Friday, December 16, 2011

Holiday Blog Hopping ... and Food!

Thanks to everyone who either stopped by or left a comment yesterday. I love hearing what other people think. :-) Winners to my contest will be announced on December 26.

As I might have mentioned, I've decided to talk about holiday themes throughout this event. Yesterday's topic was favorite holiday music. Normally I would have been spending a good deal of time yesterday thinking about what to write about next, but we were having a luncheon at my day job and everyone brought in their favorite dishes and desserts. I over-indulged a bit and went home quite full, to the point where I told my husband I wasn't going to eat dinner, he was on his own. As a peace offering, though, I did bring home a few pieces of one of the cakes (marble with chocolate mousse filling and really good butter cream icing...not that thick stuff that makes me think I'm eating pure lard! So yummy). At least I intended the cake to be for him....sorry, honey! :-)

I did manage to not eat dinner but my growling stomach woke me around 2 a.m., which got me to thinking about food. It finally occurred to me—that's a great topic for the holiday blog hop . . . favorite holiday foods!

In my house, it's not Christmas until I bake a giant batch of my husband's grandmother's Christmas Cookies. Grandma Rose was a tough German lady with a heart of gold. Every year she'd go into a baking frenzy at the holidays—fruitcake (yes, the real, home-made stuff), and all sorts of cookies, including this one that reminded me more of sweet biscuits than cookies. I'm not sure what the real name is; we only know them as "Christmas Cookies," probably because that's the only time of year she made them.

There are only a few ingredients, all simple staples from the cupboard, except for one—baker's ammonia. In Grandma Rose's heyday, it was called Hartshorne and was procured at the local drugstore because of the "ammonia" component. One year Grandma had shared this recipe with a friend who in turn made it for her family. When the friend's husband accused her of trying to poison him (with ammonia), Grandma had to go to court to testify on her friend's behalf. (I've always wondered what happened to that couple!)

If you'd like to try making them yourself, here is the recipe:

Ingredients
3 cups sugar
6 eggs
1 cup butter (softened)
1/2 cup milk
1-1/2 teaspoons baker's ammonia (or a "lump"
about the size of a quarter, in Grandma's day)
Flour – about 4 pounds
* Combine sugar with softened butter until well blended
* Add eggs, mix well
* Warm the milk in microwave to warm/hot (not scalding)
* Dissolve the baker's ammonia in the warm milk
*Add the milk mixture to the rest, mix well
*Add flour, a little at a time, until it doesn't stick to the hands or rolling pin
* Roll dough between 1/8 and 1/4 inch thick (depending on preferences) and cut with cookie cutters
* Bake on ungreased cookie sheet at 350° about 8 minutes, or until light gold in color
* Cool and enjoy!

What are your family's must-have holiday foods?

Leave a comment to be entered into the drawing for a copy of Adrienne's Ghost (10 to be given) and a $25 Amazon gift certificate. My winners are also entered into the Holiday Blog Hop's contest for the super grand prize, a KINDLE FIRE! (Geez, I wish I were eligible!)

Or....I know not everyone wants to leave a comment (and sometimes technology stumps us!). To enter without leaving a comment, you can simply e-mail me (leah@leahstjames.com) with a note that you'd like to enter.

10 comments:

  1. Thanks, Sandy, for stopping by! Hope you're having fun "hopping"!

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  2. Sounds like you love Fruit Cake too. My mum-in-law adds extra cherries, MMMM deanna_boocock@hotmail.com

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  3. Well...the must have holiday food is actually a leftover meal made with turkey. It's my mom's turkey curry casserole.

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  4. Hands down Granny's pumpkin roll and Uncle Bill's Mac and Cheese. It's not a holiday without those two. Sadly I don't have a copy of Granny's recipe and my mom has yet to e-mail it to me -.-;

    a_breen87@yahoo.com

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  5. Thanks, Deanna, Julie and CherryBlossomRain for sharing your favorites. They all sound delicious...except now I'm hungry and I just ate breakfast! Somehow peanut butter on a low-calorie, multigrain muffin isn't cutting it. :-) Thanks so much for stopping by.

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  6. My favorite was grandma's crescent cookies, which used Crisco.

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  7. Yes, the crescent cookies are my personal favorites too. Although I replaced the Crisco with butter (so much better...right?) :-), I have to say they never had a hint of lard-y flavor!

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  8. one of our favorites is almond toffee crunch....basic ingredients are butter, sugar, chocolate, and almonds. Need I say more?!! I love to give it as gifts.

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  9. two must have foods in my family, potatoe bake (cheesy potatoes) and pumpkin pie. yum! thanks!
    shadowluvs2read(at)gmail(dot)com

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