Monday, December 14, 2015

Christmas Memories . . . The Glorious Food

I wish I had a picture for every holiday meal our family enjoyed over the years, but alas, that would mean probably hundreds of images of roasts, vegetables amass, not to mentions the cookies, cakes and other holiday delights. In my search to find a few pictures, everyone I looked at made me ponder upon that time, remembering the fun we had making and eating the homemade creation. And the one important aspect of this food is how many of those recipes have been handed down through the generations. For example, here is my husband, Keith, making Norwegian Pancakes, a treat we enjoy particularly during the holidays or when the urge hits us. It is his mother’s recipe she learned as a child. Her parents immigrated to Minnesota in 1864. They brought with them this and other Norwegian recipes. Yum!

Talking about recipes, I bet if you complied all of those index cards, slips of paper upon which the ingredients and directions were scribbled, favorites from new and old cookbooks with pages marked with stains of food orts, you would have a family museum of food. Here is an idea to create for your family’s future generations to enjoy and use. Purchase a photo album or scrapbook, maybe several depending on the size of your collected recipes, organize them according to the food type or even the event which the meal was served. Write a little story about what the picture is telling, not necessarily a lot, but enough so the reader will understand what is going on. Add embellishments, flourishes, trimmings and such to enhance the page. All of these supplies can be found at Michael’s Arts & Craft Stores.  

And don’t forget about the kids. One day my son Charlie asked me to make up a cookbook just for him of his favorite recipes. What a great idea! Kids loved to be included in family history projects, so assist them as they look through your cookbooks and recipes and have them select the ones they like and put them into an album or scrapbook. This would be great winter time project that is both entertaining and educational.   

I am not much of a baker. My daughter Tiffeni loves to bake and her brother loves to lick up the remaining batter from the bowl. My job is to make Thumbprints, the little jam-filled nut-encased cookies that take me hours to make. This year, I am going to attempt to make a new concoction called a Schneeballen, snowball in German.  We traveled to Germany this past spring and in the town of Rothenberg, a plethora of bakeries offered these delectable desserts. So wish me luck. I will let you know how they turned out. When Charlie went to company Christmas parties, he always brought a Torte, a multilayered cake made with lady finger cookies, whipped cream (Cool Whip), fruit preserves, and gently flavored with rum and cognac. The recipe is his dad’s and he helps Charlie create this masterpiece. When he brings home the bowl, there is put one serving left and Keith scarfes it down.

The Christmas Feast is the best, besides Thanksgiving. Because we do not want to repeat the turkey, we ruminate on other choices. Will it be a beef or pork roast with all the trimmings, will we have two meats instead of one, what kind of vegetables, bread or rolls, and of course, dessert. But whatever we cook, we eat and look forward to the leftovers. And one bit of fun when we sit down at the table, Keith has the honor of “carving the beast,” just like the Grinch. So whatever you bake, broil or oven-roast, enjoy your holiday feast.    

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