Yuletide Recipes

There are three family recipes that I can hardly wait to taste each December, rice pudding, wassail and glogg.  My family on my mother’s side immigrated in the 1930’s from Scandinavian countries to the United States on a boat to Ellis Island, bringing with them wonderful recipes and traditions to celebrate Yuletide cheer.  My family’s history is riddled with stories of elves and other fairy folk from the Yulenissa, (Jolnissa), the Christmas or Yule Elf, who appears on December 1st to report to Santa all of your happenings for the month, to various other fairies and beings that have roles in our lives throughout the year.  The Yulenissa is notorious for feasting on cookies and cracked walnuts, moving about the house at night to spy on you, he was quite the tattletale.

The month of December in particular is filled with food and family, enjoying the festivities of the returning of light.  Our tree was originally decorated with real candles on the branches, but at some point in my childhood upgraded to white twinkling electric lights, and we found our selves decorating with strings of real popcorn, cranberries, and paper decorated cones filled with dried fruit and nuts rather than store bought decorations.  We also had a collection of straw woven ornaments in designs such as the Yule Goat, small baskets, and a variation on Brigid’s crosses.

We opened advent small gifts nightly at a family dinner from the first of the month, ending in Christmas Eve dessert with the traditional rice pudding containing a single almond.  Whoever found the almond in their dish received an additional small gift as the prize as well as a promise of good tidings for the year.  It was quite an honor and a favorite memory as the highlight of the family celebrations.  My family had many challenges in our day to day lives, however we were able for the most part to pull it together for the month of December and to this day, the month still holds a certain magical energy for me that transforms me for the season to a girl of six or so with only the most positive of experiences to rely on.  As I share these family recipes with you, I hope to bless you too with the magic that they hold.  I type these recipes from the yellowed and tattered handwritten cards of my grandmother, who passed them down to my mother, then me, and now to you.  I hope that they warm you as they have warmed me.

Finnish Rice Pudding

¼ cup of white rice

2 cups of milk

2 cups of whipping cream

1 envelope of gelatin

¼ cup of sherry

1 teaspoon of vanilla

5 tablespoons of sugar

One whole almond

Bring the milk to a boil. Add the rice and cook until done.  Dissolve gelatin in sherry, vanilla, and sugar.  Add to rice. Cool slightly. Whip cream. Add one almond. Fold in whipped cream.  Serve in bowls.  Whoever finds the almond in their bowl wins a prize.

Danish Wassail (up dated)

1 gallon cider (country cloudy kind)

1 can of frozen lemonade

1 can of frozen orange juice

3 cans of water

½ teaspoon ground nutmeg

1 teaspoon ground cloves

1 teaspoon allspice

2 sticks of cinnamon

Heat all together on stove in a large pot. Serve very hot.  Float slices of oranges and apples stuck with cloves in them in the pot for added decorations.  They used to use fresh orange and lemon juices for their recipes but it is easier and more to modern kids’ tastes to use the frozen.

Danish Glogg

1 bottle of Port or Muscatel wine (24 oz.)

1 bottle of claret or red Bordeaux wine (24 oz.)

1 ¾ cups of Vodka or Whisky or Brandy

½ cup of sugar

8 whole cloves

8 whole cardamoms

1-2 cups of raisins

1 can of candied orange peels

2 cinnamon sticks

Heat all together on the stove in a large pot.  Serve very hot.  Reserve some for the base to make another batch.

Copyright 2016 Katie Pifer   www.witchpetals.wordpress.com

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2 thoughts on “Yuletide Recipes

  1. Pingback: Yuletide Recipes | GrannyMoon's Morning Feast

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