It’s that time of year when the chill in the frosty air brings us indoors to hunker down with thick comforters and mugs of steaming hot chocolate overflowing with fluffy marshmallows. When holiday music and movies become the soundtrack to our everyday home lives. When we gather ‘round the fire for company, drink, food and love. When we are celebrating and remembering those we treasure and hold near and dear. When the real meaning of the season is family – by our DNA or by our heart. When we reflect and give thanks for all we have. In a nutshell, unconditional love.
I’d like to welcome Sharon Pape to share the beauty of the season with us.
Favorite Holiday Tradition?
On Christmas morning my husband bakes popovers and croissants for breakfast. On Hanukkah my daughter and I make potato pancakes. (by New Years we all need to go on a diet).
Favorite Childhood Toy?
I don’t think I had just one. I’m tempted to say books, if they qualify as a toy — maybe as a toy for the imagination.
Favorite Childhood Game?
Again there were many over the course of my childhood, starting with Candyland, Chinese Checkers, Monopoly. We didn’t have the kind of electronics there are today.
Snowball Fights or Snow Families?
Making snow families. I guess I’ve never been the “violent” type.
Sleigh rides, Sledding or Skiing?
Sleigh rides and sledding — and of course the hot cocoa afterwards.
Favorite Holiday Song?
“Silent Night” and “Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer.” Weird, I know — maybe I have a split personality.
Favorite Holiday Movie?
Miracle on 34th Street
Favorite Holiday Story to read?
How the Grinch Stole Christmas from when my kids were little.
Snow on Holiday eve or just a chill?
Snow for the beauty of it, but then I’d like it all to melt immediately and be 72 degrees. Yes, I know that’s not going to happen, but a girl can dream.
Most Memorable Holiday Memory?
That would have to be each of my kids’ first Christmases and Hanukkahs. If you’re a parent I don’t have to explain any further.
No, but one year we did string popcorn for decorating the tree.
Real Tree or Artificial? Green or white?
I have to confess we’ve always had artificial trees. We tried white once, but prefer green.
What Do You Do On Holiday Eve?
It’s changed over time. In recent years, after cooking all day, we order pizzas and then make sundaes for dessert. (Like I said — by New Years, diets all around.)
Holiday Plans This Year?
Since Christmas and Hanukkah are only days apart this year, everything has to be squeezed into a tight timeframe. We’ll have a big dinner on the first night of Hanukkah , our pizza Christmas Eve, popover Christmas morning and then meatballs, sausage and ravioli Christmas dinner. I’m feeling full just talking about it and I swear I’ve gained two pounds!!!
What’s the One Holiday Dish Your Family Can’t Go Without?
Potato pancakes on Hanukkah, some kind of pasta on Christmas.
Please share a holiday recipe.
Rugelach — cookies with raisins, walnuts, sugar and cinnamon. They’re usually made with butter and cream cheese, but these are made with butter and sour cream, which makes them lighter and even more delicious. Here’s the recipe:
1/2lb. sweet butter, 2cups sifted flour, 1 egg yolk slightly beaten, 3/4 cup sour cream. For the filling: 3/4 cup sugar, 11/2 tsp. cinnamon, 3/4cup chopped walnuts, 3/4 cup chopped raisins. Mix filling ingredients together.
1. Let butter soften, then cut the butter into the flour.
2. Mix egg yolk and sour cream together.
3. Mix ingredients in steps 1&2 together using a wooden spoon until well blended.
4.Form mixture into four balls, wrap in waxed paper and refrigerate for at least 2hours. Roll out the balls of dough one at a time while the others remain in the refrigerator. Roll the dough out to form a thin circle, then cut into eight triangles.
Spoon some of the filling on each triangle (not too heavily) and roll so they look like little croissants. Place on baking pan about 3inches apart. You can line pan first with parchment paper so there’s no mess to clean later. Bake at 375degrees ( or 350 if your oven tends to run too hot) for about 30 min. or until golden brown. Cool on rack. They do take a bit of work, but they’re soooo worth it!
Holiday Party Tip?
I usually make brisket (pot roast) as the entree for Hanukkah. It can be made a day before and sliced and reheated on the holiday. It’s even better after soaking in the sauce overnight and there’s no prep work on the actual holiday when we’re busying making the potato pancakes.
Favorite Holiday Decoration?
We have a menorah that’s a work of art, and I also love the Christmas tree ornaments that have special meaning for our family.
A Magical Holiday Memory?
Well there was the year our dog knocked over the tree, but magically no one got hurt and there wasn’t any breakage. Some of the best memories were the years when we took the kids into Manhattan to help an organization that bussed seniors to a center where they could make phone calls anywhere in the world to talk to loved ones. Our family (and many others) helped the seniors place the calls. We always left there feeling fabulous!
Wrap or Gift Bag?
It depends upon the shape and size of the gift and whether or not I’m running out of time.
Gifts or Gift Cards?
I prefer giving gifts — it’s just so much more personal.
Do you eat fruitcake?
I like fruitcake (Let me be honest here –there’s no cake I don’t like), but no one else in my family does.
Movies on Christmas?
We only did that once. I prefer just hanging out at home with the whole family, maybe playing games.
What’s in Your Stocking?
I don’t know. I’ve been wanting a bread maker, believe it or not. (There’s a long explanation for that, having to do with cinnamon bread.) I guess I’d need a really big stocking though.
I hope your holidays are wonderful, Diane, and thanks again for having me stop by.
Thank you so much, Sharon.
Happy Holidays from my house to yours!
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