References to food numerous at Christmastime
It’s beginning to cook a lot like Christmas. Cookie cutters at the ready, rolling pins primed to roll while kitchen ovens are gearing up as if for a Pillsbury-Bakeoff moment. We all know how busy the 12 Days of Christmas can be.
It’s this festive, jolly time of year dressed in silver, green, red and gold and all wrapped up in twinkling lights of wonder that help make Christmas one of the most wonderful times of the year. Yes, there will be recipes for candies, cakes and cookies to stir while batches of delicious tunes and their lyrics dance in our heads.
Oh, what would the holidays be without the cheer of food and song; therefore, try biting your teeth into a few of the following old-timey “holiday foodie” favorites. How many can you jingle along?
- “It’s a Marshmallow World in the winter/It’s a whipped cream day” (“It’s a Marshmallow World”).
- “Chestnuts roasting on an open fire/Jack Frost nipping at your nose” (“Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire”).
- “Here we come a wassailing among the leaves so green” (“The Wassail Song”).
- “Now bring us some figgy pudding and a cup of good cheer” (“We Wish You a Merry Christmas”).
- “It doesn’t show signs of stopping, and I brought some corn for popping” (“Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow”).
- “Over the river and through the woods to grandmother’s house we go/Hurrah for fun, the pudding’s done/Hurrah for the pumpkin pie” (“Over the River and Through the Woods to Grandmother’s House We Go”).
- “You’re a bad banana with a greasy black peel, Mr. Grinch” (“How the Grinch Stole Christmas”).
- “It’s glistening once again/With candy canes and silver lanes a-glow” (“It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas”).
- “She’d been drinkin’ too much eggnog/ And we begged her not to go” (“Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer”).
- “There’s a happy feeling nothing in the world can buy when they pass around the coffee and the pumpkin pie” (“Sleigh Ride”).
- “Bring me flesh and bring me wine” (“Good King Wenceslas”).
- “Let the Christmas spirit ring/ Later we’ll have some pumpkin pie and do some caroling” (“Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree”).
- “Gather ’round the table, we’ll give you a treat/Sevivon to play with, latkes to eat” (“Oh, Hanukkah”).
- “Mom’s cooking chicken and collard greens, rice and stuffing, macaroni and cheese” (“Christmas in Hollis”).
- “And he was headin’ for Pennsylvania and some homemade pumpkin pie” (“There’s No Place Like Home for the Holidays”).
- “Christmas is coming, the lights are on the tree/How about a turkey leg for dear old me?” (“Christmas Is Coming”).
- “Bring us out a moldy cheese and some of your Christmas loaf” (“The Wassail Song”).
- “Through other windows he had looked at turkeys, ducks and geese, cherry pies/But through this window saw a grey-haired lady/table bare and tears in her eyes” (“Christmas Dinner”).
- Lastly, most are familiar with 12 days of maids-a-milking, geese a-laying and a partridge in a pear tree.
Food for thought: Sevivon is Yiddish for a spinning top like a dreidel.
Could this be the Christmas loaf sung about in the “Wassail Song”?
GIFT OF THE MAGI BREAD
1/2 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup mashed ripe bananas
11-ounce can drained mandarin oranges
6 ounces mini chocolate chips
1 cup shredded coconut
2/3 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup chopped maraschino cherries
1/2 cup chopped dates
Cream together the butter and sugar. Add eggs and vanilla; beat until fluffy. Together stir flour, baking soda and salt; add to creamed mixture, alternating with bananas. Stir in mandarins, chocolate chips, coconut, nuts, cherries and dates. Pour into 2 greased and floured loaf pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 1-1/4 hours.
Challah, a delicious Jewish egg bread, often braided and prepared for special holidays such as Hanukkah, makes a great gift as well as fantastic French toast.
Family Cookbook: Pigtails and Frog Legs”)
3 packages yeast
2 cups warm water (110 to 115 degrees)
4 eggs, slightly beaten
10 cups flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup oil
2 teaspoons salt
1 egg beaten
1 tablespoon poppy seeds
Dissolve yeast in warm water. In separate bowl, combine eggs, flour, sugar, oil and salt. When yeast is dissolved, pour into flour mixture; mix well. Brush inside of a separate large bowl with oil and roll dough until coated. Cover with a towel and let rise in a warm place for 1 hour or until doubled in bulk. Turn onto a floured board. Knead, until smooth, into 3 loaves. Grease desired pans. Brush the bread with a beaten egg and sprinkle with poppy seeds. Let bread rise for another hour in a warm place. Bake at 325 degrees until golden brown. Bread freezes well.
Yorkshire pudding is a holiday must with roast beef. Make easy by using a muffin tin in this recipe. When preparing the beef roast, try rubbing with a mix of coarse grain mustard and Montreal Steak seasoning before baking.
(“Mystic Seaport Christmas Memories Cookbook”)
Pan drippings from a beef roast
1 cup whole milk
1 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Bake and remove beef roast to a platter and keep warm. Prepare muffin tin by pouring in drippings, allowing about 1 tablespoon per muffin tin (use 9 tablespoons for this recipe). Place tin in oven and heat for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, combine eggs and milk in blender or with an electric mixer. Add flour and salt and blend about 10 seconds, scraping once. Immediately pour into hot tins. Bake muffins 25 to 30 minutes. DO NOT OPEN OVEN before time is up. Puddings should be puffed, firm and crisp, not soggy. Serve immediately. Makes 9 servings.
Fresh chestnuts often are available in supermarkets during the holidays.
HOW TO ROAST CHESTNUTS
Place chestnut flat side down on a cutting board. Use a small paring knife to score an “X” through the shell on the rounded side of each nut. Place nuts in bowl of hot water for 1 minute. Drain; pat dry. Place nuts in a single layer on a sheet of aluminum foil on a baking sheet. Gather foil edges to make a parcel, leaving an opening at the top while still keeping nuts in single layer. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes or until edges of shells really curl. Cool about 5 minutes for handling purposes before peeling shells beginning at the “X.” Shells will harden with cooling so work quickly. Eat right away or store in fridge for up to 4 days.
Whisking you a very Merry Christmas!