in the Hudson Valley, it is possible to enjoy
the pre-Santa Claus traditions of the Dutch
who settled here. At colonial Philipsburg Manor,
Upper Mills, in Westchester's Sleepy Hollow,
St. Nick in his dramatic bishop's hat and snowy
beard puts in an appearance, telling the story
of his miracles and rewarding children for their
good deeds throughout the year. In the stone
manor house, tables are set for holiday feasting
and a two-foot high molded St. Nicholas cookie
is being carefully decorated.
Up river in Croton-on-Hudson,
candlelight streams from the windows of the
manor house of the prominent Van Cortlandt family.
Here, where the Revolutionary War has just ended,
Dutch traditions are becoming Anglicized, with
fruits, holiday cakes and greenery placed about
in preparation for an elegant holiday gathering.
The entry hall sports an English "kissing
bell" and a musical group performing classical
favorites. As guests walk by lantern light to
the Ferry House tavern, they are met by the
comical "Lord of Misrule," who presides
over raucous Twelfth Night celebrations under
way, with fiddle music, dancing and toasting
of the season.
Visitors to candlelight
tours at Mr. Irving's home, Sunnyside at Tarrytown
in Westchester County, will learn of his contributions
to the American Christmas celebration. Guests
are escorted down a lantern-lit path to the
cottage, which is bedecked with holly and evergreens.
In each room, lit only by candlelight, some
of what the author had to say about Christmas
is read aloud, while caroling can be heard in
the parlor and around the bonfire outside.
One thing visitors
will not see at Sunnyside is a Christmas tree.
Mr. Irving liked to uphold the "old ways"
in his home and, although bringing a living
tree into the house was gaining in popularity
in the 1840s and 1850s, there is no record that
Irving ever did so. Queen Victoria made this
Germanic custom fashionable by decorating an
evergreen tree in Buckingham Palace for her
German-born husband, Prince Albert, and the
idea spread rapidly in this country later in
In 1851, an enterprising
man from Hunter, up in the Greene County Catskills,
saw the growing demand for cut Christmas trees.
He loaded up two wagons with balsam fir, hitched
oxen to the wagons and hauled the trees to the
town of Catskill, where they were loaded on
a steamboat and shipped down the Hudson River
to New York City. As the story is told in, Carr
"rented space on the corner of Vesey and
Greenwich Streets, where he sold his trees with
a speed and at a price that amazed him. The
Christmas tree business in New York had begun."
The custom of giving
holiday greeting cards also got its start locally.
A skilled wood engraver and lithographer named
Richard H. Pease of Albany, created America's
first Christmas card in 1851. The card depicts
a family Christmas celebration and was meant,
not to be mailed, but to be handed to business
associates and friends as a commercial remembrance
of the season.
Both trees and cards
abound at Lyndhurst, a gothic revival mansion
in Tarrytown, where the Victorian Era is in
high gear around the 1890s. Here visitors for
festive candlelight tours can see how the Dutch,
German and English traditions had melded into
an ornate Victorian celebration of the holiday.
Doorways and halls are festooned with pine and
laurel. Elaborately decorated trees stand in
the parlor and the art room upstairs. And Santa
Claus is much in evidence on painted decorations,
handmade cards and wrapped packages.
celebration can be seen at Mills Mansion at
Staatsburg in Dutchess County, where "A
Gilded Age Christmas" features lavish Edwardian-style
decorations. Similarly, Wilderstein at Rhinebeck,
also in Dutchess County, will be decorated with
displays to delight a child's fantasy, in a
style compatible with the Queen Anne Victorian
architecture of the house.
celebrations in the 20th century is done at
other sites in Dutchess County: Springwood,
the Hyde Park home of FDR, which is decorated
to recreate a Roosevelt family Christmas, and
Montgomery Place in Annandale-on-Hudson, where
Christmas on the home front during World War
II is brought to life. Visitors go back fifty
years in time to relive and remember the 1940's
through music, stories, radio broadcasts and
the spirit of Christmas that was kept alive
in spite of shortages and the painful sacrifices
At the beginning
of the 21st century, a strong antidote to the
over-commercialization of Christmas is to experience
the joys of the holiday as celebrated in times
gone by. Those who do so, by visiting the Hudson
Valley with family and friends over the holidays,
will discover how deeply the American Christmas
is rooted in this scenic part of the country.
We Celebrate Christmas The Way We Do
way we celebrate Christmas is a completely American
invention, growing from the fertile ethnic customs
of the Dutch, English and Germans, all of whom
found refuge along the banks of the mighty Hudson
River. Until the 19th century, the celebration
of Christmas began with St. Nicholas' Eve on
December 5 and continued until Twelfth Night
on January 6, the Feast of the Epiphany. Twelfth
Night was the focus of the holiday as the most
important religious event of the season.
Over time, these
traditions and customs merged, in the Hudson
Valley, to form what we call our Christmas Traditions
of today. St. Nicholas in his bishop robes giving
rewards to well mannered children merged into
Santa Claus who then took to the air behind
a horse drawn wagon dropping presents down chimneys.
Sugar Plums started dancing in children's heads
and the little horses and wagon transformed
into a magnificent sleigh pulled by eight tiny
As Victorian England
started yearning for a more festive holiday,
the lore of the Hudson Valley transformed their
notions of the holiday into the warmth of the
hearth, good food, good friends and gay festivities.
The feasts and celebrations of our valley created
the background for the most famous Christmas
story of them all.
It's a fascinating
tale of imagination, desire for family warmth
and the love of a poet for his children.
the Dutch came to America and established the
colony of New Amsterdam, their children enjoyed
the traditional visit of Saint Nicholas' on
December 5. The date is a Catholic custom even
after the Reformation. As England seized the
colony and and it became New York, the kindly
figure of Sinter Klaas (pronounced Santa Claus)
soon aroused among the English children the
desire of having such a heavenly visitor come
to their homes, too.
The English settlers
were happy to grant the wishes of their children.
However, the figure of a Catholic saint and
bishop was not acceptable in their eyes as many
of them were Presbyterians or Puritans, to whom
a bishop was repugnant. In addition, they did
not celebrate the feasts of saints according
to the ancient Catholic calendar.
This dilemma was
solved by shifting the visit of the Dutch Santa
Claus from December 5 to Christmas, and by completely
replacing him with an entirely different character.
Behind the name Santa Claus actually stands
the figure of the pagan Germanic god Thor. Details
of Thor from ancient German mythology show the
origin of the modern Santa Claus tale.
Thor was the god
of the peasants and the common people. He was
represented as an elderly man, jovial and friendly,
of heavy build, with a long white beard. His
element was fire, his color red. The rumble
and roar of thunder were said to be caused by
the rolling of his chariot, for he alone among
the gods never rode on horseback but drove
in a chariot drawn by two white goats (called
Cracker and Gnasher). He was fighting the giants
of ice and snow, and thus became the Yule-god
and was said to live in the 'Northland'
where he had his palace among the icebergs.
He was considered as the cheerful and friendly
god, never harming humans but rather helping
and protecting them. The fireplace in every
home was especially sacred to him, and he was
said to come down through the chimney into his
element, the fire.
Here, then, is the
true origin of our "Santa Claus."
It certainly was a stroke of genius that produced
such a charming and attractive figure for pagan
mythology. With the Christian saint whose name
he still bears, however, this Santa Claus has
really nothing to do.
The Dutch Tradition
the Dutch tradition St. Nicholas'
Day is the center of revelry in
the Christmas season. St. Nicholas
arrives the last Saturday of November,
stopping all activity as he proceeded
atop a white horse dressed in traditional
bishop's robes and accompanied by
his servant, Black Peter. As he
enters the town the local Mayor
greets him and a great parade forms
escorting him to the local palace.
Here, all the children are waiting
and must give an accounting of their
behavior over the last year.
5th, St. Nicholas' Eve, presents
are exchange. The presents, disguised
as much as possible to make the
final discovery more delightful,
are called "surprises."
A small gift may be wrapped inside
a huge box, or hidden inside a vegetable,
or sunk in a pudding.
itself, there are no presents, attending
church in the morning and enjoying
a big dinner in the afternoon being
the focus of attention for the day.
At home, the Christmas Tree is the
center of celebrations which includes
caroling and story-telling. On December
26, called "Second Christmas
Day", everyone relaxes and
eats more feasts. Horns are blown
to both chase away evil spirits
and to announce the birth of Christ.
The German Tradition
the German tradition preparations
are made for weeks in advance of
the great day. Advent wreaths, candles
and decorations set the mood. December
6th, St. Nicholas's Day marks the
beginning of the season. The evening
before, on the 5th, all the children
place their shoes outside and on
the morning of the 6th they awaken
to find that St. Nicholas has filled
them with fruit, cookies and sweets.
festivities center on the Christmas
Tree, always decorated with care
by the Mother. No one is allowed
into the principal room until she
is finished and satisfied with her
work. In Germany, it is the Christkind
who brings the presents, accompanied
by one of its many devilish companions,
Knecht Rupprecht, Pelzmaertl, Ru-Klas.
The highlight of the Christmas food
is the cookies, dozens of different
Cookies, shaped like figures of
Christmas or stamped with familiar
designs. Edible trees and tiny baked
brown gnomes fill the warm kitchens
for a week before the festivities.
The 25th of December is Family Day,
and the 26th is a day to visit all
The English Tradition
the English Tradition Father Christmas
reigns in the place of Santa Claus
or St. Nicholas. He wears long robes
with sprigs of holly in his long
up to the holiday, children send
him letters to insure he has their
desires correctly written down.
The letters are not mailed, they
are thrown into the fireplace. If
they go up the chimney the wish
is granted; if not, the wish isn't
granted. On Christmas Eve stockings
are hung by the chimney or the foot
of the bed to receive small presents,
opened first thing on Christmas
Tree occupies a central position
of the holiday festivities. But
unlike the other traditions, it
has never replaced the combination
of greenery & mistletoe, called
the kissing bough. Through the season
the Yule Log burns in the hearth
and fragrances from savory and sweet
foods fill the air.
the countryside Christmas mummers
perform plays and carol through
the streets. The church bell is
rung once for every year since Christ's
birth with the last stroke timed
exactly for midnight. The Christmas
meal consists of roast turkey or
beef and desserts are mincemeat
pies and plum puddings.
Hudson Valley's Role in Developing Our Traditions
In the late 18th
century celebration of the winter holidays had
declined. The medieval Christmas traditions which
combined the celebration of the birth of Christ
with the ancient Roman festival of Saturnalia,
a pagan celebration for the Roman god of agriculture,
and the Germanic winter festival of Yule, had
come under intense scrutiny by the Puritans under
Oliver Cromwell in England and the Puritans in
is here that our tale of the Hudson Valley and
our traditions of Christmas converge. They connect
in the person of Washington Irving.
Knickerbocker Tells a Story
(aka Washington Irving)
Valley resident and best-selling author Washington
Irving wrote "The Sketchbook of Geoffrey
Crayon Gent", in which, among other stories,
he relates a series of stories about the celebration
of Christmas in an English manor house, Bracebridge.
The sketches feature a squire who invited the
peasants into his home for the holiday. In Irving's
mind, Christmas should be a peaceful, warm-hearted
holiday bringing groups together across lines
of wealth or social status. Irving's fictitious
celebrants enjoyed "ancient customs,"
including the crowning of a Lord of Misrule.
Irving's book, however, was not based on any
holiday celebration he had attended—in
fact, historians say that Irving's account actually
"invented" tradition by implying that
it described the true customs of the season.
With the publication
in 1808, just 20 years after the writing of
the American Constitution, Irving created a
new version of Old St. Nick. This one rode over
the treetops in a horse-drawn wagon "dropping
gifts down the chimneys of his favorites."
Irving described Santa as a jolly Dutchman who
smoked a long-stemmed clay pipe and wore baggy
breeches and a broad-brimmed hat. Diedrich Knickerbocker's
(Irving's) History of New York from the Beginning
of the World to the End of the Dutch Dynasty
also included the familiar phrase, "...laying
a finger beside his nose...."
Irving expands our
knowledge of St. Nicholas' holiday activities
by saying, "At this early period was instituted
that pious ceremony, still religiously observed
in all our ancient families of the right breed,
of hanging up a stocking in the chimney on St.
Nicholas eve; which stocking is always found
in the morning miraculously filled; for the
good St. Nicholas has ever been a great giver
of gifts, particularly to children."
Irving liked nothing
better than attend a good party or tell a great
story. Having done what he could to cement the
Dutch tradition in the American consciousness,
he then spent many years in England, where he
was an honored guest at many of the great country
houses. His tales of "Old Christmas",
assembled from his previously written sketches
published in other books, first published in
1820, are among the earliest popular accounts
of 19th century English Christmas customs, many
of which would soon be adopted in the United
Irving writes of
mistletoe and evergreen wreaths, Christmas candles
and the blazing Yule log, singing and dancing,
carolers at the door and the preacher at the
church, wine and wassail, and, of course, the
festive Christmas dinner. His description of
Old Christmas as he experienced it in "Merrie
Olde England," helped to popularize these
traditions in his native land.
To read the
complete text of Washington Irving's "Old
Christmas," just CLICK
VISIT FROM ST. NICHOLAS
first published in Troy
the night before Christmas, when
all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not
even a mouse;
The stockings were hung by the chimney
In hopes that St. Nicholas soon
would be there;
were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of sugar-plums danced
in their heads;
And mamma in her 'kerchief, and
I in my cap,
Had just settled down for a long
on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the bed to see what
was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a
Tore open the shutters and threw
up the sash.
on the breast of the new-fallen
Gave the lustre of mid-day to objects
When, what to my wondering eyes
But a miniature sleigh, and eight
With a little
old driver, so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment it must be St.
More rapid than eagles his coursers
And he whistled, and shouted, and
called them by name;
Dasher! Now, Dancer! Now, Prancer
On, Comet! On Cupid! On, Donder
To the top of the porch! to the
top of the wall!
Now dash away! dash away! dash away
As dry leaves
that before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle,
mount to the sky,
So up to the house-top the coursers
With the sleigh full of toys, and
St. Nicholas too.
in a twinkling, I heard on the roof
The prancing and pawing of each
As I drew in my hand, and was turning
Down the chimney St. Nicholas came
with a bound.
He was dressed
all in fur, from his head to his
And his clothes were all tarnished
with ashes and soot;
A bundle of toys he had flung on
And he looked like a peddler just
opening his pack.
-- how they twinkled! his dimples
His cheeks were like roses, his
nose like a cherry!
His droll little mouth was drawn
up like a bow,
And the beard of his chin was as
white as the snow;
of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,
And the smoke it encircled his head
like a wreath;
He had a broad face and a little
That shook, when he laughed like
a bowlful of jelly.
He was chubby
and plump, a right jolly old elf,
And I laughed when I saw him, in
spite of myself;
A wink of his eye and a twist of
Soon gave me to know I had nothing
not a word, but went straight to
And filled all the stockings; then
turned with a jerk,
And laying his finger aside of his
And giving a nod, up the chimney
to his sleigh, to his team gave
And away they all flew like the
down of a thistle.
But I heard him exclaim, ere he
drove out of sight,
"Happy Christmas to all, and
to all a good-night."
acknowledged as the "Father of the American
Christmas," had neatly laid the ground
work for a now-famous poem written by Clement
Clark Moore called "A Visit From St. Nicholas."
Most American children today can recite the
poem in which St. Nicholas arrives by reindeer-drawn
sleigh, rather than horse-drawn wagon, over
the treetops, bringing gifts and laying his
finger aside his nose.
Legend has it that
Moore composed "A Visit from St. Nicholas"
for his family on Christmas Eve of 1822, during
a sleigh-ride. It is said he drew inspiration
for the elfin, pot-bellied St. Nick in his poem
from the roly-poly Dutchman who drove his sleigh
that day. But from what is known of Clement
Moore, it's more likely he drew his Santa Claus
from Washington Irving's "Knickerbocker
Moore's verse gave
an Arctic flavor to Santa's image when he substituted
8 tiny reindeer and a sleigh for Irving's horse
and wagon. And he described Santa as "He
had a broad face, and a little round belly,
that shook, when he laughed, like a bowl full
Moore was an academe
and refused to have the poem published despite
its enthusiastic reception by everyone who read
it. His argument that it was beneath his dignity
fell on deaf ears, because the following Christmas
"A Visit from St. Nicholas" found
its way after all into the mass media when a
family member cunningly submitted it to a newspaper,
the Troy Sentinal. Moore did not to acknowledge
authorship of it until fifteen years later.
quickly became a phenomenon after it first appeared,
anonymously, on Page 2 of the Troy (N.Y.) Sentinel
on Dec. 23, 1823. The newspaper reprinted it
each Christmas for several years, and in about
1830 began printing it as an illustrated broadside,
handed out by carriers delivering the Christmas
Influence on Dickens
descriptions of the Christmas scene in both
Pickwick and A Christmas Carol owe a great deal
to Washington Irving. At a New York dinner,
hosted by Irving, Dickens amusingly revealed
his devotion to the great American author: "I
say, gentlemen, I do not go to bed two nights
out of seven without taking Washington Irving
under my arm upstairs to bed with me".
In the semi-feudal community of Dingley Dell
in Pickwick Papers, Dickens's portrait of Mr.
Wardle is designed after that of Irving's genial
Squire Bracebridge from "Old Christmas".
Irving's descriptions of the Bracebridge Hall
Christmas celebrations, with their dancing,
singing, games, tales, mistletoe and holly clearly
helped to shape those seen in Dingley Dell,
Mr. Fezziwig's ball, and at the home of Scrooge's
little Christmas story, the best loved and most
read of all of his books, began life as the
result of the author's desperate need of money.
In the fall of 1843 Dickens and his wife Kate
were expecting their fifth child. Requests for
money from his family, a large mortgage on his
Devonshire Terrace home, and lagging sales from
the monthly installments of Martin Chuzzlewit,
had left Dickens seriously short of cash.
As the idea for
the story took shape and the writing began in
earnest, Dickens became engrossed in the book.
He wrote that as the tale unfolded he 'wept
and laughed, and wept again' and that he 'walked
about the black streets of London fifteen or
twenty miles many a night when all sober folks
had gone to bed'.
At odds with his
publishers, Dickens paid for the production
cost of the book himself and insisted on a lavish
design that included a gold-stamped cover and
four hand-colored etchings. He also set the
price at 5 shillings so that the book would
be affordable to nearly everyone.
The book was published during the week before
Christmas 1843 and was an instant sensation
but due to the high production costs, Dickens'
earning from the sales were lower than expected.
In addition to the disappointing profit from
the book Dickens was enraged that the work was
instantly the victim of pirated editions. Copyright
laws in England were often loosely enforced
and a complete lack of international copyright
laws had been Dickens' theme during his trip
to America the year before. He ended up spending
more money fighting pirated editions of the
book than he was making from the book itself.
Despite these early
financial difficulties, Dickens' Christmas tale
of human redemption has endured beyond even
Dickens' own vivid imagination. It was a favorite
during Dickens' public readings of his works
late in his lifetime and is known today primarily
due to the dozens of film versions and dramatizations
which continue to be produced every year.
of the holiday as "a good time: a kind,
forgiving, charitable, pleasant time: the only
time I know of in the long calendar of the year,
when men and women seem by one consent to open
their shut-up hearts freely, and to think of
other people below them as if they really were
fellow-passengers to the grave, and not another
race of creatures bound on other journeys"
is the very essence of Christmas today, not
at the greedy commercialized level, but in people's
hearts and homes.
Dickens' name had
become so synonymous with Christmas that on
hearing of his death in 1870 a little costermonger's
girl in London asked, "Mr. Dickens dead?
Then will Father Christmas die too?"
To read Charles
Dickens' lecture version of his classic tale
"A Christmas Carol", CLICK
Few Holiday Recipes
gallon apple cider
1 large can pineapple juice (unsweetened)
3/4 cup tea (can use herb tea)
in a cheesecloth sack:
1 Tablespoon whole cloves
1 Tablespoon whole allspice
2 sticks cinnamon
is great cooked in a crock pot. Let it
simmer very slowly for 4 to 6 hours. You
can add water if it evaporates too much.
Your classroom will smell wonderful and
the students will love it! Serves 20.
2 teaspoons ginger
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup melted margarine
½ cup evaporated milk
1 cup unsulfered molasses
¾ teaspoon vanilla extract
¾ teaspoon lemon extract
4 cups stone-ground or unbleached flour,
the sugar, ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon, salt,
and baking soda. Mix well. Add the melted
margarine, evaporated milk and molasses.
Add the extracts. Mix well. Add the flour
1 cup at a time, stirring constantly.
The dough should be stiff enough to handle
without sticking to fingers. Knead the
dough for a smoother texture. Add up to
½ cup additional flour if necessary
to prevent sticking. When the dough is
smooth, roll it out ¼ inch think
on a floured surface and cut it into cookies.
Bake on floured or greased cookie sheets
in a preheated 375 F oven for 10 to 12
minutes. The gingerbread is done when
they spring back when touched.
should be made around the first part of
November. It really makes a difference in
the aging of the pudding.
1 cup unbleached white flour
2 cups soft breadcrumbs
1 1/4 cup brown sugar
1 cup of suet chopped up finely
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 cup sultanas
1/2 cup candied cherries
1 cup raisins
1/3 cup currants
1/2 cup mixed peel
3/4 cup Guinness- the Pub Draft one- stay
away from the bottle
6 eggs room temp unhatched and beaten
8 dry ingredients in a large bowl. Add
the fruits. Add the eggs with a happy
wooden spoon and then the Guinness. Grease
up two 7 inch pudding basins and load
em up. Cover with foil and then the lid
if it has one. Tie the foil down tight
with string. Steam for 4-5 hours. After
they are cooled,wrap them in Saran wrap
and keep them hidden in a dry place. Steam
the pudding for about 3 hours before you
serve it with Irish Whiskey Butter: 1/2
cup powdered sugar and 2 oz butter creamed
together, with 2-3 Tbs. Bushmills or Jameson's
slowly added to taste. Keep the 'butter'
refrigerated until use.
If you want to, you could pour a shot
of Irish Whiskey on top of the steamed
pudding and light it before you carry
it to the table. Very cool.
| 4 eggs
6 tblsp melted butter
2 Tblsp flour
1 Tblsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp grated nutmeg
1 3/4 cups shoepeg corn (appx 12 oz can)
17 oz can of creamed corn
1 cup heavy cream
Heat oven to 325 degrees, grease 2 qt oven
proof dish, Beat the eggs, sugar, salt,
melted butter (cooled slightly), flour,
pepper and nutmeg, then fold in the corn,
creamed corn and whipping cream. Pour into
prepared container and Bake in a 325 degree
oven for one hour and 15 minutes or til
knife comes out clean. Serve hot.
rich Christmas cake could once have been
eaten on the Twelfth Night.
cup of sugar
cup of sour cream
teaspoon of vanilla essence
1/2 teaspoon of lemon essence
round cake tin, 20 cm (8 inches) across
and 8 cm (3 inch) deep
small china token, or dried bean
2 cups of sifted icing sugar mixture
tablespoon of butter
enough lime or lemon juice to moisten
into a paste
crushed nuts or sprinkles to decorate
Beat the eggs
and sugar until light and fluffy.
Add the cream and beat, then essences.
Lightly fold in the sifted flour.
Spoon the batter into the well-buttered
tin. You can also line it with buttered-paper.
Make sure you add the token.
Bake the cake at 170 celcius/ 325 farenheit
for 35 minutes.
Don't open the door. Be patient.
Cool the cake in the tin and then turn
it out on to a rack to cool properly.
Ice the top
and sides of the cake after mixing all
the ingredients for the icing to a spreading
Decorate with a ring of crushed nuts and
an inner circle of chocolate sprinkles.
Maybe add a sugar mouse in the center,
or garden flowers on the plate, and a
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup cranberries
red cranberries. Prick twice with needle.
Boil sugar in water until it spins a thread.
Put in cranberries and cook gently until
syrup jellies when tested from the tip
of a spoon. Remove berries one at a time
and place on wax paper. Let stand until
dry. Dip the berries in granulated sugar.
approximately 25. They are decorative
and can serve as an excellent garnish.
1 cup butter,
2 tsp vanilla
3/4 cup sugar
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp salt
with vanilla, gradually beat in sugar,
then blend in egg. Mix together with flour,
nutmeg & salt. Add to butter mixture
& mix well. Divide into 14 equal portions.
On sugared board shape each piece in roll
12 inches long and 1/4 inch wide. Cut
in 2 inch lengths and put on greased cookie
sheet. Bake in preheated 350 farneheit
oven for 12 minutes. Cool on rack. Spread
with frosting, sprinkle with nutmeg.
1/3 cup butter
1 tsp vanilla
2 tsp rum or rum extract
2 cups powdered sugar
2 tablespoons light cream
Cream butter with vanilla. Add rum and
blend in sugar and cream. Beat until smooth.
2 cans (1
pound each) whole cranberry sauce
1 cup raisins
1/4 cup applejack
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground mace
1 cup chopped pecans
Rich Pastry (recipe follows)
1. Preheat the oven to hot (400).
the cranberry sauce, raisins and applejack
in a large saucepan; bring to boiling;
simmer for 5 minutes.
Combine the flour, sugar and mace in a
small bowl and stir into the cranberry
Cook, stirring constantly, for 3 minutes.
Remove from the heat and cool completely;
stir in the nuts.
the Rich Pastry and roll out half to a
13-inch round on a lightly floured pastry
cloth or board.
Fit into a 10-inch pie plate.
4. Pour the
cooled cranberry mixture over the pastry.
5. Roll out
the remaining pastry into a 12x6 inch
rectangle; cut the pastry into twelve
6. To weave
the lattice top: Lay half the pastry strips
evenly on top of the cranberry filling.
Fold alternate strips halfway back; lay
the first cross strip near the center
of the pie.
Bring the folded strips back over it;
continue, alternating folded-back strips
each time a cross strip is added.
7. Trim the
edges to 1/2-inch; turn under and flute.
8. Bake in
the preheated hot oven (400) for 35 minutes,
or until the filling bubbles up and the
pastry turns golden brown.
Cool in the pan on a wire rack.
MAKE AHEAD NOTE
Bake the pie a day ahead and store at
Reheat in a slow oven (325) for 15 minutes.
(makes one 10-inch double crust)
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup vegetable shortening
1/3 cup very cold water
Combine the flour and salt in a medium-size
Cut in the shortening with a pastry blender
until the mixture is crumbly.
Sprinkle the water over, one tablespoon
at a time, tossing with a fork until pastry
Wrap in wax paper.
ANOTHER WAY TO WEAVE A PASTRY LATTICE
Weave pastry strips on a sheet of wax
Carefully invert the whole lattice over
the filling, then peel off the wax paper.
Trim and crimp the edges.
1 1/2 cups
1 cup instant mashed potato powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter or margarine
3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon grated orange rind
1/4 cup orange juice
1 cup pumpkin (from an about-1-pound can)
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
packaged unseasoned bread crumbs
Rich Butterscotch Sauce (recipe follows)
Flaked coconut and chopped walnuts for
1. Combine the flour, instant mashed potato
powder, baking soda, salt and pumpkin
pie spice in a medium-sized bowl.
2. Beat the
butter or margarine with the brown sugar
in a large bowl with an electric mixer
at high speed; beat in the eggs, vanilla
and orange rind.
3. Add the
dry ingredients, alternately with the
orange juice, beating well after each
Fold in the pumpkin and the walnuts with
a rubber scraper.
an 8-cup tube mold.
Sprinkle with the bread crumbs; tap out
Pour the batter into the prepared mold.
Cover with a double thickness of heavy-duty
aluminum foil and fasten with string to
5. Place on
a rack or trivet in a kettle or steamer.
Pour in boiling water to half the depth
of the pudding in the mold; cover the
6. Steam for
2 hours, or until a long, thin skewer
inserted near the center comes out clean.
(Keep the water boiling gently during
the entire time, adding more boiling water,
7. Cool the
mold for 5 minutes.
Loosen the pudding around the edge with
a knife; unmold onto a serving plate;
Spoon about 1/4 cup hot Rich Butterscotch
Sauce over the pudding.
Top with flaked coconut and chopped walnuts,
if you wish.
Cut in wedges and serve with the remaining
MAKE AHEAD NOTE
After unmolding the pudding, cool completely.
Wrap in heavy-duty aluminum foil; label,
date and freeze. To reheat, baked the
thawed pudding in a preheated slow oven
(300) for 20 to 30 minutes.
Steamed puddings make wonderful gifts
to give to special friends.
This recipe can be made in two 4-cup molds
and steamed for 1 1/2 hours.
(makes 1 1/2 cups)
Combine 1 1/4 cups of firmly packed light
brown sugar, 1/4 cup of heavy cream, 2
tablespoons of light corn syrup and 1/4
cup (1/2 stick) of butter or margarine
in a small saucepan.
Heat to boiling, then cook for 1 minute.
Remove from the heat; stir in 1 teaspoon
Sugarplums by the dozens made from a single
batch of fondant, a variety of dried fruits,
nuts and garnishes. The delicious fondant
is quickly and easily prepared without
1 LB CONFECTIONERS'
1/4 LB COLD
2 TB HEAVY
1 tsp VANILLA
OR 1/2 tsp ALMOND EXTRACT
SUGAR FOR ROLLING CANDIED CHERRIES
Pour the unsifted
confectioners' sugar into a large bowl.
Cut the butter from the stick into small
slivers, dropping them into the sugar.
Add the cream and vanilla or almond extract.
Work with your fingertips until the mixture
clings together somewhat.
Turn the mixture
onto a sheet of waxed paper. Knead by
pushing the mixture against the surface
with the heel of your hand, lifting the
edges of the waxed paper to add and incorporate
any crumbs of dough. Continue kneading
in this manner until the mixture is well
blended, smooth, and creamy. Wrap in waxed
paper and chill just long enough so that
the fondant can be handled easily without
PRUNES - Split
the tops of the prunes and spread slightly.
Roll a small portion of the chilled fondant
into a ball and press into the cavity.
Garnish with a sliver of candied cherry.
Cut a cross in the top of each cherry
and spread slightly to form petals. Fill
with a small ball of fondant and decorate
the tops with a few silver dragees. (ED
NOTE: Candied cherries can be used by
splitting them in half and filling with
a small ball of fondant. Using the red
and green cherries made for fruitcakes
works well, and you can make plums that
are half red and half green if desired.
Allow the fondant to show for more contrast).
DATES - Cut
the dates partway through and press a
small portion of fondant onto the cavities.
Roll the filled dates in granulated sugar.
PECANS - Shape the fondant into small
balls; place between two walnut or pecan
halves; press together lightly.
layer in a tightly covered container in
the refrigerator. The sugarplums will
keep well up to two weeks.
For many years silver dragees were outlawed
in the United States because they contained
small amounts of mercury. They are again
available in silver and gold through the
Baker's Catalog, issued by King Arthur
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