More Than the Feast
by Brittany Stowasser
One of my favorite personal thing is the sense of community that happens around a good meal. Many a business deal has been sealed, personal decisions have been made and families brought together while breaking bread.
There is also so much tradition that is upheld through food. Recipes past down from generation to generation, chili made at football games, turkey at Thanksgiving, ham and/or turkey at Christmas, cabbage at New Years for good luck……Shoot, we even like to make cookies and leave them out for Santa! He does, after all, need his energy to get to each and every little ones home. Don’t forget the reindeer!
So, I’m curious…what are some of your favorite holiday food traditions?? I know we have some mean foodie cooking types out there who love it as much as I do! We would love to hear!
I’ll share some of mine!
During this season and all the craziness that goes on getting things ready I enjoy relaxing with a cup of hot chocolate with cayenne pepper and a couple of shortbread cookies that are from a family recipe three generations before me. Then, of course our family lunch/dinner that always starts at 12:30 in the afternoon and finishes with us all sitting and talking around the house with pecan pie and late afternoon cups of coffee.
Shortbread Cookie Recipe (a.k.a) “Karen’s Cookies”
2 cups sugar
1 cup shortening (don’t judge, just cook, LOL!)
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 tablespoon vanilla flavoring if you wish
You mix all of these ingredients together, and then use a mixer until the dough is stiff. Once it’s a thick consistency, roll it out on floured wax paper and cut into shapes, bake on a greased cookie sheet at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes or until rises and slightly brown, cool and add frosting if desired or sprinkles. Makes about 24 cookies depending on size you cut them. *Note* these are not by themselves “sweet” cookies per say, they are perfect with coffee or hot cocoa. Me being married into this German cookie recipe it took awhile for me to get used to them -now I must have them every year. Yum!
My other favorite recipe I am almost positive everyone will love. I walked into my best friend’s house at 16 and have never been the same since tasting wassail. What is Wassail you ask? It’s a delicious cider that will make your abode smell like heaven and tastes equally as good in my opinion. This recipe makes a cauldron so it’s perfect to serve for a gathering!
Gail’s Awesome Wassail
2 quarts apple cider or juice (64 oz.)
1 pint cranberry juice or cocktail (64 oz.)
¾ cup sugar (optional)
1 tsp. Aromatic bitters (optional)
3 cinnamon sticks
1 tsp whole cloves
1 tsp whole allspice
1 orange sliced studded with whole cloves
Combine: Juice, sugar, spices (in cheese cloth or strain before drinking)
Bring to a boil simmer and then Simmer 1 hour.
Thank me later. It IS that good, go! Make some!
Have you heard the Wild Ramp has a cookbook? Available in store, priced at $20 (Friends of the Market price is $15) or $12 for the CD version. This week in store we have organic grass fed beef from Swift Level Farms. Come visit the Wild Ramp for your last minute holiday meal items and for gifts too! We have Wild ramp logo coffee cups for the locavore in your life as well as fabulous art ornaments made from veggies and others from beeswax!!!!