Sunday, December 18, 2011
A Christmas Tradition
While family traditions are as varied as snowflakes, they all come wrapped in memories. My grandmother's Christmas bread remains a tradition in our family. Although she is no longer with us, some in the family have continued the laborious process of scalding the milk; folding in the currants and candied fruit and seedless raisins and pineapple; then letting dough rise three times followed with more mixing and pouring and greasing-and then waiting and praying the batch in the oven passes the family taste and smell test. The bread had a certain texture. We all know it. Its aroma is unique and remains in the hearts of all fortunate to have called this woman Giddy-a nickname given to her by her first grandchild. It caught on. Everyone who knew her called her Giddy.
The attached picture shows Giddy in one of her house dresses preparing the bread with greased tins ready to go. She knew that recipe by heart. She knew every recipe by heart if there was a recipe. Most times she just went by instinct.
Giddy was our hub; our heart and soul. As we ready to gather once again at Christmas I know she's near. I can smell the pine as if I was back in that farmhouse with her-and taste that Christmas bread coming out of the oven of her woodstove. Traditions most certainly do come wrapped in memories!