This December in NC Food, we’ll be bringing you some of our favorite holiday posts from winters past. Whether you’re gearing up for Hanukkah or Christmas, catching your breath after a festive Diwali, or preparing to observe Kwanzaa or Mawlid, we bet that food is an important part of your holiday season.
Today, let’s revisit some stories about Christmas. Baked treats—cookies, cakes, special breads—are integral to many people’s Christmas festivities. Here are some of our favorite NC Food stories about Christmas baking.
Last year, Laura Fieselman told us about her annual cookie-making visit with her adoptive grandmother, filling Nana’s house with Chistmas cookies. Laura shares Nana’s recipe for date cookies in this special post.
You’ll find another wonderful recipe in Frances McDowell’s piece about the Moravian Sugar Cake, an important part of Christmas celebrations at Durham’s Christ the King Church. Frances writes, “for a full-on sugar rush, it’s hard to beat Christ the King’s sugar cake.”
Another treasured Christmas recipe has come down in the family of Chapel Hill cookbook author Nancie McDermott. Matt Lardie tells us that, like many traditional cooks, Nancie’s grandmother “cooked by feel,” rather than hewing to a written recipe. To recreate her grandmother’s recipe for coconut cake took lots of experimentation and research, but the result is a delicious dessert that you can learn to make too.
In many Christian traditions, Christmas lasts all the way into early January, culminating in Epiphany or Three Kings’ Day—the commemoration of the Magi’s visit to the infant Christ in Bethlehem. David Cecelski, NC Food’s original blogger, wrote in 2010 about his family’s discovery of the tradition of Rosca de Reyes, or “Kings’ Ring,” a wreath-shaped bread important in Mexican and Central American celebrations of Día de los Reyes (Three Kings’ Day).
We’ll be bringing you more stories about holiday foods later this December. In the meantime, we’d love it if you’d tell us about your family traditions! You can share stories in the comments field below, or on our Facebook page. (While you’re at it, please “like” and “follow” us on Facebook!)
Here’s wishing you and your loved ones a wonderful holiday season!