A Cultural Look at Christmas Traditions
As we close in upon the Christmas holiday, I personally become very interested in traditions, specifically when it comes to food. My family has more than our share, even if they have been adapted as years have gone by. Fish on Christmas eve is a well-known tradition for Italian families, and in years past, my family has been no exception. But as time moves on, many families, mine included, have steered away from that traditional fare, but you will still always find a dish full of calamari (squid) on my grandma’s buffet table.
I have chosen to take this opportunity to explore some holiday traditions from around the world (in no particular order).
Bannock cakes are a very important part of a Scottish diet, which makes them important to Scottish tradition. The dough, made from finely ground oatmeal, has been around for centuries, and although the methods of preparation have changed with modern kitchen tools, the integrity of the dish has remained very close to it’s origins.
For Christmas, Scots make a version of the Bannock known as Yule Bannock. The bannock is marked the top with a cross, dividing it into four. The tradition was to bake them early on Christmas Day, one for each person who’d be there as a present.
(Recipe makes two smaller-sized bannocks)
4 oz medium oatmeal
2 teaspoons melted butter
2 pinches of baking soda
Pinch of salt
3/4 tablespoons hot water
Additional oatmeal for kneading
(An alternative method of cooking is to bake them in an oven at 375F for about 30 minutes or until brown at the edges.)
Check back tomorrow for a tradition from somewhere else around the globe!