For many, the holidays come with a familiar set of sensory memories that put us back into the mindset of past merrymaking. We hear the jingling of bells and the crackling of a warm fire. We smell pine and juniper, or cocoa warming on the stove. We feel the kiss of snowflakes on our cheeks as we arrive at the homes of loved ones, ready to share in the celebrations that accompany the season. Of course, no holiday would be complete without the sense of taste. The end-of-the-year culinary traditions bring a whole host of experiences that we’ve come to associate with celebration. Here are a few sources for spicing up your holiday fare.
Gatherings & Celebrations : History, Folklore, Rituals and Recipes for the Occasions that Bring People Together
Gatherings and Celebrations by Burt Wolf is a unique international exploration of holidays and food. Wolf pairs each holiday with a geographical region and then gives a bit of history about the holiday, the customs observed, and which kinds of dishes are frequently served. In the “Christmas in Germany” chapter, he describes the German Pfefferkuchen, spice cakes made with pepper dating back to medieval times and Spekulatius, hard gingerbread prepared in the likeness of St. Nicholas. Each section also has its respective set of recipes, and those wanting to try a German-style Christmas celebration can try the Roast Christmas Goose, Riesling Soup, or Red Wine Spiced Cabbage
To Every Season : A Family Holiday Cookbook
If you find yourself with kids who want to help out in the kitchen, Jane Zalben’s To Every Season: A Family Holiday Cookbook is a good collection of holiday favorites with simple, but delicious ingredients. If you’re celebrating Hanukkah, Pearl’s Potato Latkes are fun to fry together. For celebrants of Kwanzaa, Sweet Potato Pudding is a simple, sweet treat that will give your whole kitchen a festive aroma. For a fun project that will show off everyone’s artistic side, you can try Spiced and Iced Gingerbread Animals that the little ones will enjoy making just as much as eating.
Mr. Food Test Kitchen Christmas Made Easy : Recipes, Tips and Edible Gifts for a Stress-free Holiday
Holidays are times of joy, but they can also be stressful. We don’t all have hours to spend in the kitchen. Luckily, the Mr. Food Test Kitchen has your back with Christmas Made Easy : Recipes, Tips and Edible Gifts for a Stress-Free Holiday. This book offers many recipes that you can prepare in advance and heat when you’re about to serve. The Strawberry Breakfast Rollups are the perfect warm treat for a cold winter morning. There are also many recipes that are as easy to prepare as casseroles, but will still spice up the menu for a special holiday treat, such as the Ravioli Pesto Pie and Garden Sloppy Joes. Sometimes all it takes is a little inspiration to make an easy recipe into a holiday family favorite.
A Country Music Christmas : Christmas Songs, Memories, Family Photographs and Recipes from America’s Favorite Country and Gospel Stars
For something a little different, why not add the strum of a guitar into your Christmas celebration? A Country Music Christmas is a collection of family photos, memories, and recipes from a whole host of country legends. Make sure you grab the accompanying CD to put on while you prepare Alan Jackson’s Chattahoochee Cornbread and Cornbread Dressing, Willie Nelson’s Always on My Mind Biscuits and Chocolate Gravy with Cocoa, or Dolly Parton’s Jolly Cheesecake Pudding. If you and your family love country music, this is the perfect combination to celebrate the holidays.
No matter how you and yours celebrate the holiday season, we here at the Ivy Tech Northeast Library wish everyone a happy, safe, and sane season. Season’s greetings!