On Christmas Eve, work was the last thing on my mind. My husband, daughter and I were in Sedalia, Missouri, with my parents, bracing for the incoming snowpocalypse and preparing for the next day's food orgy to honor Baby Jesus.
My mom, Maxine, held a yellowed index card with a hand-written recipe for Apricot Salad. "Yuck," I said. I don't like apricots. "What's in that, besides the obvious?"
"Oh, it's not obvious. Guess."
Jelly? No. Jell-O? Of course. Dried apricot a.k.a. mummified human ears? No. Give up?
Apricot baby food!
"Hold on," I said, "let me get my camera."
And that's how I wound up working on Christmas Eve. When my mom's making a Throwback-worthy recipe, without irony, to serve for Christmas dinner, it's a lazy food writer's Christmas miracle.
Boil apricot Jell-O with eight pounds of sugar (approximately) and water. Whip with cream cheese. Consider a welding mask for this job, lest molten Jell-O-cheese fly into your face. Add a giant can of crushed pineapple with syrup, Gerber's and chopped pecans.