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The Food Dude — LGBTQ the holiday cheer

Rainbow Snowballs
Rainbow Snowballs - Terry Bursey

“Rural Newfoundland can be a hard place to be born gay, especially on Christmas,” Josh professed as we stood around the snowy campfire pit some years ago.

My good friend had just flown home from Ontario for the holidays to see his family and have some fun with his friends in St. John’s.

“I mostly came back here to see you guys and for Mom’s sake,” he finished.

I felt his pain. As an open atheist I had to deal with a similar stigma. Like me, Josh had found refuge and social comfort among modern-minded friends in Town and again in Ontario, but had been treated like a pariah in the area he was raised in. When his family got together for Christmas there was always conflict over his sexuality that ruined the family event for everyone.

“I suppose really, I shouldn’t complain. Gay Newfoundlanders had it a lot worse in the old days,” he said with a small smile.

I thought of my late Great Uncle Caleb and all the stories about how he was literally and figuratively tortured into moving to St. John’s for even the mere rumour of his orientation, which was one of the rare correct rumours around my neck of the woods

“Well, you’re among friends now!” I proclaimed as I reached out to clink beer bottles with him.

He returned the gesture but was still noticeably saddened about home. That night I couldn’t sleep. I wanted to make Josh feel better about being in Newfoundland and get him into the holiday spirit but frustratingly didn’t know how to.

A stomach growl made me think about food and an idea sprang to mind. I grinned and went downstairs to make:

Rainbow Snowballs

5 cups rolled oats

1 box chocolate cake mix

1 cup butter

4 cups coconut

2 cups milk

2 cups sugar

1 ½ cups rainbow sprinkles

Directions

In a large saucepan on medium high heat, combine butter, milk and sugar. Stir until all is dissolved but do not let the mixture come to a boil. In a large bowl combine coconut, oats and cake mix. Add the liquid and mix all until smooth. Chill overnight to firm the mixture. Roll into golf ball sized balls and place on parchment paper. Roll each ball in rainbow sprinkles until well coated and freeze.

That night I used the mixture that I had stored away in the fridge for traditional Newfoundland snowballs instead for a creation that I thought might make Josh feel a bit better about being home for the holidays.

These being the days before public solidarity monuments like our rainbow crosswalks meant that I was a bit nervous the next morning when I unveiled the Rainbow Snowballs to Josh. There was always the chance he could take it the wrong way and be offended, or at the very least annoyed. He was moved to tears though and in the end I was the one annoyed by the dramatic display made by the normally stoic Josh. 

These are the days of rainbow crosswalks now though, and gladly these stigmas here in our province are becoming much less common. Many of my friends and family can now walk our streets with their heads up high without fear of being targets of hate. If you want to show your solidarity to our LGBTQ2 friends (or just want to shake up tradition a bit with a holiday treat) I firmly recommend this cookie at your own holiday table.

Heathens Greetings!

https://www.thepacket.ca/living/food-dude-livin-in-cinnamon-265577/


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