Friday, December 2, 2011

Advent Calendar ~ Holiday Foods

Advent Calendar ~ Day 2 ~ Memories of our Holiday Foods~


Some of my favorite memories are of Mom (1933~2010) 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 were mom's Spritz cookies - they were so good! In the last few years mom had added a few variations to her 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 was to die for!

Mom also made a crescent 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 started to translate the recipes from German to English so that not only will I have them, but our holiday food traditions would continue to be handed down. Sadly, losing my Mom and my Grandmother (1913~2010) in 2010, only a few of the family recipes were translated. I am slowly working on getting the recipes translated into English. I am attempting to learn German and my cousin, Marion in Germany, is helping me through this interesting journey.

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 having and what I grew to love. 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 and thinking how grown-up I got to be!


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 had made the potato balls from scratch. Potato balls are very labor intensive as mom got older, she started to use 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 was much easier on mom, this allowed her to spend more time with family and I was all for that.

I truly miss mom's Christmas cookies and the wonderful dinner she would always prepare at Christmas but I have so many amazing memories to sustain me and my family ~ I thank mom and Oma for the very special and magical Christmas memories a girl could have.


~ Happy Holidays ~ 

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 This post originally created for the Holiday Food Memories on the
             With the passing of my Mom and Grandmother in 2010, I
have made changes to the original 2009 post . 



Wendy said...

I like those hazlenut and powdered sugar cookies too. Thanks for sharing these lovely memories. It must have been so exciting to receive a package from "home" when "home" was Germany.

Gini said...

Thank you, Wendy, it really was exciting to get packages from my grandmother. She would pack such neat stuff . . . all of our favorites, candies, linens, German sausage or salami. In turn, mom and I would send out peanut butter and certain candy bars my Oma loved here that she didn't get there. I miss getting her wonderful care packages! I did just get one from my cousin so it was reminiscent of those days!

Kathy Reed said...

We must have some common roots. A couple of those cookis are part of my tradition, too.

Gini said...

Kathy, then you know how delicious and wonderful those cookies are! I cannot find the crescent shaped hazelnut cookies mom made, her recipe is missing - I am so bummed but maybe one day it will show up. I miss her cooking and her cookies!

The Path Traveled said...

My mom didn't bake much. Thank you for sharing the cookies with us today. They really look good.