Sunday, December 14, 2014


Stollen, traditional Christmas bread

Christmas in my family has, or had, many traditional activities. Some have gone by the wayside as the family dwindled and we who remain are too far apart to celebrate the season together.  So far, two of my characters like to cook, Claire in Cold Comfort and Madeleine in Prime Target. I prefer cooking in winter, and both of those books are set mostly in cold weather—maybe that’s why they like it.

Fudge, the old-fashioned kind
The scents wafting from a busy kitchen bring back many memories. Baking, which started in November with fruitcakes and didn’t end until Christmas dinner, required help from everyone, Daddy included. He beat the fudge, stirred stiff doughs, and did more than his share of the taste-testing.

Mother made plates of treats for all the service people who came to our house, from the mailman to the trash collectors. She made a range of candies and cakes and filled paper plates, which we tied up in red
Brioche, a bit lopsided
or green tissue paper with a bow. They filled the dining room table, and my sisters and I loved giving them out. I did it for many years, but now I’m doing well to make a few things for friends.

I did try my hand at Brioche, a very eggy bread that reminds me of Challah. Really not my favorite. I’m thinking Stollen next and hoping it’s more to my liking. If so, I’ll give some away.

One thing I can’t give up is Cheese Grits on Christmas morning. We’ve had it for as long as I can remember. 

Oh, Cheese Grits!
Share some of your traditional dishes. Good food is always appealing.


Anonymous said...

MMMMM. Fudge. I love fudge. I have moved around a lot and our family is spread out. There are several of us here on the Gulf coast and we usually gather at my house. Mr Wonderful does the shopping and cooking. YAY!

sherry fundin said...

Oops.I didn't mean to hit Anonymous.

Shehanne Moore said...

oh...looks fabulous!!

Ellis Vidler said...

Sherry, Fudge is one of the highlights of the season. We'd make it if my sister were here, but she's on the Gulf Coast too.

Ellis Vidler said...

Shehanne, I wish my stollen would look like that, but it's a stock photo. I may try it this afternoon.

Polly Iyer said...

They all look great, and I know you could make them. Me? Not so much. Merry Christmas.

Ellis Vidler said...

Polly, if I make some, I'll share. The stollen is on my list.