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A Cultural Cullinary Christmas

Cullinary Christmas Traditions in Spain, Germany, Brazil, and in my own home.
by

C Suzanne Bragg

on 27 March 2012

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Transcript of A Cultural Cullinary Christmas

A Cultural Cullinary Christmas By C Suzanne Bragg
ED 447 Germany

Makes 13 dozen 2-1/2” cookies
8 oz. (227 g) butter or stick margarine
2-1/3 C. (460 g) granulated sugar
3 eggs, separated
4-1/2 C. (300 g) unbleached white flour
1 T. (5 g) anise seed
1/2 t. (1 g) ammonium carbonate (or 4 t. (8 g) baking powder)
This is a two-day baking process. Day one (30 minutes):
Put the butter or margarine and eggs out to warm to room temperature.
Sift the flour before measuring it, then sift it into a medium bowl with the ammonium carbonate or baking powder. Be careful not to breathe it, as it’s really strong. The smell will completely disappear during baking.
Crush the anise seed using a mortar and pestle, rolling pin, or kitchen mallet. Set aside.
Separate the eggs, putting the yolks into a small bowl and the whites into a large batter or mixing bowl.
Measure out the sugar.
Beat the egg whites and set aside in a medium bowl. Using the same large mixing bowl that you whipped the egg whites in, cream the butter or margarine, then add the sugar and egg yolks and cream some more until fluffy and light yellow. Fold in the egg whites and crushed anise. Mix in the flour just until blended completely.
Let dough sit out on the counter overnight, covered. (Not in the refrigerator.)
Day two (2 hours):
Preheat the oven to 450F/ 210C/ gas mark 7. Put fresh parchment paper on your cookie sheets, and set out your wire racks, along with a thin metal spatula.
Beat one egg in a bowl with a fork and set aside with a pastry brush. Place this near your workspace along with a thin offset spatula, rolling pin, and flour scoop or spoon.
These work best rolled out on a wooden board. You can use a large wooden cutting board if you don’t have a butcher block counter top.

Flour your work surface, your hands, and the rolling pin. Take a handful of dough and add enough flour as you roll it out so that it’s not sticky. It shouldn’t stick to your hands, the bowl, or your rolling pin.
Roll out to a thickness of 1/8”-1/4” (0.4-0.6 cm) as evenly as possible. Use only one cookie cutter shape per sheet, so that they bake evenly.
Place them on the cookie sheets with about 1/2” (1 cm) between them. They don’t spread very much. Brush the tops with the beaten egg. If you are really picky, strain the beaten egg to remove the membrane.
Bake until golden brown, about 4 minutes for dark-colored baking sheets, and 6 minutes for light-colored baking sheets. They burn easily, so set a timer and check after 4 minutes.
I have four sheets going, so that I can be working on one, one is in the oven, and two are cooling. It’s best not to put cookies onto hot (or warm) baking sheets; you can put them outside (after removing the cookies) to cool them down quickly.
Notes: To my knowledge, no one has ever gotten sick from eating these cookies, despite leaving eggs and butter dough out on the counter overnight. I have no idea if the ammonium carbonate needs this time to work; this is just how we have always made them. At any rate, do NOT eat this cookie dough while it is raw.
Traditionally German Christmas dinner is made up of carp, goose, or simply potato salad. On the evening of December 24, families decorate their Christmas tree and eat Christmas dinner. The German children wait for an angel in white referred to as the "Christ Child" to bring them gifts. Once dinner is over, Christmas music is played and gifts are exchanged. As the evening of celebration comes to an end, the family gathers to watch family films, eat Christmas Cookies and drink champagne. Spain In Spain "the meal of Christmas Eve" is never eaten until after midnight. The menu varies depending on the area of Spain. In Castile, Leon, and Castile La Manha suckling pig and lamb are served traditionally. Andalusia serves traditional bird recipes and those who live on the coast dine on seafood and fish. There are many specially made dishes and very carefully chosen sweets decorating Spanish tables during the holidays.

One of many traditional desserts served at Christmas is roscon. There are many variations of this Spanish treat but all are based on the traditional recipe. Basically roscon is a sweet bread ring baked and decorated with dried fruit that may also be found stuffed with cream in the center.

After Christmas dinner Spanish families gather around the Christmas tree and sing Christmas Carols and hymns of Christendom. The celebration continues for hours into the morning. Christmas Day many Spanish families spend the day in church and feasting.

Rather than Santa bringing gifts to the children of Spain, the Three Wise Men come bearing gifts for all the children on the Eve of Epiphany, January 5th. Epiphany is celebrated with with parades where candy and cakes are distributed to crowds of children. Anise Christmas Cookies Roscon Ingredients:
•500g flour
•125g sugar
•125g butter
•12g yeast
•2 or 3 eggs
•1/4 litre milk
•lemon or orange zest
•pinch of salt
•water
•almonds and dried fruit for decoration

Method:
•Warm the milk and dissolve the yeast in the milk.
•Mix it with 175g of flour and a pinch of salt.
•Knead the dough until all ingredients are mixed together.
•Make the dough into a ball and place in a covered dish.
•Leave to rise for an hour in a warm place (it should double in size).
•In another bowl put the remaining 325g of flour, the sugar, melted butter, eggs and a dash of water, as well as the lemon or orange zest.
•Mix well.
•When the dough has doubled in size, mix well with the other ingredients and form into a ball, adding some oil to keep it moist.
•Then place it in a covered bowl and leave for 3 hours in a warm place (again it should double in size).
When the hour is up, paint the top of the roscon with a beaten egg, decorate with the dried fruit and place in a preheated oven at 180ºC for 45 minutes.After 3 hours, remove the ball of dough and shape it into a ring, then place on a greased baking tray, cover with a cloth and leave for another hour (again, it should double in size).
Spanish Roscon German Anise Cookies Traditional Spanish Pig Traditional Spanish Lamb Roasted Goose Traditional Spanish Christmas Treats Traditional Bragg Family Christmas My parents, brothers, and their families and I gather each year on Christmas Eve, December 24. One of us opens our home for the evening to celebrate with dinner and gift giving.

We serve a plethera of southern vegetables, a Honey Baked Christmas ham, and any number of desserts. My favorite dessert to bake during Christmas is a red velvet cake with cream cheese icing.

My family enjoys a nice Christmas meal giving thanks to God for all His many blessings and asking Him to bless our food and our families. After dinner we choose a "Santa Claus" to hand out gifts. Once all the gifts are handed out we take turns opening them.

We like to go through our gifts and show one another what we have been given. The children take their toys out of the boxes and begin to play. But it isn't very long after, that we all move back into the kitchen to fill our tummies again.

On Christmas night the children and I put out cookies and milk for Santa and Reindeer food for his magic Reindeer. When the children wake Christmas morning they run out and look under the Christmas Tree to see what Santa Claus has brought for them. You can tell Santa has been there because you can see where he and his Reindeer have eaten their goodies. Then we open the gifts and play until it's time for a nap. Afterwards, we like to get up and eat leftovers.



2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1 Tablespoon cocoa
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups oil
1 cup buttermilk
1 Tablespoon vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 oz. red food coloring
•Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
•Grease and flour two 8 inch cake pans.
•Lightly stir eggs in a medium bowl with a wire whisk. Add remaining liquid ingredients and stir together with whisk until blended. Set aside.
•Place all the dry ingredients in your mixing bowl and stir together really good with another wire whisk.
•Add wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix on medium-high for about a minute or until completely combined.
•Pour into cake pans and then drop the pans on the counter a few times to release any air bubbles.
•Bake for about 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
•After about ten minutes, remove from pans and cool completely on a wire rack. I also cover in plastic wrap while the cakes cool.
•Then make the frosting.

Cream Cheese Frosting:
8 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
1 cup butter, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla
6 cups confectioners’ sugar
•Sift sugar and set aside.
•Beat cream cheese and butter on high until creamy. Add vanilla.
•Then, add the sugar in batches. Scrape down the sides in between each addition.
•And frost away.

Red Velvet Cake Merry Christmas from my family to yours!! Brazil The Brazilian culture originates from Portugal. Brazil Christmas customs are deeply rooted in it's Portuguese heritage. Food is an important part of Christmas in Brazil. A typical Christmas dinner is held during the hot summertime and consists of delicious Brazil turkey, colored rice, cooked ham, and fresh fruit and vegetable offerings.

Papai Noel is responsible for bringing the gifts to all the children. Legend has it that Papai Noel resides in Greenland and wears silk clothes when he comes to Brazil to stay cool in the summer heat.

One major tradition is creating the nativity scene, or as the natives call it, Prespio. This comes from the Hebrew word “presepium”, which describes the straw bed where Jesus rested in Bethlehem.

Brazil is home to many Catholics who take the religious aspect of Christmas seriously. Such worshipers generally attend midnight mass services, which in Brazil are referred to as “Missa do Galo.” This name refers to a rooster whose crow announces the coming day of Christmas morning.

Christmas night in Brazil is a time of rapture and celebration, as fireworks light up the city skylines and the lights of Christmas trees made of strung lights can be seen for miles around. Fresh-picked flowers decorate homes and storefronts, making the joy of the Christmas season visible to all.

Ceia de Natal - Brazilian Christmas Turkey Feast This recipe serves 8 people (Brazilians) with plenty of leftovers. You will need to marinate it for at least 24 hours before you start preparing it for roasting. For the marinade you will need.

1 bottle of champagne
2 large onions, sliced
6 garlic cloves, minced
1 Tbsp of Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp of a good quality mustard
1/2 cup of vinegar
1 cup of a good quality olive oil
2 large bay leaves
juice of one lime
2 cups of water
1/2 cup of chopped scallions
1/2 cup of chopped parsley
salt and black pepper to taste
8-10 strips of bacon to decorate turkey for roasting

Rub the turkey inside and out with a paste made with the sal, garlic, mustard, pepper and Worcestershire sauce. Place the turkey in a non-reactive pan or very large pyrex, and add olive oil, vinegar, lime juice, champagne and water. Add bay leaves, sliced onions, scallions and parsley. Cover loosely with a large piece of plastic and leave in refrigerator for 24 hours, periodically dousing turkey with the liquid.
The dressing

Besides the giblets and farinha de mandioca, you will need:
1 can of peaches in light syrup
4 hard-boiled eggs, chopped
1/2 lb of pitted prunes, chopped into small pieces
1/4 lb of seedless raisins
1 large onion, chopped
1 Tbsp of chopped scallions
1 Tbsp of chopped parsley
salt and pepper to taste
4 Tbsp of butter

Cook the giblets well in water, with salt, black pepper and a bay leave. Remove from liquid. Chop into small pieces and reserve. Remove peaches from liquid and drain well for a few minutes. Chop into small pieces.

In a large frying pan or saucepan, saute onions in butter until golden brown, add chopped giblets and raisins, stir well, add peaches and prunes. Add farinha de mandioca, enough to form a wet farofa. Add salt and pepper, chopped eggs, scallions and parsley. Remove from heat and reserve.
Preparing the turkey

Remove turkey from marinade and rub it well inside and out with butter or tub margarine, fill with dressing and close opening well. Reserve marinade for basting. Reserve leftover dressing. Place turkey on roasting pan. Crisscross bacon strips on top of breast for decoration. Pour some of the marinade over the turkey. Cover turkey with aluminum foil and roast it at 325° F basting it at regular intervals with the remaining marinade. Turkey is done when a meat thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the thigh reads 185° F. About 20 minutes before it's ready, remove foil and let it become a beautiful golden color.
It's ready...now you need to garnish it!

For the garnish you will need:
1 can of peaches, halved, in light syrup, well drained
1/2 lb of pitted prunes

Serve white meats surrounded by peaches and prunes and dark meats on a separate tray with the dressing. Serve with white rice.

Bom apetite and Feliz Natal
Ceia de Natal - Brazilian Christmas Turkey Feast Red Velvet Cake No matter where you may celebrate your Christmas Tradition or what you may serve on your dinner table, May God Bless you and your families this year and always! My Brazilian Family While I attended my second year in college, my family housed an international student from Brazil, Rafael Mello. Later he, his wife Ticiane Mello, and daughter Rafaela returned to Alabama to study at UAB. Several years later they returned to Brazil and expanded their beautiful family with two more daughters, Victoria and Gabriella. Today they live and work in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil where they own "Kaebisch Schokoladen," an amazing chocolate shop.
Victoria & Gabriella
with Papai Noel Chocolate Gingerbread Man Ticane Mello at Kaebisch The Mellos Panetone Trufado "We celebrate Christmas with a very special dinner on Christmas Eve. This dinner usually has turkey, ham, pork loin among other things. It is a family night, in which everyone gathers around the Christmas tree after dinner and switch presents. If there are children, normally Santa Claus, here known as "Papai Noel", stops by and handles the presents. At midnight, it is toast time and for some, it is time to go to church celebrate mass. During the next day, people rest and the family gather together during lunch in order to eat the left-overs." ~Ticiane Mello
¡Feliz Navidad!
&
BOM APETITE!
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