|Christmas Newsletter 2008
Flair For Writing
Breads, Cakes, Christmas in Ireland
Editor:Megan Rose Princess Megan Rose 11 Years
Assistant Editor: Angel Angel
Hello Everyone! Megan and Angel here. Are you ready for Christmas? I have my tree and decorations up. Angel loves angels and they are her favorites to put on the tree. We are living in a Recession right now but Christmas is about Jesus' birth and being with family. That what counts. Keep the magic of Christmas in your heart and keep your family and friends close.
Angel made some beautiful sigs for the newsletter. I would be lost without her.
In this newsletter, we are going to talk about baking Christmas breads and cookies and Christmas in Ireland. Angel and I hope you enjoy this newsletter. You can e-mail us anytime with any comments. We will listen. Let's get started. Have a cup of hot chocolate. It will go good with the Christmas baked goods.
Bread is a important food in Europe. It has been on the tables since Medieval times. Breads and cakes are a favorite the world over at Christmas time.
Bakers produced special breads that were like cake. Through practice and different ingredients, breads and cakes were no longer alike. Ginger cake was mixed with dry bread crumbs and ginger and honey. The dough was molded into various shapes. Eventually, the gingerbread men were born. Angel and I know everyone loves them! Fruits and nuts were added and Fruitcake came along and is a favorite at Christmas time. German Stollen and Norwegian Julecake are favorites in Germany and Norway.
Yuledoughs were shaped like animals or people including Baby Jesus. How neat is that! Yuledollies came along and looked like boys and girls. Icing and feathers were added for decorations. The Gingerbread Man came into being at time.
In Sweden, a loaf about the length of a five year old child was baked. Other loaves were baked to resemble a boar's head or a goat. The loaves were cut into pieces and given to family and friends.
The English, French, Dutch and German people ate cakes on the Twelfth Night. A bean, pea or tiny doll was baked into the cake. The one who had the lucky item in his piece was hailed King Of The Bean. This King "ruled" over the rest of the feast. The first piece of cake was reserved for God and the last piece for the Virgin Mary. The first person who came to the feast got these pieces of cake.
Cakes were eventually molded into shapes of a fortress with flags on them. The cakes would be so big that it took several men to carry them. Today, we bake cakes that resemble bears, purses, presents, or anything our heart desires. Cakes have become a work of art.
We can't forget Plum Pudding, a favorite among the English and other Europeans.
Breads and cakes baked in Greece are known as St. Basil's Bread. They were named after Basil The Great. A coin is baked inside these breads and cakes. The one who finds it will have good luck all year. These are served on New Years. The head of the family makes the sign of the cross on the bread. The bread is passed out according to age but the first piece is offered to Christ, the second to the Virgin Mary and the third to Basil.
Thinking about these breads and cakes, makes Angel and I hungry.
Christmas In Ireland
I would love to go to Ireland. I am not Irish but I am part English and I am sure a lot of us are Irish at heart.
People in Ireland prepare for Christmas by baking cakes and lighting candles.
Women bake the Christmas cakes as early as October and November. It is a rich caramel cake with dried fruits and nuts and fortified with Brandy, mellows and improves as it ages. Most people in Ireland are Roman Catholics and observe Christmas for a four week period. Christmas cards are sent out and the Irish shop for food and gifts. The Irish put up a Christmas tree and decorate. Nativity scenes are also displayed.
Lighted candles are placed in windows Christmas Eve. The candles are large and are white, red, green or blue. They are displayed in large candle holders.
It is believed that Mary and Joseph roam the earth in Ireland every Christmas and the candles act as beacons drawing the Holy Family to home. They are warmly welcomed.
Christmas Eve meals have no meat and the families tell stories and sing songs. Church bells ring an hour before Midnight. The bells indicate the "death of the devil" as Jesus was born.
Christmas Stockings are hung by children on Christmas Eve and families attend Midnight Mass. The candles stay light all night.
Irish families have Christmas with their families and serve roast turkey or goose on Christmas Day. They have plum pudding for dessert.
January 6 is Epiphany and this is the last day of the Christmas Season. A light dinner is served. Three candles are displayed in the windows. These represent the Three Kings or Magi. Figurines representing them are added to the Nativity scenes. The next day Christmas decorations are taken down and stored until the next Christmas season.
Here is a beautiful item written by close friend Vicki. Please rate and review.
Angel and I hope you have a Merry Christmas and New Year. Let's hope next year the world and US problems will be resolved. Angel and I hope to write some good newsletters next year. God Bless Us, Everyone!
All sigs are beautifully done by Angel.
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