Wednesday, December 17, 2014

‘cause grandma did it…that’s why

We are all pretty much mutts here in the US meaning we are a combination of many nationalities. This time of year brings that out in the way of food and recipes passed down from when Grandma and Grandpa or Great-Grandma and Grandpa when they came here from another part of the world.

I am part Italian. With a maiden name like Castelluccio I’m sure the Italian part is right. I married a Kruetzkamp so we now have the German influence.

As an Italian we always made our own pasta. My grandma brought her very own ravioli rolling pin over from Italy and for years we used it to make ravioli. For desert we made Amaretti cookies. They have an almond taste and are amazing with wine and really capture that warm essence perfect for the holiday season.

The Kruetzkamp half of our family meant we had pfeffernusse cookies covered in powdered sugar. They are delish cookies full of a mix of warm spices that taste sort of like gingerbread cookies. I learned to make little fruitcakes for my husband. No, he didn’t use them as hockey pucks but loved them. They are great with coffee and hot chocolate and mulled wine. We always serve mulled wine at our house. 

Another tradition with my husband’s family was to put the Christmas tree up on Christmas Eve. His parents did that for as long as I can remember.
Our next door neighbor was second generation Greek and always made Baklava. Their whole family got into the act at Christmas and our family always ended up with a tin of this delish gooey, honey flakey pastry.  

Our other neighbor was French and made Yule log of chocolate cake rolled around a rich vanilla cream filling.

Are there any traditional foods in your house this time of year? Do you use Grandma’s candy recipe, the one she
brought over from Ireland? Maybe your great aunt’s recipe? Do you have an heirloom star for the top of your tree? Stockings by the fireplace that were yours when a kid?

Thanks for sharing. I love family traditions and at this time of year there are a ton.

Hugs, Duffy


Denise Neubauer said...

One tradition I didn't carry on was lutefisk because I don't like fish. I did keep the ribs and lefse for Christmas Eve supper. My sister added lasagna because her mother-in-law was of Italian descent. We have blended the old and created new.

Helen Kotowske said...

Thanks for sharing all these yummy and varied traditions.

holdenj said...

We always had lefse on Christmas Eve too. My kids prefer caramel puffcorn.

Dr. Mary Kennedy said...

What fantastic treats!! We don't have any special holiday foods but I love hearing about other folks' traditions. Thanks for posting!

Anonymous said...

I may have the rattiest stockings from when my sister, brother, and I were kids, and we're all in our 60s. One of my dad's sisters made them, not out of felt but some kind of red see-through plastic. She sewed on white fluffy cotton strips and our initials in sequins. They weren't particularly lovely even when new but have now gotten really ugly. But we aren't about to throw them out so used them last year. Probably won't get out of the box this year because my sister is overseas and my brother is super busy trying to remodel one of his houses. As for food, the three of us didn't like fruitcake so Mom would make gumdrop cake. It was made in loaf pans and had large gumdrops mixed into the batter. Very pretty and festive when cut.

Unknown said...

We have an entirely new family tradition that none of our grandmothers (well, maybe one) would have approved of -- Jack Daniels caramels!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing great family traditions, Duffy! Oyster Stew was a special Christmas Eve tradition with celery, carrot sticks and cheese cubes served on the we could get to Church service on time and Mom could have a breather before all the cooking on Thanksgiving Day. ps. Christmas frosted sugar cookies, divinity and PB cookies after Christmas Eve service.

Anonymous said...

Oops! Christmas Day!