Friday, December 26, 2014

Visions of Sugarplums

danced in their heads.

But someone had to make them first.
They're candy, you know.  Those Sugarplums.

My Gram didn't make Sugarplums, but she made a delightful assortment of other candy, including divinity, peanut brittle and fudge.  I remember making all of it with her in her kitchen when I was young.  It meant Christmas was coming and that was a thrill.

My husband's grandmother baked walnut rolls, which are a Polish tradition.  I learned the recipe years ago and have made it an integral part of our Christmas.

My mom bakes sugar cookies and various quick breads, but if I had to guess, I would think that the Christmas confection that Mason will always remember his grandmother making will be the chocolate dipped pretzel sticks.

And so it goes.  Candy, cookies, breads.  Various goodies and delights.  Often made from recipes handed down from one generation to the next.

In the past few weeks, I've had friends who have experienced terrible personal loss, which can be so much more poignant during the holidays.

The one common thread that I have noticed, though, is the continuation of these family traditions of baking and cooking.  All the while remembering the sweetness of learning the recipes as a child and now passing them on to our own, often as hand written treasures.

Somehow that little treat coming out of the oven or off the stovetop becomes a way to connect today with yesterday and it makes Christmas time truly magical.

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