Thursday, December 6, 2007

Handcrafters Holidays Blog Meme, vol. 2: Traditions

Third times the charm. Hopefully this time my comment on Sew Mama Sew's Handcrafters Holiday meme will go through. Frankly technology is getting on my last nerve today.


  • What is your favorite family holiday tradition?
Being Buddhist my traditions are a little different than most. My all time favorite tradition is our yearly trip to the Indian restaurant up in Madison for dinner on Christmas night. Originally I wanted the tradition to be going out for Chinese food on Christmas night. I thought it was funny in a sort of bad TV holiday movie special sort of way, isn't that what the do in A Christmas Story? But wouldn't you know that all the Chinese places around here are closed for the Holiday! We were able to find an Indian place that was open that first year though. Since we don't get to have real, super spicy Indian food on a regular basis, this became our yearly tradition. We've ended up going to the resturant in Madison over the other place in Rockford because while it was nice, it was a little strange to be the only people in the entire place! I guess most everyone in Rockford is having a more traditional Christmas dinner than we are.
  • Have you started any new traditions with your family that you didn’t practice growing up?
When I was growing up our "traditions" included running to hell and back to every random family members home, opening a bunch of store bought presents from people who, judging by the gift choices, knew nothing about us. So basically everything we do now is new. We don't go anywhere or really see anyone other than ourselves. We make rather than buy our gifts. We try to be as relaxed as possible. It's already a stressful enough time of year, why make it more so with a lot of travel?
  • What do you love most about the holiday season?
To be honest, the decorating. Sure it drives me nuts. I'm not one to start decorating early. Heck we're just talking about it now. But it really is the time of year when my house looks its best. The red "theme" to traditional holiday decorations really looks nice with the red in my living room. While the extra clutter frustrates my inner minimalist, I do like seeing how excited L gets putting up little decorations all over the place. Now if someone else would just pack everything away again in January!
  • What do you like least about the holiday season?
The consumerism! There isn't much more to say about that without getting entirely more emotional than a holiday meme needs. Suffice it to say, letting go of possessions and greed are hot button issues for me & the entire holiday season goes against that, a lot!
  • Anyone close to your heart that you’ll be missing this year?
ETA: Our pets. In the past year we had to put down Blue, our 12 year old Australian Cattle dog and Dot, my 9 year old kitty. Additionally Dot's litter-mate brother Dash died suddenly. While I love our two cats now, I really miss our old pets. I know it's for the best as both Blue & Dot where very ill. Still it's just not the same this time of year without them. We don'thave to worry about someone knocking down the advent calender to get at the chocolate, we don't have to tie the tree to the wall to prevent climbing cats from knocking it over. I will always miss them.

  • What is your favorite holiday food?
Lecherli. I mentioned it in Vol. 1. Lecherli is my great-grandmother Oma's recipe. It's similar to a fruit cake, only more cake than fruit. And despite how my mother would make it, does not have those fake red & green colored cherries in it. Yuck!
  • Do you have a great recipe to share?
Only since Kristen asked!


Click for notes on this years batch!

**This is my modified version, circa 2001. This is the version that Oma says is "just like hers". Of only she knew :) **

for cake
3/4 cup honey
2 eggs, beater
2 1/2 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon allspice
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
pinch of salt
1/2 cup chopped candied citron
1/2 cup chopped candied lemon or orange peel
3/4 cup chopped blanched almonds

for glaze
powdered sugar
vodka, rum or other liquor (water or orange juice for non alcoholic version)
almonds & candied fruit for garnish *optional*

Preheat oven to 350*
Bring honey to a boil in a shallow pan. Cool.
Add eggs and beat well.
Sift together dry ingredients.
Mix into honey mixture.
Beat a few minutes to develop gluten and create a softer cake.
Mix in almonds and candied fruit.
Spread into greased 10x15 inch shallow cake pan.
Use damp hands to spread batter. Make sure it is spread very thinly across the pan.
Lightly score 1x2 inch squares in wet dough.
Decorate with extra fruit and nuts if desired.
Bake at 350* for 25-30 minutes.
Meanwhile, combine vodka and powdered sugar to form a thin glaze.
Glaze while cake is still hot.
Allow to cook before slicing.
Reglaze as desired.
Keeps indefinitely in a tin with orange peel but not in my house where we eat it all the minute it comes out of the oven!


kristenok18 said...

oooo, yummmy!!! Thanks for sharing! ;)

Mama said...

Sounds yummy! Sorry you were having comment woes... It often takes awhile for us to approve them, especially if they're given in the evening (we then check in the morning and approve them in a batch). It's kind-of annoying not to have the instant feedback but we get so much spam it's necessary. If, by some chance, we made a mistake in not approving you should just let us know! I'd love to highlight your meme answers but didn't see the comment on the post giving us permission to do so (perhaps that's the comment you mentioned?). Try again and we'll see if it works. If you have trouble, email me at

Have a great day!

Chole said...

Thanks Beth. I totally get comment moderation. I didn't know the posts had to specifically say "ok to post". I sort of figured that adding a comment to the SMS blog with the link *was* giving permission. I'm still kinda new at blogging in a community, spent too many years as a blog hermit I guess.