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Holiday traditions

 
 
littlek
 
Reply Sun 22 Dec, 2002 09:02 am
My mom and I will be making a yule log cake for xmas this year - we used to do it often, but haven't in years. The cake's tricky, but the result is fantastic. I did a search online and couldn't any truely spectacular versions, but here's a recipe. (I'll try and take a pic to post online...)

Link to log

What are your holiday traditions? Food, drink, services, family rituals?
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Piffka
 
  1  
Reply Sun 22 Dec, 2002 10:33 am
littlek -- How ambitious of you to make one of those cakes! I've always admired them and read about them in depth. Julia Child has fantastic decorations for her Yule Log cake including meringue mushrooms and a caramel veil. It's in the back of her How to Cook cookbook.

When I was young our family had the tradition of a Christmas Eve dinner of waffles and eggnog. All the neighbors were invited to come and watch us open our gifts, since we were the only ones around who opened them Christmas Eve (after Santa had come!).

We don't do waffles anymore nor do we open gifts on Christmas Eve, however we continue to have an Open House for friends. Some people have been coming every year for seventeen years. The food has changed over the years... but for the last five or so years we serve tamales.
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littlek
 
  1  
Reply Sun 22 Dec, 2002 11:03 am
Tamales for xmas! That's great. And the open house idea is great as well.

I think we'll be taking a stab at turkey again for xmas, the t-giving bird was quite dry. We do make the merengue mushrooms as well. Usually that's my big job. I'm creative, but a little too impatient (maybe not anymore) for the cake rolling - I always crack it.
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quinn1
 
  1  
Reply Sun 22 Dec, 2002 11:31 am
Im sure you'll do fine, its a task sure but, its worth it...especially if its a bit of a tradition.
We usually make sure everyone has their favorite snack for Christmas Eve, I usually get pineapples with coconut. Christmas morning always has cinnamon buns <must remember to get some> and we always had Lobster for Christmas dinner when I was a kid but, that was years ago, since then its been Ham.
My mother and I always baked cookies for the weeks prior to the Holidays, and did mini breads as the day drew near.
The godkids have a tradition of after all the presents are opened, we dont go around picking up the paper, we all have a paper fight...its a great bunch of fun to end the chaos, even now that they're older.
My aunt and I after having getting things done and having no one else around...hang the brazieres at the end of the day on the tree, its just something to laugh at in the morning before the kids come around...and it was kinda funny have the goddaughter last year partake in that funny bit of womanly Christmas humor, as twisted as it is, its really a sweet memory now.
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JoanneDorel
 
  1  
Reply Sun 22 Dec, 2002 11:31 am
Oh man tamales a real tradition in the Sout West. Yum. Than yule log looks more than delicious k.
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urs53
 
  1  
Reply Sun 22 Dec, 2002 04:56 pm
We usually go to my sister's place for the evening of Dec 24 which is the 'Holy Evening' in Germany. Her kids get presents. The adults rather spend some money on good food. We'll have raclette this year - I thinks it's nice to cook your food at the table. And of course they have a nice Christmas tree with real candles. And after all the romantic Christmas stuff all of us go to a little neighbourhood bar for some drinks. Even my 10 year old nephew comes along. That's great fun!
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ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Sun 22 Dec, 2002 05:08 pm
This will be my first year not going to my parents' for Heilig Abend. I'm going to try to create my own mini-version with Setanta. The frenched pork roast is cooking now in preparation. I'm also preparing some red cabbage with apples. It's starting to smell pretty good around here. The dogs are both laying on the floor between the computer and the kitchen - guarding the oven, i think.

At my parents we always had roast goose, red cabbage, potato dumplings with croutons inside, brussel sprouts, mashed potatoes, oatmeal and fruit stuffing, vats of dark brown goose gravy, salad, wine for everyone except me (i always stick to ginger ale), Herring Salat with beets and apples, pickles, hmmmmm what else? ohhhhh corn, i used to always ask for canned corn for Christmas dinner. Oh my, my english grammar is slipping as i'm recalling Heilig Abend. Interesting effect.

We didn't do much in the way of dessert, maybe some spice cookies and a chocolate with a cup of tea. My mother used to bake fancy cakes but most of our family (all 5 of us in North America at our peak) doesn't much are for sweets. We'd fight over the end of the red cabbage though.
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littlek
 
  1  
Reply Sun 22 Dec, 2002 09:57 pm
Nice stories!
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sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Sun 22 Dec, 2002 10:04 pm
New tradition, perhaps -- the cookie ornaments were a big success. The sozlet couldn't quite believe I was giving her such free reign (I usually let her "help" cook but punctuate it with a lot of "be careful"s and "just a little bit"s and "not in that bowl, in that one"s) and for this, since they were meant to be inedible, I just let her go hog-wild. She loves to shake pepper on things, and gazed at me incredulously when I told her she could just keep shaking away and the pepper pile in the bowl rose higher and higher.

She also rolled them out, and cut out the shapes, and had a fine ol' time. Very Happy
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littlek
 
  1  
Reply Sun 22 Dec, 2002 10:06 pm
Yeah Sozlet! That sounds like fun.
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Piffka
 
  1  
Reply Mon 23 Dec, 2002 10:10 am
How sweet, Sozobe, to be celebrating with a child at Christmas. There are so many wonderful memories for you to make together!! Ahhh, I'm happy for you.

I thought of another tradition we have -- as we're opening presents on Christmas morning... Someone, usually the youngest pulls a present out from under the tree and presents it to the person receiving it. We open presents one at a time, with commentary about each, many thank-yous and a lot of reminding each other about any stray memories that happen to float into our consciousness... previous presents, previous years, people no longer with us.

Then we put the ribbons around our necks, sort of like leis. We are very careful (most of the time, and except for some serious joking about) while we're unwrapping the gift, sometimes even drawing out the act for the "audience's" amusement, so the ribbons are not torn, but looped and with their bows still attached. I think we look lovely. Even the animals get into the act and will be walking around all Christmas morning, the dogs and the cat, looking festive and be-ribboned.
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ul
 
  1  
Reply Mon 23 Dec, 2002 11:23 am
Little k,
your Yule log was my greatest kitchen blunder- I dropped it.
Too tricky for me.
Traditionally we have a large variety of cookies, which are baked during Advent. This is kind of a ceremony- to turn out well each member of the family has to work once the dough.
On 24th-Heiliger Abend-we changed over the years.
They want to have Stollen in the late afternoon with tea or coffee.
That's nice- kind of a relaxing time after a busy day and before lighting the tree.
No goose anymore, but smoked salmon and salad for dinner. I am very happy about it- not so much work for me.
The next 2 days are family days and the kids order what they want to eat.
My son wants steaks like in the States and my daughter red cabbage and vernison.
Additions are Plumpudding from friends in Great Britain, Panettone from Italy and Mangos from India.
I am glad that many people will be here to eat.
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ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Mon 23 Dec, 2002 11:31 am
The red cabbage i am taking as a contribution to the Christmas dinner we're invited to is resting in the fridge right now. It is soooo tempting to just have a tiny nibble, but i know i can't stop at a nibble. I didn't make a herring salad, but i bought some pickled herring and fat-free sour cream and nibbled on that yesterday. Tempting to go out and get some beets and fix up a whole salad. hmmmm, maybe on boxing day.
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littlek
 
  1  
Reply Mon 23 Dec, 2002 02:57 pm
Ul - you dropped the cake or the idea of making the cake?
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ul
 
  1  
Reply Mon 23 Dec, 2002 03:22 pm
Splash- the ready cake!
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littlek
 
  1  
Reply Mon 23 Dec, 2002 03:30 pm
Oh nO!
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JoanDark
 
  1  
Reply Wed 25 Dec, 2002 03:30 am
<Sigh> Smile
Piffka! I thought WE were the only family who opened our presents thus, and...put the ribbons around our necks!Yes, it takes hours,and we are all beribboned,and kinda mistily maudlin from the touchingness of the gifts.At our present parties, there is a groaning board of food-all finger-food. Platters of rare roast beef. Sushi.Sliced ham.Smoked salmon pate, and Ak-Maks.Huge platters of strawberries, and grapes.
Mind you this isn't Christmas Dinner, because we have our gift exchanging closer to Epiphany these days.
Rupert understood how to open a present since age 2. And understood that presents under the tree may NOT be opened, or retreived , until the party.
One of my twin grandsons gets VERRA bored, after he's opened his gifts.His favorite thing is to wander on my third floor, where my painting studio is, and the box room is.I don't like it. Sad
The other twin is more dazed, and lulled by all the stupendousness.
And my granddaughter, like my daughters and I, could sit there for hours,oooohing and aaaahing,telling and hearing the stories, and opening slowly , placing the ribbons around her neck.

Merry Christmas everyone! Very Happy
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littlek
 
  1  
Reply Wed 25 Dec, 2002 06:54 pm
Here's the yule log.

http://groups.msn.com/_Secure/0RAAAAMYUANeBxoXRJnQsUsmLI6nGaAmoqd3DfEVSDuB!yqteGll1ZGeZxzx0P92qBnqrpV6V2kP0*o!EUvZ21ZPZdm*WymPFMk!BPJ6IBEA/yulelog3.jpg?dc=4675402653024657682
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jespah
 
  1  
Reply Wed 25 Dec, 2002 08:22 pm
Oh, how funky! :-D
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sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Wed 25 Dec, 2002 08:54 pm
Wow, that's the actual one that you made? SO cool!!!
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