Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas!

Christmas is finally here!  This year has been a little unusual.  Generally, we tear through the presents at a rapid, joyful pace and by noon, we're staring at each other going "Now what?"  This year, present-opening went on until nearly 1pm (partly because I happen to be sick with the flu and we had to wait an hour to eat breakfast due to some medicinal constraints.) Due to this delay in time, there was no after-present lull.  We skipped straight to cooking and preparing the house for Christmas dinner. 

Breakfast Christmas morning is always the same: Scrambled eggs and Stollen.  What is Stollen?  So glad you asked.  Stollen is the final Schildkret-Griffin Christmas tradition I'll be sharing this year. 

 No Christmas would be complete without Stollen.  If you’ve never experienced this German sweet bread, you’re missing something delicious.  Stollen requires you to buy several pint-containers of candied fruits-pineapple, orange peels, and (the best part) cherries that end up sitting in the cabinet for the other eleven months of the year, but it’s definitely worth it.  In 2008, I spent Christmas in Venezuela (I skyped with my parents on Christmas day and they actually opened presents they had bought for me in front of the camera.) It was a bit strange being away from home at Christmas and I found myself feeling very homesick.  What did I do to make the holidays feel more like what I was used to?  I Baked Stollen. 

The recipe isn’t terribly difficult (you don’t actually need any fancy schmancy equipment, I made it all by hand in Venezuela) and the finished product is a delicious, delicate semi-sweet bread.  It doesn’t keep long, but it never has to.  A loaf of Stollen never lasts longer than 2 or 3 days in my house.  It also makes a great gift, and we always bake a few extra loaves to give (a bit reluctantly) to a few special people.  If you receive a loaf of Stollen from a Schildkret or a Griffin, you can rank yourself among the few closest of our friends.

Merry Christmas Everyone!

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