Christmas Countdown - Day 17 and 18

Candy Canes or Chocolate? 

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Candy Canes were invented to keep children quiet during the traditional Christmas Eve service back in the 1670’s in, Cologne,  Germany.  According to folklore, a choir master had the local candy maker create the ‘sugar sticks’ in the shape of a shepherds crook to justify the practice and to remind the children about the shepherds who visited Christ at his birth.  The white and red were symbolic of Christ’s purity and the blood he shed for our sins respectively.  

From Germany, the candy canes spread to other parts of Europe, where they were handed out during Nativity plays and henceforth the candy cane became associated with Christmastide.
Isabel enjoys an occasional candy cane and when she was at primary school all the kids and teachers gave them out in conjunction with Christmas cards.  This tradition was quickly dropped in high school.  One year I decided to give all the children who were members of our congregation a candy cane attached to a card with the Christian symbolism explained to help them understand that Christmas is really about Christ, his birth and gift to humanity.  Plus it kept them quiet during the service - what a clever choir master that old German turned out to be.  Perhaps it was the only thing about him that is remembered in this day and age.

This year we have given the candy cane a miss and decided to stick with Isabel and Jim’s favourite sweet – Chocolate.  This afternoon Isabel had me act as kitchen hand as she decided to bake one of her all time favourite chocolate recopies - Fruit mince chocolate brownies.  Apparently she baked this dish at school for assessment last year and got a really good grade.  In addition, she had the pleasure of polishing off the finished product with her father.  As you can see from the photo we have yet to ice this little number.  Her cousins are coming to visit tomorrow and I don't think that I will have to worry about having any left over for the week-end.

Journal Prompts - Chocoloholic Treats

  • Everyone loves chocolate - but who in your family is the chocoholic? 
    Bake this person a special Christmas treat and then include the recipe and a photo of the finished product in your journal.
  • Candy Canes are the traditional candy for Christmas (NOT CHOCOLATE). What is the symbolism associated with the candy cane? Do yo love or hate them?  Which is your favourite flavour?  

Journal Tip

Include the recipes that you love or those that have been handed down through the generations and write about the ancestor that started the tradition.  YOur children and grandchildren will love to read about this significant aspect of your Christmas celebrations.

Diary Date

This is probably one of the first times that Isabel and I have really cooked together in the kitchen, especially with her as head chef.  It was a pleasure to be her assistance.  Unfortunately, being the kitchen hand, you guessed it, I also get the pleasure of cleaning up the dirty dishes as well.  Who's cooking in your kitchen this Christmas?  It is a challenge to hand the ladle over to your child and be the assistant or is it a relief to let someone else do the cooking for a change? 

Anyway til' tomorrow.


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