balls, which are best eaten while sitting down. These subliminal chocolate wonders are only for those who are of legal age.

Then, the night before Christmas, it’s Santa’s turn to get his jollies. He usually expects cookies and milk, but I add a little fortification of rum to the candied cherries I slip into the Christmas hermit cookies, so I usually get a larger present than the others. Just a little trick I learnt from years of searching for the right recipe.

Since the holidays are meant for feasting and sharing one’s culinary arts, it is the thought that counts. Merry Christmas to everyone, and see you at the gym in January.