Archive for December, 2012

Christmas Memories

Monday, December 24th, 2012

As you might expect, my memories always revolve around food. The other day I walking down Lexington Avenue in NYC, and saw some exquisite Gingerbread Houses in the window of William Poll, a specialty food shop that has been around for 90 years. A bit further downtown in the window of a French Patisserie was a Buche de Noel; which rekindled memories of many a Holiday meal.

My curiosity got the better of me, so I asked a few friends to name the one food that epitomized Christmas for them. The responses, as you might expect, were quite diverse…spiral ham, chocolate wreaths, lasagna, candy canes, popovers for breakfast, and prime rib to name a few.

About 10 years ago I was in Milan and had the opportunity to spend a day with a friend Roberto. When we started discussing Christmas he became so excited; and he dragged me across town to the shop where he bought Panettone for the last 30 years. My Aunt Helen was equally as passionate about Stollen, the traditional German fruitcake. She made Stollen from scratch every year, and shipped them all over the country to friends and family.

When I was growing up, my favorite dish on the Christmas table was my mother’s au gratin potatoes, which I still make for special occasions. Food can play a special role in Christmas, or any Holiday that you celebrate, not just because it’s delicious but because it triggers memories of the past.

Happy Holidays!