Christmas Memories

What makes Christmas special to you? Is it the frosty air? The winter wardrobe and gingerbread cookies? Friends and family gathered around the feast of a lifetime? For me, it’s the decorations, the tree, and the pastries made from scratch in the kitchen that bring back the aroma and feel of Christmas past.

When I was little, I remember being around the kitchen table at my aunt’s house and watching her, my mother, and my uncle work in an assembly line fashion each with a task – roll the dough in a flat circle, cut the dough circles into triangles, scoop filling onto each triangle, roll the dough like a cigarette – in fact, that’s what these delicious pastries are called.

I was too young to be a part of the action, but I enjoyed stealing a taste of the sweet filling of these delectable pastries. I was only five when my aunt passed away. I don’t have a lot of memories of her except her laughter, smile, and these pastries, the recipe, and her Christmas cookie recipe. But they used to make cookies called nazooks like this too. It was a team effort.

When my mom and I make these cigarettes at Christmas time it’s just special to us. It’s like having her with us as we bake and enjoy them to the last morsel.

Some Christmas traditions live on in our families. What are some of yours?