Family packed around the old farm table that had seen generations of Christmases gone by. Frigid temperatures and 100-below wind chills. Cousins I hadn't seen in a year.
When I think back to Christmases as a child, the ones I'm most fond of are the ones spent at our grandparents' homes in Wisconsin. And my grandmother was known for her hospitality (and the five pounds you'd gain on your visit.)
This Christmas, I thought I'd treat you to some family recipes from my grandmother's cookbook. Enjoy!
1 package yeast
1/2 cup plus 1 teaspoon sugar
1 cup milk
2 cups flour
1 cup butter or margarine
3 beaten egg yolks (or 1-2 whole eggs)
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg (optional)
1/4 teaspoon lemon rind (optional)
2 to 2 1/2 cups flour
1 pound dates or raisins
1/2 cup or more nuts
1 cup maraschino or candied cherries, cut up
1 slice candied pineapple, cut in pieces
1/2 cup choppen citron or mixed fruit (optional)
Dissolve yeast in 1/4 cup warm water; add 1 teaspoon sugar. Scald milk and cool to lukewarm. Add flour and beat well. Cream butter or margarine and 1/2 cup sugar, eggs and salt. (You may use nutmeg or lemon rind if you wish.)
Add to above mixture with flour, enough to make a soft, smooth dough.
Knead until elastic. Place in greased bowl and cover. Let rise until double, about 3 hours.
Divide dough into 3 pieces. Roll out to 1/2 inch thick. Brush with melted butter. Cover with dates or raisins, nuts, cherries, candied pineapple, citron or mixed fruit.
This amount is for the 3 stollen. Roll dough like a jelly roll. Place on greased cookie sheet. Let rise until light and doubled in size.
Bake at 375 degrees about 40 minutes or until browned. Ice with powdered sugar icing and decorate with nuts and fruit.