I’m a pretty big fan of my family. We all like a good laugh and a good book, even if our taste in humor and books is really different from one person to the next. Bad puns also run in the family (thanks, Dad), so fair warning that those might accidentally sneak into posts.
The more applicable common thread is that we tend to be pretty relaxed about holidays. There’s no pressure to kill yourself cooking for a week before holidays or to unload dozens of boxes of decorations. Sometimes I think I should get a little bit more into those things, but most of the time I just sigh with relief and enjoy whatever I’m doing instead of being stressed.
We do have a few traditions, however. One of them is to wear armadillo slippers on Christmas morning. Very classy and very warm. I highly recommend it! Another is to eat German Christmas stollen for breakfast. My mom and/or grandmother have faithfully baked stollen every year since I can remember, and it makes me ridiculously happy every year. It’s semi-sweet bread with slivered almonds, raisins, candied citrus peel, candied cherries, and almond paste in the middle. Mmm! I know it sounds kind of odd, but taste a slice and then get back to me.
Various forces of nature have joined together to bring Christmas to my house this year, which makes my dog super happy. Christmas in a kennel never seemed quite in the spirit of things to him. It also means that the stollen torch was passed to me (can you feel the weight of responsibility?!). That’s right. In a family that only has a few holiday traditions, the food-related one was passed on to the family member who might delicately be called an “inexperienced” cook.
I’m proud to say that despite a few hiccups, I didn’t ruin the family Christmas. Yesterday was the big baking day, and I have even supplied proof that I created four tasty crescents of stollen goodness.
No, they aren’t supposed to have gaping seams along the edge like that, but I’m willing to accept a seam if the bread tastes good. And yes, I did slice into one about five seconds after it came out of the oven. Quality control, obviously.
There are a lot of tough things about becoming an adult. Fortunately, this isn’t one of them. I still get to enjoy the Christmas stollen on the big morning, and I have a whopping 3 loaves (or 2.5 now) left in my freezer. If I were a little kid, I might just start dancing because of that! And now that I have the recipe, I might even make another batch. Making the world better one piece of candied fruit at a time since 2009.