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Fresh baked holiday cookies
Fresh baked holiday cookies
Jennie Hardenbrook

The turkeys have all been stuffed, the shoppers are tapped out, so what else can you do since we have several weeks before the big guy comes down the chimney?

Well, you can still enjoy the farmers markets in Northeast Ohio, or there’s all that baking for the holidays that I’m sure we all want to do. But, the most important thing is we need to plan for our holiday meal.

There are so many traditions that people celebrate and cherish every year. They can’t wait for this time of year, just so they can prepare all those wonderful dishes that they remember from their childhoods.

I, for one, love my Italian family traditions. I can remember as far back to when I was just 7 years old, when my Nana and Nanu would start making Christmas cookies the Monday right after Thanksgiving! They would make all the cookies for three families. It was an enormous job, but they did it just the two of them.

Then there was the Christmas Eve meal that we would gather together to have. We would have baccala, a dried salted cod with a lot of little bones in it—sounds strange, but it was so yummy the way my grandparents prepared it. They would lightly bread it and then would fry it in oil.

The youngsters hardly ever got to have the fish because of the bones, so we had to eat chicken. We always managed to sneak a piece or two, though…I wonder if they ever knew!

Finally, there was the white spaghetti. This dish was made with an anchovies, breadcrumbs, Parmesan cheese and lots and lots of garlic. That was another treat as well, very rich, but so delicious. I always overate and had a bellyache for hours.

I’m sure we all have our holiday traditions that we’re starting to plan for as the holidays are approaching. Happy planning and happy eating!

Until next time!


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