What is a sugarplum, anyway?

All these years of going to The Nutcracker, and I have no idea. I am fairly certain I have never seen a sugar plum – except as represented by a ballerina onstage – or eaten one (a sugar plum, not a ballerina. I am 99.9% sure I have never eaten a ballerina).

Yay, cannibalism jokes! What can I say, it runs in the family.

[Photo by Paul Kolnik, New York City Ballet]

But I digress. Wikipedia says: A sugar plum is a piece of dragee candy that is made of sugar and shaped in a small round or oval shape.

Which begs the question: What is dragee?

Again from Wikipedia: Dragee (French) – a form of confectionery that can be used for decorative or symbolic purposes in addition to consumption

Wikipedia neglects to mention – perhaps assuming it’s bleedin’ obvious – that actual plums are involved, but further internet research would indicate that plums, or prunes, are, in fact, part of the deal. (Sugar gets first billing, though.)

Well, now that that mystery is cleared up…The Nutcracker was splendid, as always. I especially like the Candy Canes. You don’t see hula hoop tricks like that on the playground in elementary school, that’s for sure.

[Photo by Andrew Scrivani, The New York Times]

I am just shamelessly ripping off photos from the Times today. But I made 31 latkes this evening, including the two that I ate, and they all looked just like this, I swear. A couple things happened while I was frying them:

1) I put my iTunes library on “shuffle” – which I rarely do – and the 16th song it chose to play was “The Chanukkah Song” by Adam Sandler. Considering it had nearly 4,000 songs to choose from, his is either a marvelous coincidence, or Apple knows way more than I want them to.

2) I gained some insight into why my parents did not want to make latkes every single night of Hanukkah. It takes ages, and then the whole house smells like oil for the next three days. Fortunately I took the precaution of closing the doors to the bedrooms before I started cooking. Also it takes a long time, did I mention that?

What I’m reading: The Maze Runner, James Dashner; Identical Strangers: A Memoir of Twins Separated and Reunited, by Elyse Schein and Paula Bernstein

What I’m listening to: Warm Strangers, Vienna Teng; assorted music by various artists

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