Christmas cookies

I think we are finished baking Christmas cookies. B did the bulk of the work, with assists from me and T.

We have:
lemon pizzelles
chocolate pizzelles
sugar cookies
gingerbread with frosting
pfeffernüsse
shortbreads
cranberry pistachio biscotti

We also have homemade fruitcake which is made with dried fruits rather than candied.

There is still a batch of fudge to make to be ready for Christmas dinner dessert.

Lasagna will be the main course. We started making it for Christmas Day when my daughters and I were involved in choir for children’s Mass on Christmas morning. Lasagna was an easy thing to prepare ahead and pop in the oven after church so we could still have dinner at noon. We always make the lasagna using the recipe my mom used to make. Because she grew up in an Italian immigrant household, she always had Italian food for Christmas, so we appreciate making that our tradition, too. It’s even more special that she is here to share in our Christmas dinner, along with my dad and B’s mom.

This year will be even more fun because daughter E and her husband L arrived today from Honolulu. We are so excited to have both daughters and our son-in-law here to celebrate with us!

National Indian Pudding Day 2015

November 13th is National Indian Pudding Day! In keeping with a Top of JC’s Mind tradition, here is an Indian pudding themed poem for you. Enjoy!

Indian Pudding
          by Joanne Corey

It’s simple –
          an old family recipe
          milk
          cornmeal
          tapioca
          molasses
          sugar
          a bit of salt
          butter the size of an egg
          Two hours in a 300 degree oven.

But the sweetness brings memories
of Great-Aunt Gert
and Thanksgiving
and generations of frugal New Englanders
making do with what they had
to fill children’s bellies with warmth.

Indian Pudding

Aunt Gert’s recipe can be found here: https://topofjcsmind.wordpress.com/2015/10/13/indian-pudding-recipe/

Indian Pudding recipe

Yesterday, I posted about my poem “Making Aunt Gert’s Indian Pudding” which precipitated several requests for the recipe. So, here it is, with various notes, because I can never seem to share a recipe without side commentary. Sorry that the measurements are all US ones.  The recipe is pretty forgiving, so if you do have to estimate amounts, don’t worry about it.

Indian Pudding

2 Tablespoons cornmeal*
3 Tablespoons tapioca
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup molasses
1 quart warm milk
1 cup cold milk
butter size of egg

Add first four ingredients to molasses – then add cold milk and mix well. When the quart of milk is thoroughly heated, add gradually to above mixture. Pour into buttered 2-quart casserole. Add butter and bake two hours at 300 degrees F.  Stir occasionally first 1/2 hour.  Serve with ice cream.

*For a thicker texture, increase cornmeal to 6 Tablespoons and stir occasionally for the first hour. I’ve been doing this variation lately.

Other notes:
I’ve made this with whole milk, 2% milk, skim milk, and lactose-free milk. I have absolutely no idea what would happen if one attempted it with soy milk or almond milk.
It’s best to bake this a day ahead and then store in the refrigerator. The flavors seem to meld better after they set.
You can reheat individual servings in the microwave or reheat the whole casserole dish in the oven or microwave. You definitely want to serve it warm so that the ice cream melts over it as you eat it.
You can experiment with adding spices, such as cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger. I happen to like this recipe without them, but many Indian pudding recipes do add them.
Indian pudding is deceptively filling. Don’t try to eat a large bowl unless you are very hungry.

Poem: Making Aunt Gert’s Indian Pudding

I am very pleased to announce that I have another poem published today!  The blog of Silver Birch Press has published “Making Aunt Gert’s Indian Pudding” as part of their “My Sweet Word” series. You can find it here: https://silverbirchpress.wordpress.com/2015/10/12/making-aunt-gerts-indian-pudding-poem-by-joanne-corey-my-sweet-word-series/

Enjoy!

Update:  The recipe is now available here:  https://topofjcsmind.wordpress.com/2015/10/13/indian-pudding-recipe/

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