christmas cakes - quotes and descriptions to inspire creative writing
Sometime in the summer months, Mama would bake the Christmas cakes, the batter so very rich in raisins and brown sugar. Soon the entire house would smell like Christmas, and if one closed one's eyes and imagined wintry weather around our home, a wonderland, you could start to believe you were really there, that it was Christmas Day. Soon after she would soak them in rum and store them in a tin. Every once in while she'd take a peak at them and add some more. I know other families wrap theirs in marzipan and royal icing sugar, but we liked ours just as they were, perhaps a little icing sugar dusted on top is all.
Panettone was our Christmas cake of choice, but then we were part Italian with deep roots in Milan. I loved the almonds upon the top and the soft, soft crumb so moorish with the fruit. But, of course, without our family and friends around us, without those we love, it is simply flour, sugar, milk and eggs... perhaps this is why we say we cook with love - for we bake for love, with love and for those we love. It is the Italian way.
With our germanic roots our Christmas could never be the same without a good homemade stollen. I recall the flavour as if it were part of my soul, the candied peel, the nuts, the yeasted dough. We could have been anywhere, at home or in some more rustic setting, but if we were all there and there was a stollen, then it was Christmas and we were happy.
My mother is from Verona and so our Christmas cake is the Pandoro, the eight pointed star of sweet golden crumb, dusted with icing sugar. We'd bake it together, that was our thing, each of us in aprons and with Christmas music on the radio. We'd bake one for us and one for the needy, because if the season is about anything at all, it's about folding the soul outwards to encompass the entire community, to develop a greater feeling of family beyond simply genetic lines. We wanted after Christmas Day had passed, that we were well set up for the year to become more as those who look at Christ's example and follow it truly than fall back to selfish ways.