Advent Calendar ~ Day 2 ~ Memories of our Holiday Foods~
Please note: This post originally ran for the Advent Calendar of Memories in December 2009 ~
Some of my favorite memories are of mom baking a ton of cookies. I remember that she would start baking early in November and then store them in tin containers until the Christmas holiday.
My favorite are mom's Spritz cookies - they are so good! In the last few years mom has added a few variations to the traditional spritz cookie. Knowing how much I love these cookies and chocolate, mom combined the two, dipping half of the spritz cookie in chocolate. Not only does it look good, but it is to die for!
Mom also made a moon shaped hazelnut cookie with powdered sugar on top, everyone in my family loves the hazelnut cookies. Another cookie that comes to mind are her buttery sugar cookies. All of these recipes and more are in German in her own handwriting. Slowly, mom is translating the recipes from German to English so that not only will I have them, but our holiday food traditions will continue to be handed down. Eventually I will be posting these wonderful recipes, they played such a large part of my childhood holidays, I want everyone to enjoy them as much as my family and I do.
Breads and Cakes~
Mom also made a German bread called "Stollen" which consists of: candied fruit, nuts, raisins and marzipan. Sorry, not one of my favorites but very traditional. Of course there is my most favorite, great Oma Margarete's 'German Marble Cake'.
Christmas Packages from Germany~
Once mom and I were here in the states, my oma would send us a Christmas package every year. It was always exciting because she would send foods that mom was used to and what I loved. Oma always sent the kidney shaped chocolate liquors which is a hard dark chocolate shell on the outside, filled with brandy on the inside, these are now available at stores like "Trader Joes". You had to pop the entire candy in your mouth or brandy would drip all over. As a child, I was only allowed one or two of these and I still remember how good they were.
I don't recall this dinner, however, mom said that the traditional holiday dinner that was cooked was a goose. What I recall of our holiday dinner was a roast with potato balls, smothered in her German gravy. For as far back as I can remember, mom has made the potato balls from scratch. Potato balls are very labor intensive so she now uses a German packaged potato ball mix named "Phanni". They are still very good, but not as good as mom's homemade. The store bought mix method is much easier on mom, this allows her to spend more time with family and I am all for that.
Even today mom still cooks this holiday dinner and bakes all of her wonderful cookies for all of us to enjoy, making our holidays memorable.