Hilary from Let Her Bake Cake has graciously agreed to share with us her Holiday traditions and eats. Not only does she have class but some pretty awesome, quirky Christmas rituals. Hilary”s blog is a pleasure to visit with her entertaining stories, intelligent whit and mouthwatering photos. Her love of grammar and spelling makes me more then a little nervous when writing, but she has obviously forgiven me as she has never commented on my horrendous use of comma”s. If you have never visited her blog before I encourage you to take a peek. I am sure you won”t be able to resist once you read on and discover her charm. (All photos are taken by Hilary and the links to the recipes are below)
What is the earliest Christmas memory that you can recall?
Probably the annual visits from Mrs. Claus at my daycare centre. The staff found that a lot of young children were frightened of Santa, so kindly Mrs. Claus always filled in for her husband. She brought little gifts and delicious decorated sugar cookies.
What is your favourite Christmas recipe?
My grandma”s brown sugar shortbread. My grandmother is an excellent baker and she did all the Christmas baking when we were growing up. She does less now – last year she didn”t bring any shortbread and there was a near riot! On the other hand, my least favourite Christmas recipe is the herring salad we eat on Christmas Eve on my dad”s side of the family. I will never come around to cold, pink, fishy salad.
What is your favourite Christmas tradition?
Our family Christmas includes a lot of ritual and tradition. Definitely the strangest one happens on Christmas Eve when we gather for a traditional German Christmas celebration. We all have to wait in a “holding pen” room until whoever is hosting rings a little bell. Then we all file into the decorated living room in order of age – and you”re not exempt until you”re about 90! Everyone knows their place in the queue after years of practice but newcomers to the tradition think we”re a little strange.
What does your perfect Christmas Dinner consist of?
A plate full of stuffing and vegetables, and very little turkey! When I was a kid we had goose a few times and I want to go back to it. Regardless of how it”s cooked I find turkey a dry, uninspiring bird.
Did you ever believe in Santa?
I caught my mum out when I was 8. It was probably November and we were taking the bus home from a shopping trip downtown. I asked her if she had done any Christmas shopping yet. “Oh, I”ve bought a few small things for your stocking.” Immediately her hand flew to her mouth in horror at what she had said. And I just gasped and smiled. I felt very grown-up and sophisticated knowing this secret. What my mum said next was obvious: “Don”t tell your sister!”
What is your favourite Christmas Song?
My favourite carols are O Holy Night and O Come, O Come Emmanuel. What can I say, I like solemn dirges. My favourite Christmas pop song is kind of mournful – it”s River by Joni Mitchell. To me it”s about spending Christmas in a lonely and foreign place. In the song she reflects on a failed relationship and longs to escape her emotional baggage in California for the winters of her Canadian childhood.
Do you have any tips or super simple, throw together, recipes that would make peoples lives a little easier this time of year?
I”ve got nothing, because except for making stollen and muffins for Christmas breakfast, I am required to do no cooking at Christmas! (Lucky!)
Find the Recipes in the Pictures
Some of my favourites from Let Her Bake Cake
Thanks so much Hilary for humoring me and giving us a sneak peek into your Christmas Holidays! Now everybody head on over and satisfy that sweet tooth!