The Advent Calendar Dec. 3: Holiday Food
OH how I wish I could remember what food Grandma (HODICK) McHUGH used to put out! I remember very little, however, other than the cookies. So I asked dad to help me out a little.
Christmas Eve was when we got together at Grandma and Grandpa McHUGH's house. My parents, two brothers and I would go, as well as my dad's sister, Aunt Norie and her husband, Joe and their two children Paul and Susan. And of course, Aunt Maryann was there, too.
To dad's recollection, Grandma always served Ham, Potatos, Sauerkraut and carrots as the main meal. The only part of this I remember is the Sauerkraut.
I also remember (God help me on the spelling here) Pfeffernuesse Cookies (thank you, Google) -- those soft-ish ginger type round cookies covered in powdered sugar(pictured above, courtesy of www.marions-kochbuch.de/rezept/1462.jpg). Grandma always made those. She also had peanut butter cookies and something dad thought was called something like Kalochin ... it was a nut roll of some type. She also made these cookies that dad described as kind of a bar cookie, only it had fruit over the top and the four edges of the square were folded in towards the center. He think it's an Italian cookie? Google did not help me on these last two cookies, so if you know what I'm talking about, please, do share :).
The only other food thing I remember about Christmas at Grandma McHugh's were the hard ribbon candies. She had those every year, in every corner of the house! Candy canes, too. Last year I saw a tin of those ribbon candies and just had to buy some for old times' sake.
Christmas Day was started at home opening gifts. Then we'd go off to my mother's brother's house. There we'd eat and exchange gifts with Uncle Jimmy, Aunt Joyce, and my cousins Patty, Kevin, Maureen, Brian, and Tim. And Grandma (DOYLE) O'ROURKE. As I got a little older, we had to pick Gramma up at the nursing home, first :(.
Dinner at the O'ROURKE's house, if I remember correctly, was traditional turkey dinner. Turkey, stuffing, potatos/gravy, the whole thing.
A few years ago some friends and I decided to have a Christmas Cookie exchange. I learned quickly that I do not know how to bake. I wound up tossing the sugar cookie I attempted to make and going to Target to get some Christmas Tins with cookies in them. For the recipe I had to bring with my cookies, I typed up the instructions for driving to Target to get the tins!
This year, I decided someone needs to pick up Grandma's tradition of home-baked cookies at Christmas, so I asked a friend of mine if I could join her when she bakes to learn how. Yesterday was my first lesson, and we made a lemon bar and chocolate chip cookie bars. Four remained out; the rest are in the freezer!