#whatsonyourplateblogchallenge Over 50s Lifestyle

What’s On Your Plate? My traditional Festive Baking

December 1, 2021

It’s that wonderful time of the year, decorations are being hung and you can just feel the magic of the season weave it’s way into your heart. The Festive Season is such a lovely time of year and I enjoy every moment of it. I remember as a child, being involved in the baking of the Christmas Cake and Christmas Pudding a yearly tradition with my Mum. We each had a stir for good luck and in those days sixpences were added to the Christmas Pudding to be found by a lucky person at lunch on Christmas Day. Unfortunately, decimal currency came in in 1966 and we couldn’t use the coins so it wasn’t quite the same.

Mum would make a traditional Christmas Pudding, wrapped in calico and boiled in the ‘copper’. The Christmas spices filled the house and announced that the Festive Season had begun.

In Australia, we perservered with the traditional Christmas fare despite Summer temperatures reaching over 30C at time – turkey, ham, roast vegetables, cranberry sauce and of course the Christmas pudding with custard. It wouldn’t be Christmas without this menu. Pre-luncheon nibbles were usually chocolate covered peanuts or sultanas, mixed nuts and Dad and I would both try to select all the cashews. the table would not be complete with out the Christmas Crackers which contained the silly paper crowns and the jokes that made us groan! It was a simple but wonderful time.

Changing Traditions

These days, we have become a little more sensible in Australia with many opting for a cold seafood platter – prawns, oysters, lobsters and salads. Of course, some of us just can’t break that childhood tradition.

My Christmas traditions changed especially over the last 25 years. Having a blended family can bring it’s share of problems – so many people to see on the one day of the year!  When our children found partners and then our first grandchild arrived,  I decided to make our combined family Christmas get-together a week before Christmas.  I was fed up with being last on the list of visits for Christmas day when every one had eaten too much and were tired.  Problem solved!  We planned our get together a week before which enabled everyone to come along and enjoy themselves.

Now that we live in an apartment, it isn’t easy to keep this combined Christmas tradition going becasue we can’t fit everyone in. I feel sadness at yet another change to a tradition but that is life – changing and adapting.

In the past we would then go to my daughter’s for Christmas Day. This year, my son and his wife are hosting Christmas Day and whilst we need to pass the baton to the next generations, I’m missing that feeling of being the host and the flurry of preparations for my family.

My Traditional Festive Baking

Here are some of my favourite recipes that I make each year.

Despite not hosting Christmas Day festivities, I still do my traditional baking. I’ve made the Christmas Cake, the Christmas Pudding which I make in my slow cooker. I also had some mixture left over so made some mini puddings in my muffin tray. I’m still to make my Choc Nut Truffle Puddings which I give as gifts and still to make as a special treat for Mr M, Mocha pecan ice-cream.

I have linked each one to it’s own post which contains the detailed recipe. I hope you enjoy making them as much as I have and they have become part of my Festive Season tradition.

Mini Chocolate Nut Truffle Puddings

Multi Flavoured Truffles

These look so impressive (even if I do say so myself).  I originally found the recipe on the Nestle website and it is one of my favourites. Place them inside a Christmas themed box with a colourful bow and they instantly look festive!  Alternatively you can wrap them in red cellophane paper with green ribbon (or reverse the colours) and keep as a last minute gift if required.

Click HERE for the recipe.

Mini Christmas Cakes

Looking for gift ideas? I make one Christmas Cake. Divide into four, ice with fondant and decorate with ribbon and holly. Or you could make these below in a muffin tray.

These little Christmas Cakes make the perfect gift and look effective with the almonds on top.  You can go the extra step and ice them and decorate with holly or use your imagination to make different toppers (if you have time).  For example, using Royal Icing you could use festive cookie cutters to make stars, santa, christmas trees etc.

Wrapped in red cellophane with a green curling ribbon they look very impressive.  You could also use clear cellophane with gold curling ribbon.

Click HERE for the recipe.

Italian Chocolate Hazlenut Biscotti

biscotti

My husband is Italian, so on our visits to Italy to visit his cousins, I’ve discovered much about Italian foods and traditions.  I love them all and I love the Italian way of sitting for hours savouring a meal with the family gathered together around the table – no iphones!!!

Last year, I discovered this recipe when I was making my Christmas baking gifts and I have added it to my ‘must do’ recipes for the festive season.  They are delicious, easy to make and look impressive as gifts.  They are also a different alternative to the usual truffles that I tend to make.

Click HERE for the recipe

Chocolate Truffles Three Ways

Multi Flavoured Truffles

Truffles are easy to make and last year I experimented with many different flavours.  Using white, dark and milk chocolate as well as coconut I made a mixed box of truffles as gifts.  They were a big hit and provided a variety of flavours to try.

Click HERE for the recipes

Do you have a Festive Baking Tradition? I would love you to share it with me.

whats on your plate blog challenge

Each month I join Donna from Retirement Reflections and Deb The Widow Badass for their monthly What’s on your plate? challenge. Be sure to pop over to see what was on their plates and let them know Sue from WLWA50 sent you 

Would you like to join in?

These posts go live on the first Wednesday of each month and you can join in too. Just leave your link in the comments. You don’t have to be a cordon bleu chef just someone who enjoys food and sharing your thoughts and maybe a recipe or two – it’s up to you.

Jo shared this delicious recipe HERE and Deb has shared her contribution HERE

Sue Loncaric

Women Living Well After 50

Living Life Your Way

You Might Also Like

24 Comments

  • Reply Debbie Harris December 1, 2021 at 18:18

    Wow, these all look amazing Sue and such great gift ideas too! I’ve never made a Christmas cake and don’t really have many favourite recipes we make each year. I think we’re all so pleased to be together we just all help out and do a bit of everything and share the results. Great post for this prompt !

    • Reply Sue Loncaric December 2, 2021 at 09:12

      Thanks Deb, I really enjoy baking gifts at Christmas and although I’m not hosting this year, I still need to keep my baking tradition going. x

  • Reply Donna Connolly December 2, 2021 at 04:48

    Hi, Sue – Your baking looks absolutely amazing. You could lead us all in a Zoom baking endeavour!
    I never have been one to do much Christmas baking. I used to make Christmas Crack (alias Christmas Cracker Candy). It is usually a well-received gift…but a tad dangerous to keep around the house! https://www.simplyrecipes.com/recipes/christmas_cracker_candy/

    • Reply Sue Loncaric December 2, 2021 at 09:13

      Hi Donna, Christmas Cracker Candy sounds festive and a great gift idea. I’ll check out the recipe. I love baking at Christmas and it is the one tradition I don’t want to let go of. xx

  • Reply Joanne Tracey December 2, 2021 at 06:49

    Love love love this post (you knew I would)! I truly wish that Christmas could be at our house, but it’s not & only has been once. I still do all the baking but somehow… anyways, here’s my recipe for Christmas crack….

    • Reply Sue Loncaric December 2, 2021 at 09:15

      I thought you might like this Jo, although I’m not in your league as far as baking goes. I do enjoy everything about Christmas baking, the spices, the excitement of the season and the smell as the Christmas Cake is cooking. Sucha a lovely time of the year. xx

  • Reply suzanne December 2, 2021 at 08:16

    Sue, I am not much of a baker, but I do bake Christmas cookies each year. My favorite is Snicker Doodles. Unfortunately, if I bake them now, they will be gone by next week. Malcolm usually makes cranberry biscotti and chocolate truffles to give as gifts. Your recipes for each of those look scrumptious. I love how you dressed up the mini Christmas cakes – very festive. Thanks for this take on ‘what’s on your plate.’ I feeltruly inspired!

    • Reply Sue Loncaric December 2, 2021 at 09:16

      I’ve heard of Snicker Doodles, Suzanne but not sure what they look like. Malcolm’s cranberry biscotti and chocolate truffles sound delicious and are perfect as gifts. I was pretty happy with the mini Christmas cakes and how they looked with the ribbon and holly. You’ve made my day saying I’ve inspired you! Enjoy the Festive season xx

  • Reply Leanne | www.crestingthehill.com.au December 2, 2021 at 10:38

    Lots of lovely traditional baking and wonderful memories attached to it Sue. My only tradition is to make pavlovas – my family always look for them every Christmas. I laughed at you and your dad hunting for the cashews – I do that too when there’s mixed nuts on offer. It will be a great way to grow the family bonds by having Christmas at your sons’s house – and really nice that they’ve offered – I hope you enjoy every moment of it.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric December 4, 2021 at 04:17

      Hi Leanne, I always feel close to my Mum when I do my Christmas baking. I’ve only tried a Pavlova a couple of times but they can look very festive with the colourful toppings. Another fun year with our grandchildren, and like my grandsons, I know your granddaughters are growing up so enjoy the magical feel that Children bring to the festive season.

  • Reply Susanne December 4, 2021 at 05:14

    Your baked goods look delicious! I was just thinking about how funny it is that you have the same traditions when it comes to decorations, baking, food etc for the Christmas season, as we have, and here all that is so connected with winter that I can’t imagine having summer at the same time! But it’s probably good that people switch more to cold, fresh and more summery foods. I did my Christmas baking last weekend and my husband made glögg (Swedish mulled wine with a twist) but we plan to do fudge and caramel for Christmas.
    Interesting to hear that your husband is Italian! Where in Italy have you been? Italy is my second hone but I haven’t been there for a couple of years now and really miss it.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric December 5, 2021 at 08:34

      Hi Susanne, I love these traditional recipes and they aren’t difficult to make but look good! Yes we identify with a Northern Hemisphere Christmas but times are changing and we are finally being sensible and not spending the day in a hot kitchen! My husband was born in Naples in 1948 and came to Australia in 1952. We have visited Italy several times and each visit we discover a new area. Alas COVID has curtailed our travel but perhaps one day….

  • Reply Lydia C. Lee December 4, 2021 at 07:01

    Our Christmas traditions are changing too. Except we’re the level down and we are the ones that have to drive all over NSW on xmas day so it might actually be easier for us – tho still sad. It’s like an end. All your food looks lovely!! #WeekendCoffeeShare

    • Reply Sue Loncaric December 5, 2021 at 08:36

      Hi Lydia, I’ve been fortunate not to have had to travel to different places on Christmas Day as that can really add to the stress of the day. The recipes I make aren’t difficult but they look Festive. x

  • Reply Natalie December 4, 2021 at 12:18

    Hi Sue, Your baking looks amazing and would make wonderful gifts. I haven’t been one to do Christmas baking because there’s a lot of holiday baking in my circles of family and friends. If I’m in the mood, I may bake a simple cake. Thank you for linking up with #weekendcoffeeshare.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric December 5, 2021 at 08:36

      Hi Natalie, I enjoy baking and I try now to encourage my grandsons to help me. This week I will be staying with them for a few days so Christmas baking is on the list.

  • Reply Jennifer Jones December 4, 2021 at 16:24

    Your Christmas baking sounds amazing Sue. I don’t bake for Christmas these days. Like you we catch up with family in the week before Christmas.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric December 5, 2021 at 08:37

      Hi Jen, I still bake as it makes me feel close to my Mum as it was such a big tradition for her when we were growing up. x

  • Reply Joanne December 5, 2021 at 09:59

    Our Christmas traditions have had to change quite a bit from year to year too. We often stretch the celebrations out through the whole month of December since both my husband and I have 2 sets of parents so it feels like we have 4 different families to see. I used to host Christmas eve with my whole side of the family and Christmas day with my husband’s side but it got to be too much for me when my boys were little so I passed the baton. I might pick it back up next year now that my boys are so much bigger and the holiday feels a bit “less than” as we’ve set aside nearly ever tradition we’ve ever had and both my sisters have moved away so our family is much smaller. I try not to get sad about the changes and teach my boys to be flexible.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric December 5, 2021 at 17:42

      Hi Joanne, my parents died many years ago so I’ve never really had to fit in extra visits during the Festive Season. I love your approach to changing traditions and teaching your sons to be flexible. It can be so overwhelming trying to fit everything in during this time of year. It should be filled with joy and happiness but for many it becomes a chore unfortunately. x

  • Reply Gail December 8, 2021 at 16:44

    Brilliant to see you in the link-up Sue, and loved reading about your Christmas traditions and recipes. I’m a step parent with no children of my own but we’ve managed to make Boxing Day a fixture at our house fir John’s two children, their partners and a grand child. Next year there will be another grand child joining us.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric December 10, 2021 at 10:07

      Hi Gail, I look forward to linking up more with you in 2022. Sounds like a lovely family get-together on Boxing Day and how exiciting to have another grandchild on the way. x

  • Reply Michele Somerville December 21, 2021 at 07:28

    Maybe because I am easily distracted, I hopped over to read t his post before I finished reading the current one. Love the idea of the cake divided and “gift wrapped” with fondant and ribbon. I want to spend some more time looking at the recipes, too. I sympathize with the changes you mention too, life, children grown and moving away and we moved. In 25 years as as pastor, we have only been able to spend one day over Christmas weekend with family, the rest are quiet, just the two of us, but I make special meals that we enjoy. I have said quite sincerely to my congregations, “I am spending Christmas with my family, I am here with you” But truth be told it is not the same. Christmas blessings, Michele

    • Reply Sue Loncaric December 30, 2021 at 07:58

      Hello Michele thanks for visiting and I do hope you had a lovely Christmas. As a pastor I’m sure it is a very busy time. Best wishes to your and your family for a healthy and happy 2022. x

    Leave a Reply

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

    %d bloggers like this: