Saturday, December 9, 2017

Christmas traditions

'Twas the night before Christmas
Christmas in my family has, or had, many traditional activities. Some have gone by the wayside as the family dwindled--there are only seven of us here, but we get together and eat and enjoy each other, and eat some more, and finally nap. Son John and sister Christy are the best cooks, but we all help.

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—Claire even owns a Christmas shop and bakes cookies.

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. My sister the artist makes pretty cookies. (It did take her several tries to get them looking good.)
Christy's Christmas Cookies

Mother used to make a range of candies and cakes and filled paper plates, which we tied up in red 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.

Christy's Lane Cake
My sister usually makes a Lane Cake. They're special and maybe made more in the south. Harper Lee mentions one in To Kill a Mockingbird, but this is not her recipe. Whatever, it's scrumptious and goes quickly.

My job is usually to set the table--less risky than some of my cooking. What are your Christmas traditions? Favorite foods?