I love Christmas traditions and learning about them from around the world is great fun! Did you know it was the Germans who are responsible for many of the things we do today, such as decorate Christmas trees. They also make edible decorations to hang on the tree, such as cinnamon stars. These are also enjoyed in Switzerland. (See recipe below.)
I was thinking about my childhood Christmas and one of my fondest memories includes some elderly neighbors who lived down the street. They are long since passed away, I am sure. They were like second grandparents to me; a kind elderly woman and her elderly son. Nowadays, sadly, you would be hesitant to let your children befriend adult neighbors, but that was a different time. These people invited me and my friend into their home and shared Christmas treats and conversation with us. One of the things I have always remembered is how uniquely their Christmas tree was decorated. They adorned them with little red mushroom ornaments and explained that this was one of their German Christmas traditions.
I am also reminded of another dear elderly friend, Wes, who has also passed away a few years back, who was enamored of all things German. He spoke German fluently and taught it as a university professor. To celebrate these dear ones in my life, I share this in their memory... an article about a German Christmas in Heidelberg.
(Be sure to enjoy some and save some to decorate your tree.)
3 t. butter or margarine
1-1/2 c. sugar
2 whole eggs
1 egg, separated
1 t. lemon juice
2-1/3 cups all-purpose flour
2-1/2 t. baking powder
1-1/4 t. cinnamon
1/4 t. salt
1/4 t. nutmeg
1/2 c. finely chopped walnuts
1. Heat oven to 375 degrees.
2. Mix butter, sugar, 2 whole eggs, 1 egg yolk, and lemon juice until fluffy.
3. Measure flour. Stir dry ingredients together; blend into sugar mixture. Stir in nuts.
4. Divide dough into thirds. Roll out dough on a lightly floured board to 1/8" thickness.
5. Cut out with a 3 inch star cutter.
6. Brush tops of cookies with beaten egg white.
7. Bake on a lightly greased baking sheet 6 to 8 minutes.
Makes 6 dozen.
Where will you find me when I am not teaching?
For your reading pleasure!