Monday, December 28

Holiday Food

Christmas Eve morning I decided I *must* make my MIL's Christmas Tree bread. It is her thing. (Do you have a thing? Are you the spiced nut gal? Or the rum ball person? I don't have a thing. Maybe I will someday) Each year she makes lots of these trees and delivers them to friends and family. We always eat ours Christmas morning. It's something we look forward to every year.

As I was frantically getting my trees out of the oven so we wouldn't miss our movie, it occurred to me that what we really missed was not just the Christmas Tree Bread. We missed the one that my MIL makes and delivers. I could try and replicate the actual bread but it could never be the same. It wouldn't come on a paper plate covered with plastic wrap with a little gift tag in the corner saying Bryce and Katy. It didn't come from my MIL. It is impossible to separate the food from who made it, the occasion and the feelings surrounding it. Know what I mean?

We ate our bread on Christmas morning. We enjoyed it. Bryce even thanked me for making it. But it didn't give us what we were really looking for - family and the comfort of well worn holiday traditions.

Do you have any holiday foods like that? Ones that will always remind you of the comfort of Christmas? Here are mine: cracked crab, smoked salmon spread, omelets with chantrelle mushrooms, English Bangers, Nanaimo bars, krumkake, cherry coffee cake and Christmas Tree Bread.


allthingsjuice said...

I don't have a signature food either. Maybe one day... I think it's lovely that you recreated a piece of home for your holiday.

Happy New Year!

Monkey's Mama said...

I make the ubiquitous artichoke dip - everyone loves it. I love it! Other "holiday foods": the brick of cream cheese with shrimp and cocktail sauce. Fadiman (sp?) they are a fried dough cookie that my grandma made (and now my Aunt makes). Smoked salmon with cream cheese (my dad catches it and my mom smooshes it into cream cheese) :) Happy New Year!

Dim Sum, Bagels, and Crawfish said...

Love that Christmas bread. We always have crawfish etoufee on Christmas. It's delicious mix of red and green served over white rice. Yum...really missed that this year since there don't seem to be any crawfish here in Sicily.

Julia @Mélanger said...

I love this little bread. It's so adorable. What a great idea. I don't really have any traditional food that I eat each year - apart from turkey! It switches from seafood to roast to salad. And I want to bake something different each year because there's always something new I want to try. Like this bread!!

This Girl loves to Talk said...

that tree is AWESOME.. I have never seen anything like it.. I am so gonna do that next year!!

As it is summer here at christmas we have every year for breakfast - Mangoes, cherries, plums, nectarines, banana apples etc with Toblerone chocolate Dip

and I buy crossiants and we fill them with turkey,cream cheese and cranberry sauce and cook. YUM! I am hungry for more just writing that :)

Jessica said...

We always have a kuchen and then make a strata for Christmas morning. That tree bread looks so yummy!

katy said...

I'm so glad you all love the Christmas tree bread! It is made from a recipe in the New Picture Betty Crocker cookbook (found in every American kitchen) It is a basic white yeast dough with a little sugar in it. I think it's called Sweet Dough. I'm sure these trees could be made with any versatile white dough. Even the Rhodes frozen dough would work.

My MIL puts green sprinkles on the tree and a candied cherry on the top for the star. The recipe calls for a drizzle of icing over the top. Seems like too much sweet to me.

Juice: I think we just need to make one thing each year as a gift. Then it will become our thing. I just get so board making the same thing.

Monkey: I love that artichoke dip. Doesn't need to be fancy to be tradition. Happy New Year to you too.

Dim Sum: I've heard the word etoufee before, but I'm not sure what it is. Is it like a jumbo? I've eaten crawfish as a child but not since. What do they eat in Sicily during the holdiays?

Julie: I agree, it is a challenge to stick to one thing when there is always something new to bake. After seeing the extraordinary things that come out of your kitchen I can only assume your guests love whatever is served.

This Girl: I can't imagine fresh topical fruit at Christmas. Lucky you!

Jessica: Can't go wrong with either of those. Love the make-ahead nature of a stata!

Emily said...

Grammy's pecan tarts!! Yummy! Omelettes will always remind me of Christmas too. I would love the recipe for Bryce's mom's bread, it is so so good. You still in Paris?

likeschocolate said...

How fun! It is intresting to read what people eat for Christmas dinner. Wishing you all the best in 2010!

Road Trippers said...

Listen, since I don't have a MIL to make me a buttery tree like this. In fact, I couldn't eat the buttery thing anyway. But it looks delish and I'm pretty sure I'd love it if ANYONE gave me a cool bread tree like this one.

I usually make toffee each year with my Grams. Have I ever made it for you?

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