The history of Christmas, Santa Claus, and many more curious and useful
facts were featured in Part One.
Today we will talk about the lovely time when the festive spirit is in
the air, when the clock hands tirelessly approach the Holy Day, when the
table is to be laid with long waited-for treats, and when all family members
fuss in the kitchen willing to help their Mom cook something delicious.
Grass and leaves are hidden deep under the snow, and the mercury of the
thermometer below the deck's light is crawling lower and lower. Yes, it
is that time of year again... A time for remaining indoors around the
fireplace and for baking Christmas cookies while kids look through piles
of catalogues for gifts that hopefully will arrive in time. The highlight
of the Christmas food is the cookies. There are dozens of different cookies,
shaped like figures of Christmas or stamped with familiar designs. Edible
trees and tiny baked brown gnomes fill the warm kitchens for a week before
the festivities. The number of recipes is staggering. They all taste very
differently and are made only around Christmas. Santa's
Favourites website offers recipes from around the world,
but some arefrom Germany: Christmas Stuffing, Ginger Bread, Mint Snowballs, Nutmeg Rolls, even King George Christmas Pudding 1714.
For many dishes the relative amount of ingredients to this day is kept
secret, so this collection of recipes will help to know what the real
thing can taste like. In Germany the typical Christmas cake is Stollen.
The first stollen was baked in Dresden in the 14th century, and shaped
to resemble the Christ-child in swaddling clothes. The fruit-laden cake
is slow to rise, distinctly dry and dense in texture, aromatic, and flavorful.
It's the perfect accompaniment to a cup of strong black coffee after a
night of Christmas Eve worship and revelry. Worth a special mention is
(Gingerbread House), a creation of the 18th century. Even for a less elaborate
version be prepared to spend a full weekend making one.
If you are up to the challenge, try your hands at making one of the recipes
below. Some of them are only available in German.