Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Happy Birthday Jesus!

On this Christmas Eve, we celebrate it as a holy day and save the secular Santa Claus celebration for tomorrow.

We will go to mass to celebrate the birth of the Christ child. This used to be at midnight, but now mass is earlier in the evening here in our small town. There may even be some snow on the ground to make it feel and look like Christmas here in the midwest.

After mass, we will eat our traditional meal of pierogi.  It is not a true Christmas Eve meal eaten in Poland.  I think that involves serving fish as one of the courses.

But my mom taught me how to make homemade pierogi as her mother taught her. (Note my apron which DD1 gave me last year for Christmas,) My grandma's pierogi fillings were from a region in Poland that now is part of Russia.  No potato fillings.  One is cheese (farmer's cheese to be authentic but I use ricotta) and one is a mixture of ground beef, onion, and hard boiled egg. The dough recipe is a cheater--grandma cooked from scratch, a pinch of this, a handful of that.  My mom showed me an easy recipe in the Fanny Farmer cookbook--it's actually for ravioli dough. (I got my Fanny Farmer cookbook from my aunt as a wedding gift 45 years ago--my mom's I gave to DD2.)  I still roll and hand form the pierogi.  After boiling the pierogi, we sautee them in butter and serve with dollops of sour cream. I continued the tradition with my family.

This year I served them the day after Thanksgiving when all my children and their families were together here at our home and had an early gift exchange. But I saved a few for tonight for the hubby and me to enjoy.

Christmas is a time for nostalgia.  My cousin always sends me a box of candy from the store where my mom used to work as a teenager in Milwaukee.  I get out my dolls, bringing back childhood memories of family and tradition.  (The doily upon which I placed my dolls is one of the many cotton thread crochet items my grandma, mom and aunties made.)

I hope you have a wonderful holiday and are creating and celebrating your own traditions. 

Tomorrow I'll be back with a Santa Claus post.

(The card and tag shown in this post are recent makes as part of the Gecko Galz design team.)

1 comment:

Aimeslee said...

What a delightful set of customs! Merry Christmas to you, Helene. I get a lot of inspiration from subscribing to your blog. I'm certain there are many of us out there lurking, lol. Thanks for sharing and Happy Awesome New Year. xoxo, Aimeslee

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