What traditions embody your holiday spirit? I have a few that bring alive the holiday season for me. If one is not upheld (as happened this year), I feel that something is awry. I doubt that it will come as a big shock to you that most of my seasonal traditions revolve around food!
There’s even a food component to our excursion to cut down the Christmas tree. It’s actually a tradition embedded in a tradition! We head for a Christmas tree farm around lunch time, snag the tree and our next stop is Helvetia Tavern for their signature burger. This year because of timing and a torrential downpour we decided that our tree would come from a lot instead of a tree farm so the run to Helvetia Tavern wasn’t in the cards. The outing to cut down our Christmas tree and a Helvetia burger are connected. This tradition was missed this year. We will not repeat the miss again next year!
Baking goodies during the holidays ranks high on the list of traditions for many people. Sometimes things just get too busy this time of year and I don’t get as much baking accomplished as I would like. Often my stack of cookie recipes dwindles to just a couple. There is one mainstay though. If I bake nothing else, I do take time to make my Cherry Chip Christmas Cake. This should not be confused with a fruit cake. It’s simply loaded with pecans, chocolate chips, candied cherries and little more. Crunchy on the outside. Soft and candy-like on the inside!
A very special tradition is our annual Christmas Eve gathering hosted by the Carlson’s (Linda and Arne). About two decades ago when our boys (now both wonderful young men) were in 1st or 2nd grade, our dear friends invited us into their hearts and home for their annual holiday gathering. The faces change year to year but one thing remains constant. There is always a warm welcoming atmosphere in their home. This tradition is truly a blessing and the season wouldn’t be complete without it.
As you can imagine the Christmas Eve gathering is celebrated with an abundance of delicious food made with love. A big bonus for me is that Linda allows me the privilege of collaborating on the menu and the freedom to experiment with new recipes. Here’s a glimpse of what will be on our plates this year. No one ever goes home hungry on Christmas Eve!
Christmas morning while everyone is fast asleep with visions of sugar plums dancing in their heads, I’m up popping the cinnamon rolls into the oven. The scent of cinnamon rolls wafting through the air trumps visions of sugar plums every time and soon the crew is up. What a delicious way to start Christmas day!
And finally as far as my traditions go, regardless of anything else that’s on the menu for Christmas dinner the dessert is this Frozen White Chocolate Raspberry Mousse Torte. It’s light and refreshing and there always seems to be room left for a slice.
Embrace your traditions. I honestly believe they embody our holiday spirit. Merry Christmas to you and yours!
Traditions… thanks for visiting Palatable Life.