Tuesday, December 08, 2009

St. Nicholas Day

I do talk about various holiday ethnic celebrations during my presentations. I have two more this week, then I'm done until the Valentine's Day Cakes ones start up in February. Tonight I will be at the Wauconda Public Library. I am excited about this as that is a really nice library, but a big snow storm is predicted, and I hope that won't keep people away!
This is one of the celebrations I discuss - St. Nicholas Day. It is celebrated 12/5, and I'm a little late, but the description of it from the Southern Heritage Cookie Jar cookbook is nothing anyone would want to repeat anyway:

"Speculaas (cookie with anise, almonds, pepper) are part of the Dutch tradition celebrated December 5 in Holland. The night before, children leave carrots in their shoes for the Saint’s horse; in the morning, each child finds treats in place of the carrot. At evening appeal larger gifts at the end of a treasure hunt. Speculaas, baked in people shaped molds called bacheclors and spinsters, are given to single friends.”
Um, Merry Christmas? What a weird thing to do to the poor single folks. It does make me think of how my Dad used to make people shaped pancakes for Christmas morning with a special cookie cutter. We also ate a tree-shaped coffee cake with candied green and red cherries. We all have our traditions!
The Holiday Cookbook I was writing off of over the weekend has a good recipe for converting pancake mix to waffles for Christmas morning. I know that boxes usually have this too, but this is possibly better:
1 c. pancake mix
2 tbsp. oil or melted shortening
1 egg
1 1/4 c. milk
Currant jelly (at least, it was good until this point - yikes!)
Place the pancake mix in a bowl. (Thanks, I wouldn't have figured that one out.) Add the shortening, egg and milk and stir until smooth. Bake in hot waffle iron for 10 minutes and serve with currant jelly.
Because we all have currant jelly on hand... Syrup works for me!
Do you have a Christmas morning tradition or another celebration specialty?

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