As far back as I can remember, Christmas time filled the house with the scents of holiday baking – cookies, squares and loaves of all sorts, my grandmother’s famous (at least in our family) sugar pie, tourtière; a fabulously traditional French Canadian specialty; Christmas ‘Ragout’; another wonderful French dish made with the tender meat from pig’s feet, and succulent meat balls, in a deliciously rich gravy sauce; sucre à la crème; a delectable sweet treat reminiscent to maple fudge, but even better! …Oh, and my absolute favorite, Almond Florentine…super simple, yet addictive bars made with graham crackers, slivered almonds, butter and brown sugar.
My grandmother can no longer see, and so the tradition has passed down to my mother in the past years…but I believe it’s about time to take it on in my own household! My cousin yesterday, mentioned he would start the tradition this year, and he has inspired me to do the same.
Not only will they make my home smell of my childhood – but perhaps they might entice the elusive Spirit of Christmas to find me once again.
I do believe that with very limited funds this year, and an unconditional love between my apron and I, I may bestow the fruit of my labor as Christmas presents to family and friends. There isn’t anything in the world like a present made with one’s own hands, that truly comes from the heart.
Also, in years to come (because I’m really running short on time this year), I may be able to turn my love of the wooden spoon into something of a little side ‘job’ during the holidays – in today’s busy world, many people would love to have the goodness of home baked goods, without the floury mess and hours in the kitchen! A little bit of enterprising imagination may just work wonderfully for a homesteader-in-training!