In times gone by, people didn't have much. Money was tight. Goods we see as common, such as chocolate, were for the wealthy. An orange was an exotic treat (especially in the Canadian prairies). The everyday man had little in the way of comforts or valuable possessions.
How then did these people celebrate important holidays like Christmas? They used their imaginations and what they had available; hand made gifts for children and feasts made from everyday ingredients. Flour, dried fruit, sugar, honey, seeds were turned into delicious treats. With a bit of creativity and a lot of skill these simple ingredients became the delights of the season. Braided breads, buns with seedy exteriors, loaves with currents and dried fruit hidden within, gave the table an air of elegance.
Oh and the desserts. Don't forget the desserts. It's amazing what a bit of lard, flour and sugar can do. Cakes, cookies cut in fun shapes, tortes, tarts and pies were all part of the celebration. Women (traditionally women did the cooking) would work for weeks ahead, getting all the ingredients and special treats prepared.
Every culture and country has its special dishes and delights. The Irish would make minced tarts and Christmas pudding. The Germans would make spiced cookies and Christmas streusel. Families in the Ukraine would make Kolatki, a bit of rum thrown in to make it extra festive.
This year while you are preparing your Christmas feast, get in touch with your roots. Try our Pastry Flour and see how incredible the taste of Christmas can be. For something simple and sweet, check out our Shortbread Cookie Mix or our Gingerbread Cookie Mix!
Harvest Moon Mills