2020 FAVORITE CHRISTMAS RECIPES
& STORIES TO SHARE
& STORIES TO SHARE
2020 has been a strange year for people all over the world. The Woolwrights are going to share some of our favorite recipes of foods that we would love to bring to our tables with our friends and our families. Let's remember those days of laughing together, the smells of things cooking in the kitchen, and sharing our hearts with people we love and care about. We hope that you enjoy our favorite things and we wish the best to everyone!
Scalloped Oysters -- Oven 350 degrees
1 pint oysters
2 cups medium coarse cracker crumbs
1/2 cup butter or margarine, melted
3/4 cup light cream
1/4 cup oyster liquid
1/4 teaspoon Worchestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon salt
Drain oysters, reserving 1/4 cup liquid.
Combine crumbs and butter.
Spread 1/3 of crumbs in greased 8 x 1 1/4 inch pan. Cover with half the
oysters. Sprinkle with pepper.
Using another third of the crumbs, spread a second layer, cover with
remaining oysters. Sprinkle with pepper.
Combine cream, oyster liquid, Worcestershire sauce, and salt. Pour over
Top with last of crumbs.
Bake in moderate (350 degree) oven about 40 minutes.
Submitted by Betty June Curzon Hill and her story:
"I grew up in landlocked Nebraska, so oysters were an expensive and difficult to find treat in the 1950's when I was a young girl. In the 1960's, my former husband and I bought oysters here in Virginia and packed them in ice before driving them across the country to Nebraska for Christmas. My Dad's first greeting was always, "Did you bring the oysters?"
We do not know where my grandmother got this recipe, but we loved it. It has always been on our Christmas table. The recipe may have come from fellow church friends, as so many of her recipes came from these dedicated Jello salad lovers of the 1940's and 1950's. My grandmother's name was Edna Elmira Curzon. She was a seamstress and award-winning watercolorist. She was descended from three of the passengers on the Mayflower, one being a woolgatherer who wandered areas where sheep graze to gather tufts of wool caught on vegetation. She died before we discovered her Mayflower lineage. She would have been so proud, as she was of the Curzon name. She died at age 97. My father, her son, was a watercolorist and oil painting artist who built airplane and ship models, including the Mayflower. I inherited my love of wool, art and craft from them.
Our scalloped oysters were a side dish, served with aged cheddar cheese shredded on the top of the casserole prior to baking. We added the cheese as the last layer and always used Saltine crackers broken by hand into small pieces rather than store bought cracker crumbs. Grandma's recipe below is as she wrote it. Rather than a pan, we use a clear glass Pyrex casserole that can be taken directly to the table. Scalloped oysters are best served piping hot from the oven. My father added the cheese to grandma's recipe over her protest, but with time she approved and "oyster casserole with cheese" became our tradition.If you're lucky enough to have any scalloped oyster leftovers, it's delicious cold straight out of the refrigerator with a light salting.
But be quick, as someone else may beat you to it!"
Cranberry Bavarian ....aka Bland Dessert
(may be doubled)
1 envelope unflavoured gelatin
1/2 cup sugar -- divided into 1/4 cups to be used at different times in the recipe
dash of salt
2 eggs, separated
1 1/4 cup cranberry juice cocktail -- divided into 3/4 cup and 1/2 cup
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup heavy cream, whipped
In a saucepan combine gelatin, 1/4 cup sugar and salt.
Beat together egg yolks and 3/4 cup of cranberry juice. Stir into gelatin mixture. Place over low heat and cook -- stir until gelatin dissolves and mixture thickens very slightly - about 5 minutes.
Remove from heat and stir in remaining cranberry juice and vanilla.
Chill until mixture is slightly thickened, texture should be like unbeaten egg whites. If it thickens too much it can be melted over hot water.
Beat egg whites until they hold a stiff peak.
Gradually beat in remaining 1/4 cup of sugar and beat until the whites hold a stiff peak again.
Fold into the partially set gelatin along with the whipped cream.
Turn into a 5 cup mould and chill for several hours or overnight to set.
Unmould on a large plate (may need to press with a cloth that has been dipped in hot water to help loosen the dessert -- but don't melt it too much!)
Submitted by Jennifer Curran and her story:
"The recipe below does have a bit of a family history. When my parents lived in California (about 45+ years ago) they attended a Methodist Church which had a senior's group that my mother volunteered with. That group had all sorts of people helping - not just the church members. One day one of the women who knew my mom had a lot of dinner parties for visiting business colleagues of my dad's, asked her if she had a good, easy Christmas dessert recipe. She told mom that she had been invited to a Christmas party, but being Jewish didn't know what she should take -- she needed a 'Jewish Christmas Dessert'. My mom gave her this one.
This became a staple on our Christmas dinner table amongst the pudding, the cake, and all the other riches. Mom forgot to get it out of the fridge one Christmas and my sister-in-law asked where the 'bland dessert' was. After puzzling for a while we realized what she was requesting....she told us she didn't mean it as it sounded; it was just that it was such a light dessert that it was perfect after the big dinner..... bland Dessert it became."
1 cup chopped celery
2 tsp. minced pimento (or small pieces of tomato)
2 lb. sauerkraut (drain and chop up a little)
1 chopped green pepper
2 green onions, chopped
1 cup oil
1/2 cup vinegar
1 cup sugar
Combine all ingredients and chill 2 hours. Drain. - D. Jane Burke, New Albany, PA.
From Sue Copenhaver and her story:
"I make fresh sauerkraut every November with about 90 pounds of shredded cabbage and about 2 cups of salt in a 10 gallon crock. I grew up with a crock of sauerkraut in the basement made by Ukranian grandmother and then my dad. I made this sauerkraut salad every Christmas. It is rather festive with the white cabbage, green peppers, and red pimento. I found the recipe in the 1979 New Albany PA Centennial Cookbook. I substitute1/4 cup Splenda for the cup of white sugar."
From Nancy Everson.
Chocolate Walnut Biscotti
1/2 cup (1stick) butter
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 oz. Bakers semi-sweet chocolate (chopped)
1 cup chopped walnuts
Heat oven to 325. Beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Mix in flour, baking powder and salt. Stir in chocolate and walnuts. Shape dough into 2 (14 x i2 1/2 inch) slightly flattened logs. Place 2 inches apart on greased and floured cookie sheet.
Bake 25 minutes or unto lightly browned. Place on cutting board; cool 5 minutes. Using a serrated knife, cut each log into diagonal slices about 3/4 inch thick. Place slices upright on cookie sheet 1/2 inch apart. Bake 10 minutes or until slightly dry. Cool on wire racks.
Makes about 3 dozen.
For Chocolate Dipped Biscotti: Melt 8 squares Bakers semi-sweet chocolate. (Ghiradelli dark chocolate flavored melting wafers work well too.) Dip 1/2 of each biscotti into melted chocolate. Place on paper lined tray and allow chocolate to harden.
From Annmarie Kowalczyk
Grandma's Homemade Noodles
This is a different kind of recipe. My grandmother, Reva America Gilbert, from Colby, Kansas, taught me how to make noodles when I was very young and there has never been anything in writing to follow. She made them for us almost every time before we went home after a visit. So here goes:
Whip 3 or 4 eggs with a fork, then add in a little cream or milk, maybe a few tablespoons. Then add enough flour to make the dough begin to get a little stiff, now not too much. Cover the counter with a nice layer of flour and dump the dough out onto the floured surface. Knead the dough while adding flour to make the dough stiff enough to turn into a ball. Make sure you have enough flour on the counter and roll out the dough into a rectangle making sure all the time that there is enough flour on the counter so the dough does not stick and enough flour on the top of the dough so it does not stick to the rolling pin. You can make the dough as thin as you want or thicker if you like. Once you have all the dough rolled out, then start rolling the dough (like a jelly roll or cinnamon rolls) until you have one long roll. Cut through the roll to make the noodles, spreading them out as you go along and adding a little flour to keep them from sticking. Grandma would always let her noodles dry out sometimes overnight, but I have found that I like to put them directly into the boiling chicken broth right after cutting them. I use a dutch oven filled with broth. This is when I begin boiling the potatoes for mashed potatoes and the noodles can simmer for the 20 minutes or so that it takes for the potatoes to cook. Add whatever amount of salt and pepper you like to the noodles.
This is what we always put over our mashed potatoes! We never had gravy, but the broth and noodles made the "gravy"! I think this was probably a staple for people when they did not have much to live on through rough times and passed down through generations.
From Deb Burcin
Molasses Dunk Cookies from Family Fun Magazine November 1998
Every Christmas, my children and I made these cookies together. Kids steps: measuring, mixing the ingredients, and rolling the dough into balls and in the sugar.
14 T. Butter, melted
2 c. Sugar, divided
1/3 c. Molasses
1 large egg, lightly beaten
2 1/2 c. All-purpose flour
1 1/4 t. Ground ginger
1 t. Cinnamon
3/4 t. Baking soda
1/4 t. Salt
Preheat oven to 350°. In a medium-sized bowl, mix the melted butter, 1 cup of the sugar, and the molasses. Beat in the egg. In a separate bowl, mix the flour, ginger, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt. Gradually add to the butter mixture, stirring until a soft dough is formed.
Shape the dough into 1-inch balls, then roll each ball in the remaining sugar. Bake on an uncreased baking sheet for 10 minutes. Makes about 5 dozen cookies.
Note: I line my baking sheet with parchment paper first for easy clean up.
From Ramona Ndlovu
Party Drop Cookies
Here is a quick and easy cookie recipe. I have been making these since I was in 2nd grade. My Brownie leader, Mrs. Howe, had our troop come to her house to bake cookies!! I have been hooked ever since. Very easy and a great cookie for younger children to help with.
1/2 cup soft margarine/butter
1 1/2 cup sugar
1 cup sour cream
1 tsp vanilla
2 3/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
Greased cookie sheet.
Drop on cookie sheet (like with choc chip cookies)
Decorate with green and red sugar sprinkles
Bake at 350 for 8-9 min.
From Christine Wardrop