The insider's scoop on food, travel & southern culture
Have you ever sat down and thought—really thought—about how amazing the work of Santa Claus is?
I mean, here we have someone who hits every house around the world in one night. He totes the world’s presents on his back, squeezing down chimneys, quiet as a mouse. And if you think his work is tough, consider the work of his reindeer, sweeping jolly ol’ St. Nick from rooftop to rooftop. He ain’t exactly a featherweight.
The key to keeping Santa and his reindeer in tip-top shape is providing them with sustenance along the way. (And you thought leaving cookies out for Santa was just a silly custom!?) It’s important for children and parents to realize that their snacks are a vital part of Santa’s journey on Christmas Eve. I don’t even want to think about what would happen if Santa Claus became famished.
This got me thinking about the best snacks to leave out for Santa and his reindeer. Are cookies really Santa’s favorite treat? Perhaps he likes a little variety from house to house? And what makes the best reindeer treats?
Once again, I turned to the trusty chefs for their expertise. It’s a little known fact that chefs work very closely with Santa to ensure that their holiday treats are up to St. Nick’s standards. They were able to share with me a little insight, although some information was confidential.
What I learned was that Santa Claus likes a little variety, and his tooth isn’t always so sweet. He can be very particular at times, and he also likes to enjoy a drink every couple houses. Just be sure to limit him to one—he’s got a lot of houses to cover.
“With four children, Gingersnap Cookies and a glass of ice cold Milk are a must. And for the reindeer, bags of Carrots and Cheerios.” —Tucker Yoder, Executive Chef, The Clifton Inn (Charlottesville, VA)
“Glass of D’Oliveiras 1912 Verdelho Madeira paired with Ginger Bread Cookies.” —Michael Scaffidi, Sommelier, Plume at The Jefferson, DC (Washington, DC)
“It wouldn’t be Christmas Eve without Lobster, Stone Crab Claws, Oysters and Caviar.” —Jeff Tunks, Owner and Chef, Passion Food Hospitality Restaurants (Washington, DC)
“My grandmother’s Chocolate Fudge Cake and Home-made Snack Mix so the reindeer aren’t left out.” —Robert St. John, New South Restaurant Group (Hattiesburg, MS)
“Some Fried Chicken and a Beer…or two or three.” —Jeremy Noffke, Executive Chef, Purple Parrot Café (Hattiesburg, MS)
“Apple Pie Milkshake: maple swirl with gingersnap crumble, topped with whipped cream.” —Regan Browell, Executive Chef, The Restaurant at The Willcox (Aiken, SC)
“Sharecropper Cocktail with George Dickle Bourbon, rhubarb bitters, lemon and ginger. And Duck Wraps with sweet pepper glaze.” —Cory Bahr, Chef and Owner, Restaurant Cotton (Monroe, LA)
“A pint of Ben & Jerry’s Peanut Butter Cup Ice Cream saved in the freezer with a glass of Maker’s Mark.” —David Guas, Chef and Owner, Bayou Bakery, Coffee Bar & Eatery (Arlington, VA)
My boys and I breathed a sigh of relief, since we happen to have a freezer stocked with Ben & Jerry’s Peanut Butter Cup Ice Cream, all ready to go for Santa! What a funny coincidence, that just happens to be their father’s favorite treat, too. Happy Holidays!
I’m Simone. And this is what simone sez…