Bringing back Christmas

I’m a little late with my Christmas post this year. I had planned to do it yesterday, but when I was done with my “experiment” I wanted nothing more than a shower and the bliss of lying down with a book in my hands.

When Christmas comes around this part of the world, it’s a rather melancholy affair for me – thinking of family and friends who live thousands of kilometers away, the holiday visits and symbolic gifts, the tree twinkling with lights, and coming in from the cold, hands all red and frozen, thawing slowly in the aromatic warmth of the kitchen where various culinary delights are cooking or baking, well, all that is apt to put me in a less than cheerful mood. Not that I miss the cold, far from it, and I do have a Christmas tree (plastic, of course), but still it wasn’t enough to make me feel like the holidays have arrived. So, I asked myself, what should I do? Why, bake, of course!

xmas cake4 As a child I have often watched my grandmother, aunt, and my mother bake a traditional dessert for Christmas. It’s basically a roll of dough filled with Turkish delight of various colors, or ground walnuts, spices and baking essences – rum is the favorite one for this particular dessert. There was no house without it at Christmas, and in those times, the women would follow their own particular recipes, and they were all slightly different but amazingly delicious. Just the thought of cutting into that rich sweetbread and releasing those wonderful aromas, made me nostalgic. So I decided to bake one, or several, and see how they would turn out. And bake them I did. It wasn’t difficult, but being my first time with this recipe, there were things I hadn’t considered and had to speed things up a bit. Nevertheless, a few hours later, when it was all done, and the baked dessert was cooling, and the smell was in every room, I finally felt like it was Christmas. Did I enjoy the whole baking experience? Very much. Would I do it again? I’d like to, next Christmas!

Happy holidays!

xmas cake3

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10 Responses to Bringing back Christmas

  1. Vishy says:

    It is wonderful to know that you baked a traditional dessert for Christmas and it took you back home! From the picture it looks so yummy and delicious! I liked the fact that each person who made it followed her own recipe. Happy holidays, Delia!

    • Delia says:

      It used to be a tradition, to bake this at Christmas, but it takes a really long time to make so nowadays many people buy it instead of making it at home. I had the whole day free so I could really take my time to make this. It really put me in a holiday mood.
      Happy holidays to you as well!

  2. Elisa says:

    Those look amazingly yummy! It wouldn’t be christmas time without some baking! I usually have a friend over and we bake tons of different cookies to hand out to neighbors, friends and family. (and to sample some ourselves of course!) but those breads look fun, I might have to do something like those next year to mix it up. 🙂

    • Delia says:

      Ah, that sounds lovely, baking with friends.
      We may have to do a recipe swap next Christmas, right now I’m too full of chocolates and cakes to do any more baking. 😉

  3. Brian Joseph says:

    That sweetbread looks so very good!

    Too bad it was difficult to get into the Christmas atmosphere where you are, but it sounds like to some degree you overcame your geographic dilemma.

    Happy Holidays!

    • Delia says:

      It is good, I was so happy with the results!
      It’s a little challenging to have Christmas at 30 degrees Celsius when you’ve been used to something different, but this actually helped make me feel like it was indeed Christmas.

  4. Lynn says:

    Those look absolutely delicious. I admit that I don’t really do a lot of baking. I enjoy cooking all sorts of things but not really baking – I think it’s not spontaneous enough for me somehow – I’m more a sort of throw things in and experiment and I think you have to be a bit more measured when you’re baking. That being said it sounds like you can have fun making up your own thing with these sweet loaves – you should post your recipe (unless it’s an old family secret of course!)
    I like that this baking put you in a more Christmassy mood and thanks for sharing your story.
    Happy eating!
    Lynn 😀

    • Delia says:

      Ah, Lynn, if somebody else could cook and I could only bake to my heart’s content, I would be so happy… I have experimented many times, with various degrees of success (all edible so far) because I take a recipe and just add different things to it until I find one final result I really like. Even then, I might change something just to see what comes out.
      This is not a recipe I’ll be attempting any time soon, because part of it is kneading for a full half hour (I was lucky it wasn’t too hot that day) – it is said that makes the inside fluffier. It was fluffy, alright.
      I found the recipe on the internet so it’s no secret. The best part is that it was a success, and very well received and that’s all that matters.
      Thanks for visiting!

  5. Jenners says:

    Good for you for doing something to create your own sense of Christmas! It looks fantastic and I feel like I can almost smell it!! Even though I’m terribly late, Merry Christmas to you!! And Happy New Year in case I don’t get back for visit … I’m all messed up with my blogging.

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