Family Memories - Chinese Food and Fruit Cake
Chinese Food for Christmas
Traditions Then and Now
Some families in America observe the tradition of eating Chinese food on Christmas Day. They may have adopted the habit after viewing the movie A Christmas Story, which is an American classic film. In the movie, when dinner is ruined for Christmas, the members of the family perk up as Dad takes them to a Chinese restaurant.
Not all people wait for dinner to be ruined. They plan ahead to have a Chinese meal. Other people plan to avoid fruit cake altogether. If you are one of these, you might like the cookies and pastry items below. If you purchase whole cranberries in the fall and put the bags in your freezer, you can make the cranberry cookies all year.
Easy Cranberry Sugar Cookies
- 1 Package (16 ounces) of cranberry quick bread or muffin mix
- 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter or good quality margarine, Room temperature, soft
- 3 Tablespoons sugar
- 3/4 cup nuts if desired, such as walnuts
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Mix butter and sugar together well, add remaining ingredients and mix into a dough. Form dough balls with a Tablespoon of dough each.
- Flatten balls to 1/4 -inch thick with the bottom of a glass dipped in sugar or roll with a small rolling pin dusted with powdered sugar. Place dough rounds on a baking sheet.
- Bake in batches for 9 to 11 minutes or until edges are golden brown.
- Cool on the pans for 2 minutes.
- Transfer cookies to racks to cool totally and serve.
Christmas Babka (Slavic, not Chinese)
- 4 envelopes active dry yeast
- 1 cup lukewarm water
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 7 egg yolks or 3 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest
- 4 to 5 cups flour
- 1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
- 1 cup golden raisins
- 1/4 cup brandy
- 2 to 4 Tablespoons heavy cream
- 1 cup confectioners' sugar
- Dissolve the yeast in warm water in a large mixing bowl.
- Add the salt and sugar.
- Stir in eggs, vanilla and zest.
- Add enough flour to make a soft dough. Work in butter, adding more flour, if needed.
- Knead dough on lightly floured surface 10 minutes or until shiny and elastic. Place in a floured bowl and dust the top lightly with flour.
- Cover bowl with a towel.
- Place bowl in a warm place and let rise 30 minutes or until doubled in volume. Dough has risen enough if it does not spring back when fingers are poked into the center.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
- Grease one 10-inch or two 7-inch bread pans.
- Punch down the dough on a floured board.
- Knead in the raisins.
- Fill pan with dough to half full. Let rise until doubled in volume.
- Bake 45 minutes for 10-inch pan or 30 minutes for two smaller pans, until deep golden brown.
- Remove cake oven and from pan.
- Sprinkle with brandy.
- Heat cream and add enough cream to sugar to make a thin icing. Brush it on the warm babka and serve.
Korean Cuisine Is Also An Easy, Good Choice
Bi Bim Bop (Korean)
A bowl of cooked white rice, topped with these essentials:
- Blanched, stir-fried or marinated vegetables -- carrot, bean sprouts, spinach, broccoli, mushrooms, pea pods, others.
- Bulgogi style BBQ beef, chicken, or tofu
- A fried egg on top.
- Serve with a spicy red pepper paste aka and sesame oil
Bi Bim Bop In America
A new chain of Asian restaurants in America serves up several varieties of Bi Bim Bop. Their name is Bibibop Asian Grill and their food is fast and at a reasonable price.
How To Make Traditional Bibimbap (Bi Bim Bop)
© 2007 Patty Inglish MS