Friday, December 18, 2009

Christmas memories

Welcome to this years' Bloggers' Christmas Party! Take a comfortable seat and visit with us. This is my "party" post about my earlier Christmas memories:

When I was young our family’s tradition was to get our Christmas tree very late in the season. Some years it arrived at the last moment! Because our house did not have central heating, we were able to keep it deep into January, needles still holding tight and soaking up water. Although one year it went out shortly after the celebrations. Soon after it had been set up in the living room, we noticed an objectionable odor. It seems that the dogs near the Christmas tree lot must have “marked” the trees!

Christmas Eve, even in a semi-Italian household, means food and family, not necessarily in that order. December 24th used to be a day of abstaining from eating meat, as decreed by the Roman Catholic church, so Christmas Eve dinner was a big celebration consisting of many courses of pasta and fish. (See the meal of the seven fishes). Before food processors came along, walnuts would be finely chopped by hand to mix into a pasta topping as a meat substitute. One of my favorite dishes was batter-fried cauliflour, hot from the oil. When I was about 11 or 12 we started attending midnight mass. Even though it was a long evening, this would have been easier for my mother since she had to start cooking again on Christmas morning!

About a week or two before Christmas, my mother filled large tins and boxes with homemade cookies. She would stay up at night to bake our favorites. She saved some wonderful recipes from McCalls and Womans Day magazines that she would make each year. Along with pressed cookies, my mom also made Kifli and Christmas Cherry Cake. Oh, they were so good!

When I married and started raising a family, I built my own collection of holiday cookie recipes. They had to be different, not be overly complicated, and they must be tasty. I quickly filled large tins and boxes with my selections and my family would make quick work of them!

Now my children are doing the baking. They have carried on some of my recipes and found some of their own. I’ll make an occasional batch, but it’s time to sit back and let them make their own memories.

Please visit Scattering Lupines or Shells and Bells Flowers and Showers for a list of all participating bloggers in this year's Bloggers' Christmas Party! Enjoy!


Kimbles said...

Hello! Thank you for droppping by my blog - how nice to meet you - memories are so important aren't they and as you say the children do the baking now. I am not quite to stage yet but it wont be far off- we can visit each others blogs in the new year. Have a good Christmas Kim

The Curious Cat said...

oh, I enjoyed reading this! I love all the food at christmas! The cauliflower sounds good! Different from our usual food - I find it really interesting about other cultures and what they like to cook. Thanks for sharing and thanks for popping by my blog too! :) Merry Christmas! xxx

MyStory of HiStory said...

I've said before my hobbies are making memories & friends. Thank you for sharing some of your special memories...& I'm so glad we're friends. I remember the first post I ever commented on of yours...about a neat WWII era journal you picked up...I just tho't was so cool :)

Yiota said...

I loved reading your memories and how traditions are passed on from one generation to another. Little one and I have been trying different cookie recipes and keeping a note of the ones we like best. Yesterday he said 'mum, can we make the round ones again but this time without the raisins?"
Thanks so much for joining in!
Talk to you again soon.
Happy Holidays!

sherry ♥ lee said...

What beautiful memories!! Special foods, served on special days...when the tree goes up...and cookies. I love how your mother had her recipes, you have yours and now your children have their own. One of the most wonderful parts of the season.

Wishing you a most blessed Christmas!

Around the hook said...

It's lovely to hear of memories so vivid! I actually love food memories. It takes you into such yummy places! And is linked to the context, the surroundings, the people with you. Yes food memories takes in everything. They are genius!

Have a lovelly cookie-eating Christmas!

The 4 Bushel Farmgal said...

Hello friends - both 'old' and 'new',

It's wonderful to share parts of our lives during this season. I've enjoyed our 'party' and wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Wonderful New Year!